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THE BOOK CONSISTS OF TWO SECTIONS IN PDF FORMAT: Section 1 : A Biography Section 2 : A Poem
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: CAELI FRANCISCO : INTERNET : CAELI FRANCISCO : 2010
DEDICATION TITLE PAGE PROLOGUE PART 1 A STORY TO BE TOLD Dark Secrets Page Page Page Page Page 3 4 7 10 11
Paying the Debt
God the Father and Jesus his Son Fear Femininity Redemption PART 2 CONVERSATION WITH GOD A Tribute to my Father The Keys Magnetic Field
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16 17 22 24 27 29 30 32
CONVERSATION WITH THE PIGEONS Now that I am Old On the Church’s Roof Bon Voyage
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33 35 36 38 39 40 41 42 44 45
LAST WORD TO THE READER Streetwalkers Spare me a Dime EPILOGUE END ABORTION
This is the true story of one woman’s struggle to come to grips with the greatest horror, which could ever happen to a female person at an age when she is unable to defend herself. It is the story of how she came to a stage in her life where the only option was to forgive, to try to understand and to love again the memory of the ones who committed the evils, in spite of their deeds having nearly destroyed her life. I say nearly destroyed because this is also the story of how she found the road leading to Christ, to redemption and to resurrection into a new life.
Laughing with me she only said, “Sort of.” In that very short answer I discerned someone who has a deep, deep need to talk. To tell a story. And she was right I am a media person, but freelance and for me, a good story will always be something to be put into the right framework and made ready for publishing. Again I really looked at her and saw the hunger there, the hunger to talk, to spill it all. And in her hunger I saw my own hunger to write a really good story.
“Look, it’s late. Why don’t you come home with me I found her by accident one day as I was strolling along where we can sit in comfort and talk undisturbed? the beach at sunset. She was sitting with her eyes Have a coffee together and a bite to eat?” I offered. closed against the salty sting of the waves as thy crashed and thundered against a rock. I stood still and “Sounds good!” she answered. tried to picture the face of this quiet figure sitting a few meters away from me. As if compelled, she turned I took her to my tiny flat overlooking the ocean, made around, looked at me and the next thing I knew we her comfortable and saw to her every need. After were standing together. having eaten a quick supper, we settled back… “May I talk to you?” she asked as she looked intently at the camera hanging around my neck. “You are a media person … or am I wrong?” I laughed and said, “Is it the camera which makes it so obvious?”
When she had finished, which was rather late in the night, I had one last question. “Tell me, Maria, how did you know it was me you could trust to tell this dark secret to?” After a slight pause she said, “As I sat there on that big rock, I was speaking to God. I told Him what I had read in the paper only this morning about the little girl who was molested by her father. I asked God to stop this thing happening to little children.
Know what he said? I must tell my story to someone he will send to me. How will I know this someone? I asked. And he said you will know her by the camera in her hands. Look, he said, she is behind you!” This then is that story told by this woman who, through the telling, wants to help others who suffered the same fate and yet others who are so suffering or might be suffering.
It was after Maria gave her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, that it happened. After she became someone’s child again – God’s child. After her life changed from nothingness, from emptiness into something of worth; something she could hang into, hold onto. The visions began and with it came the memories. They were terrible for she have had no recollection of any of these things she now started remembering. They came from somewhere deep down in the darkest depths of her being – depths that only God could command to open up and expose their dark secrets. It was as if an earthquake happened there. Everything inside of her began to shake and in the wide, dark expanse of her soul a scroll was being slowly unrolled by an unseen hand…. One by one the memories came, flooding her psyche. As they came, she stored them somewhere in her conscious mind until the one would come that would be the genesis of it all. The one that would open the sequence and unravel the tumbling forward of facts and scenes of remembrance. It wasn’t easy and the impact wasn’t soft. Her heart raced and her hands became clammy as sweat oiled her body. It drove her to her knees – the only safe and natural place to be. In tears she beseeched the Lord to show her these things in their chronological order unless she is pulled out of joint:
A tiny girl-child was playing in a beautiful, neatly kept garden. Running here, squatting there, she squealed with delight as the water sprinkler jetted its water against her chubby little body. She was in her own world of make-believe with the fairy folk. Telltale signs of her progress were there for all to see as her toes made furrows in the wet soil. Among the roses, where she had been forbidden to ever go, lay the petals unmasked and torn to many shreds. It was only when the sound of the shrew’s voice shrilled behind her that the child came back from fantasy land. Dragging her feet she approached the little-room-set-apart-our-secret-haven, where Daddy stood on the steps already waiting. Like a magician he whisked her inside and slammed the door in Mother’s face. A gesture that plainly said, “We are not to be disturbed until I’ve taught this naughty child a lesson!”
Across his knees she was pulled and after her panties was drawn aside from her quivering little buttocks, wap! went his hand. Wap! Wap! As she screamed her pain and rage, he soothed his little darling’s naked flesh by stroking, stroking, stroking… He pulled her up to sit upon his lap and gruffly said, it’s your turn now to soothe Daddy’s hurt.’ The little girl of three years old lay content in sleep, dirty streaks op teary rivulets upon her cheeks. Her hurt has abated when Daddy’s soothing hands had healed the pain of the spanking he had to give. This is the only way he had said, by which he could hope to pay the wager between him and the devil; the only way to return the pledge he had paid for her, this beautiful Promise. At last two golden heads have found their peace once more and together would they guard any unlawful entry through their Secret’s door.
Shortly after her daddy had turned forty, the family moved away to somewhere in the tropics. The fierce sun browned his body to a golden, glowing hue. And he became the girl-child’s hero whom she worshipped because between them, they shared a secret none other knew of. Within the social circles he became a man that stole the heart of many a lady. Which of them could have known of the monster that lurked behind the easy laugh and twinkling eyes? Which of them could have guessed at the secret she alone did share with her hero-god? At home the girl-child was firmly admonished not to disturb her daddy when he worked his land. But all she wanted was to be with him, to be at hand should her daddy ever be sad and wanting to share with her that secret place of their very own. One day he called her to him and the child was in heaven. “Are we still sharing our little secret my Poppet?” He asked and when she nodded he made her move nearer to his groping hand. Her body reacted of its own accord. She was ready for him – wanted to help him pay the debt he owned the devil. His twiddling fingers opened the secret door and with one shot was she bereaved of innocence. Right there and then, childhood departed from her soul….
The girl-child wanted to get away from the hurt and in her panic wriggled free. He realized that if he let her go now, she would run home and might spill the beans. He tried to grab her foot but she pulled loose and ran without a backward glance. When the pain in her side made her stop to catch her breath, she looked down and saw… Oh God, she saw a rivulet of blood running down her leg. With the ageless instinct of the damned she knew right there and then that she had been bound in the devil’s den.
These baby chicks need my care. I cannot leave them to give attention to you. I do not have time for you now!” “But….I’m hurt!” She blurted out. “Go to Evelyn in the kitchen! She will take care of it.”
Had she taken an extra second to really look at the girl, she surely would have seen her in shock and pain. But might she then have had compassion, have had mercy? Having been dumped upon the black people of the land to care for her - to soothe the hurt, staunch the blood and dry the He was right, of course, for she did flee to the only place tears; to give love and to be loved in return, the little girl where she presumed to find some sympathy. Home. Home received much more than a Mother’s love. That more is to a mother. However, there has never been any real what propelled her through life, made her hang on until affection or communication between them because the she could stand on her own and win the race. woman did not know how reach out to this child who seemed to be so highly regarded by her husband. Eventually it was noon and time for lunch. He was home now, the man of the moment. With hands washed clean, The child’s only thought as she stood by the fence of the he smugly took his place at the head of the table and did chicken coop was, surely she will talk to me, help me now not even look at the child. The blood-red juice he refused that I’ve been hurt so terribly? Surely she would not bebut feeling the need for so-mething stronger took a dram grudge me her attention and compassion – someone who from the liquor tray. can be so tender towards the tiny baby chicks in her hands? While the drone of her parents’ voices washed over her the Frightened and shy she whispered, “Mommy” and when little girl sat with them, outwardly calm as if she dozed. there was no reaction, she said again a bit louder, But as soon as she was alone by herself, the tears would “Mommy! “ flow and she would sob out her frustration to the nothing Irritated the woman looked up and when she saw the trem- that surrounded her. bling, dirty child rasped, “What is it now! Can’t you see I’m busy? How dare you bother me in my work.
It was their mundane conversations and the father’s apparent aloofness to what really happened, that brought her low. Instead of the mercy she sought from the two people who were supposed to mean the most to her, she only found indifference and scorn. That was exactly what gave direction to the rest of her life’s woes. When the fourth hidden page in the sequence of past happenings of her life was revealed, she saw something entirely different: A tiny seed of corn was being put into the ground where, in those deep dark depths, it slowly died. And then suddenly from that death, new life sprung forth. A plant began to sprout, eagerly pushing its tender shoots above the ground while deep down the roots were forming and anchoring in the rich, wet soil. Seeing this, she prayed and said, “O God for my soul which, like this corn of wheat on that hot December day did die, give that the pain of remembering bear the fruit for others in similar agony; fruit that will sprout from the root of your Glory’s wholesomeness”. Eventually the wounds caused by a man’s lustful ministrations, closed and the skin smoothed over. However, before the child has truly entered the age of puberty, it was as if something evil had been unleashed within her. Lust became the driving force, which took the place of virgin innocence. A split personality began to form from a monster’s indifference to what he has done. In the place of the once sparkling, bright-eyed little girl, a skulking nervous wreck, bent on sexual satisfaction, appeared. Lonely was she, in a world devoid of human understanding and denied the guidance of loving parents and peers. She knew she was on her own from now on and had to fight, had to enforce herself on life and its demands. Life in a world shaped for ‘survival of the fittest!’
The revelations from the scroll continued: The woman sought the truth with a firm determination and became furious with the child’s constant, conscious denial of all that could have happened that day. Whenever the child, in her non-understanding of her once hero-god’s changed demeanour, tried to seek him out, she found that he had become a very angry god-man. Why could he not realize that she did keep to their agreement? That she had severely and repeatedly been punished by the woman for not telling the secret, for keeping her mouth shut? I think it was the double shock of pain and fear that kept the girl from remembering what really happened; that kept it locked in behind the doors of memory’s view. His woman confronted him too, but stealthily and it took her years. But he had prepared his story very carefully. He agreed that the child was molested and put the blame upon his brother. And the result? The only family friend the child has ever had was now kept away from her. What on earth, that fiery earth, could ever have been worse?
How was this child to know, in all the time between her forming years and maturity, to either seek or find the great Almighty God? How was she, with all that pent-up insecurity, which manifested itself in the matchless inability of her hero-god to portray for her, her heavenly Father? A just and loving father should prepare his child for the day when she is confronted with her heavenly Father; to prepare that child to accept His love for her as a child of His making. But this man’s actions and intentions belied his role as a father. Instead he portrayed for her the image of a wrathful, raging, judging God. A God whose all-seeing angry eyes would forever deny her, her quest for life! Upon a mother’s knee are we supposed to learn the rudiments of salvation; are we to learn about Jesus, the Man who died for us so that we could live; are we to learn that life is a gift from God which we cannot earn. But this mother, when scolding the child for her ‘dirty little mind’, was quick to tell her there is no place in heaven for the likes of her. All she knew of Jesus was of a Baby born on Christmas day and during Easter, when home from school for the holidays she was sternly told of the Man who had to be nailed to a Cross because of her badness and sinfulness.
What could she know of a father’s compassionate and understanding heart? What could she know of the merciful comforts of a mother’s part? What could she know of God and his Son when all she knew was the rigid anger, which she always saw smouldering in both her parents? No wonder then that since this time, fear became the norm of her life. Fear in later years became the block that blanketed all memories of what had really happened…
There was an aspect of fear that occurred in the start of her life… As the new-born baby lay beside the tired, torn and bloody body of the mother who gave birth to her, the bonding she had experienced while still in the womb was no longer there. The mother had turned her face away because of her shame. While the unfolding of the scroll continued, revealing still more hidden pages, Maria began to realize that God gave her the most amazing will to, after all that have happened, not stay in a rut or run around in circles. He taught her to overcome fear every time it attacked her by confronting and fighting the terrors of darkness. But this only happened later when she was no longer a child and had no one to turn to for comfort and compassion…. While still part of that family, the child used to turn to the black people of the land, who never rejected her or denied her their attention, friendship and love. They were the ones who allowed their children to play with her, who fed her when she was hungry, sealed her hurts and dried her tears. Yes, the black people understood her fears and wel-comed her as their own.
Having befriended the washerwoman of the household, the little girl used to visit the old woman at her tribal village on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Weekends were the only time she could do so because the monsters who ruled her life had banished her to a hostel where she attended school during the week. However, to mix with black people, who were regarded with contempt as the servants, was not the done thing and very much beneath the status of a white person. So, once more the reaper came hunting to have and to claim what was his, to destroy what little joy there could be had. It was not without reason that he, after that first little ‘mishap’ kept himself from his little dove. No sirree, he was biding his time for her to grow out of her puppy fat. He liked them smooth he did, and supple, eagerly panting for his touch…. And so, every weekend she was home, he used to take a peek whenever the opportunity presented itself. He played it cool and it was easy for him. Was he not the man of the house and could go and do what he wanted? To stand by a window or gawk through a half open door…
And whenever sleep claimed his tired, roving thoughts, he had to be sure she was abed next door. Not until an afternoon’s four was she allowed outside to wander and to play. Always having to elude his ever watchful eyes, she quickly learned to wriggle her body through a window’s opening as quietly as a little mouse. Once through off she would be like a streak of lightning, the dogs tearing delightfully after her. Straight to Martha’s house she went and for her trouble would receive a glass of iron brew. “To make you strong”, Martha used to say. And happily would they all laugh together, enjoying one another’s company. One particular Sunday afternoon – it was a day on which the family partook of the Lord’s Supper at their nearest church – Martha and her husband had a visitor. He had come all the way from the Congo to see them. When the child had finished her millet beer, the man took out his flute and softly began to play. It was beautiful and the melody told her of a place where the meadows were green and the flowers bold. Dreamily she listened and it was as if the tune did touch upon a long forgotten, unused and dusty coil of memory…. The flute told her of a place where she had been before. A place where she once had been happy and loved. A place of laughter, warmth and joy. A place where there was trust and where fear had no hold on either of those who dwelt there. It was a place, a life, of perfect love, complete in its excellence.
Her psyche yearned for that place and as the playing of the flute continued it told her of the player who had come to find the little girl that was lost from that place of happiness.
In her mind’s eye she saw that place, nestling like a green jewel among the blue hills of a faraway country. Like a pink pearl the great rock, glistened in the glow of the setting sun. She saw a lake of water so clear that it sparkled in the sun like precious crystal. She saw waterfalls and flowers and birds and little animals. She saw a woman with a long golden veil flying as she runs toward a baby girl. And she saw an old man with blue eyes like her own and a long white beard… She stretched out her hand towards the player of the tune and…. All hell broke loose around them. “You black bastard !” thundered a voice behind her. The player of the flute looked up and saw a very angry red-haired giant bearing down upon him. The steel pipe in the man’s hands had already begun its downward swing towards his head.
She screamed and kicked and would have bitten him had he not slapped her hard across the face. Only then did she become still, limp in his grasp, the avalanche of his anger having proved too much for her. She knew she could not fight against him. “You know what I’m going to do to you now, don’t you?” He asked and she nodded numbly, would not answer, only looked at her feet. By that time they were on the bank of a tiny stream and in the shade of the Wild Fig Tree that grew there. Without another word he threw her to ground and raped her. Brutally. When it was over, he got up, fastened his trousers and strode away. She lay there, torn and bleeding and could not move. Her mind was dead from shock and pain. All she could think was, He promised. He promised never to hurt me again. I trusted him… ‘Run!’ the flute player commanded the child in a langua- (This promise was given one day when she was about ge none of the others could understand. He could say no eight and to be punished for some minor slip-up she had more for the pipe had split open his head and warm committed. The man believed in corporal punishment blood and brains spurted from the wound. The child where this particular child was concerned. He had hit could scream but once before being mercifully plucked her, not with his hand as he used to but with a steel rod away by Martha. The angry man threw the pipe aside, encased in leather. Nearly broke her shoulder bones.) turned around and grabbed the child by the hand. Come with me!’ he commanded and pulled her away. Martha came to tend to her and washed her quivering Wanting to get away from him, this harbinger of pain body with a cloth dipped in the cold water of the merry and horror, of anger and death, she tried to break free. little stream. She sat with the girl and tried her best to But he held her fast and dragged her with him onto the staunch the flow of blood and tears that finally did coroad. me.
While sitting there, holding the hand of this shocked little thing, she cooed endearing words to calm and to pacify the raw emotions and naked fear she saw in those violet blue eyes. And she prayed that God would have mercy on this child not to become pregnant from It was late, the sun nearly down when she helped the that monster, that troll, for yes, she was already at that girl to her feet. Gently she took her by the hand and led age. her halfway to the homestead. She dared not take her all the way for she too feared the angry man. Limping home, the child did not know what she would say when asked what had happened. She only knew she could not ever tell the truth. She would not believe her and He would take revenge by doing this again! When finally confronted, she could but hang her head and when told it was the heat that caused the bleeding, ‘not so?’ She nodded her agreement. But the bleeding did not stop. The pain did not go away. Finally she had to be taken to a doctor who found that she was hurt inside. The mother said, ‘but how can this be; she was with us all the time?’ The doctor thought a while and then decided, ‘ she must have done so herself. Some girls do that you know? We call it masturbation!’ Hatred came and fear changed into terror. Her carefree life of roaming on her own was cut short. The parents decreed that she, a big girl now, should stay at home; be by Mommy’s side.
A promise was made and an oath taken that this child was meant to be the devil’s own. But the woman wanted to be certain that it would be so even after the child had flown the nest. ‘Not to worry’ were her fears assuaged. ‘She is connected to me with an unseen cord and should she venture nearer to the Christ, you have to make certain that such an act is thwarted!’ The yearning Maria had experienced that day when listening to the melody of the flute took her onto flights of memory. It became a way to escape the reality of the ever-present anger, bitterness and contempt in the household. And then came the convulsions. Whenever these happened it was put down by the grownups as either caused by fever due to some sickness or other or the tantrums of a naughty child. Could it be while being in the state of an epileptic fit, which mostly manifested itself as a kind of déjà vu, that her subconscious mind took control and pulled her away to that faraway place? It sometimes happened – and still does - that after such an attack there are fleeting memo-ries of people, events and places that she has no conscious recollection of. During the years in which her psyche was forming, she experienced a switch-over from female to male and back to female. With this transition, fear became the norm by which she lived.
Because of a mother’s conscious, determined rejection and her revulsion for the child in her care, coupled with her jealousy and hatred she, together with all others of woman-kind, became what Maria feared the most. After those awful years, as she grew into adulthood and beyond, fear became locked between the skin and muscles of her bones and being. For a long, long time Maria would find it difficult to trust people and believe in the promises they made; would find it difficult to love out of fear that something cherished, would be taken away. In the end it was an earthquake of her soul that cured her of this monster called Fear. She realised that it could only have been Jesus Christ who accomplished this freedom for her and it was this redemptive freedom, which brought to her the Man she finally came to love more than life itself, our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The child became ugly, sulking and sneaky. Always shy, she would hide whenever outsiders came to visit the family. Later, she became aggressive and boldly daring in what she thought and not caring what she said. What more could they do to crush her spirit? And so her presence in the family could no longer be tolerated. The only solution was to send her as far away as they possibly could. Without argument is was decided that she would be sent to a finishing school where she would learn how become a young woman. Year after dreary year Maria attended this school dutifully. Hostel-bound, this prison-like existence chafed against her dislocated psyche, made it raw. There was no remedy, no relief and never any freedom. Discipline and duty had been the norm by which she had to live. The people under whose authority she was, were sharp and sought to tame her wildness with rod or cane. Fearful of danger imminently lurking, she sought for excellence in her schoolwork and bent her mind to the task. One emotion she had found that fanned the flame of rebellion’s heat was that of hate. And so her attitude evoked continual distrust so that rebellion was never far below the surface. Again and again she was rejected and denied acceptance by her peers while those appointed over her found her strange, to say the least.
The effect of all this was that it fed the distrust, the hate and the fear. This girl could not identify with her school or class mates for the simple reason that she could never identify with her same-sex parent at home. To be a girl became for her the most hateful thing and with distaste she accepted her nature. She became emotionally unstable as circumstances tossed her this way and that way.
“While I’ve been shown the scroll I tried to understand why that was so”, Maria said and realised that she had to delve into a deeper region of her psyche – a dark place where few would dare to go. Having always despised femininity, the unsophisticated female vanity she encountered during her College years irritated Maria immensely. However, during the latter part of her time spent there, she became more attentive to the things she was hearing. She really began to listen to what the other young women were discussing. About men and dating and….
“How can this be. Did you not tell me it’s impossible?” The angry father wanted to know. “That’s what the doctor had said at that time”, the mother answered and lamented, “Oh, what are we going to do now? Our good name is at stake!” “Well,” he determined, “There’s only one option. We have to get rid of that unwanted seed!” Getting rid of it is what they did. No matter how much the young eighteen year-old mother tried to resist, it was done without a qualm. Three years later they were only too happy to marry her off to the first poor fool who came asking for her hand. It could not have been sooner for all they She suddenly realized that the time had come for her to re- cared. This unwanted young woman within their midst had gain the femininity she had presumably lost. The scales become not only a huge liability but an embarrassment to had to be adjusted and, as she had done with softness and them as well. with love, she now bottled-up her carefully cultivated mas- So marriage happened and went away again. Just like culinity. Now was the chance to break free of the mould in- that! One moment there was love presumed and the next, to which the satyr’s ministrations had cast her. it was gone! Motherhood? Well yes, in spite of an old docThus happened her entry into the real world where men of tor’s prophecy, pregnancy came her way again. She gave all ages abounded. Here were so many daddies, that she birth, excruciating painful though it was, to a beautiful could pick and choose the one she thought she could keep baby son. But the bliss of motherhood could neither save forever as her new-found hero-god. Once again could she the failing marriage nor last unto eternity. This poor mothgain for herself the approval she sought in the manner she er never had the key that would unlock the door to love for had been prepared for by the satyr. Eagerly she stepped the son her body did bear. When he was twelve years old right into the devil’s den. he left his mother to stay in another land. Unbelievable as Although it was said that the child would never be able to it may sound, for both of them it was a relief. fall pregnant, it did happen. Great was the consternation of both her parents when that condition had been discovered.
Bewildered and confused Maria became perversely bold; took herself a lover whose concubine she became and lived in the paradise of a love which only she could assume. Did she ever care or spared her own integrity a thought? Did she never hate herself during all this time? Well, whenever she gave herself to a father-man, she never allowed her spirit to condemn herself. But deep down she knew what she did was wrong and that every act of immorality was just another gong of eternity’s clock. I think that somehow deep down within her basic self the grace of God did fight for her.
In spite of the promise the mother made to the devil to which she sold her life, Maria not only ventured nearer to but came into contact with Christ! He who is the Light of the world shone straight into the darkness of her screwed-up life. The heat of a love as pure and divine as only His love could be, melted the chill of death inside of her. Once that light had found its mark, it began to ban the darkness in stages. Gently, step by step and day by day, the changes were wrought that would cleanse, heal and make of all the bad things past tense. The life-giving prophecy spoken over her the day she was born, implanted deep within her spirit the will to live and to do what is good and right and just. She, now a woman of middle years, came to understand that it was never God’s intention that she bear the burdens laid upon her by that hero-god of long ago. She came to understand that God is really a Father to her and that he never intended for her to have this mantle of iniquity, the other father did cast upon her, as her eternal lot.
However, the pre-patterned evil desires and urges caused But the moment she came near, the old woman fled by reher to err continually. But the omnipotent, omnipresent treating into her shell and refused Maria access to herself God somehow made his light break through the crust of and her family. darkness and so prevented the evil to run its course. For five long years God gently guided this erring child, this apple of his eye, to come up to the light from out of this world’s dark womb where she was buried beneath the forces of the evils of the earth. Until one blessed day when even the angels did rejoice as the born-again young maiden, chose to accept the Man of the Cross. On that day she stepped into the light on her own and reached for the most powerful grip that said, I will never let you go! That day a lightning bolt came down from heaven so fast that the devil had no choice but to flee! It was around this time that the dreams started. Weird dreams of dark places and strange things. And those who peopled these places were always those of the household she grew up in. While Jesus Christ ministered to Maria his grace and compassion, she sat at his feet learning the reason why she had lost her face, her identity. She dug and delved to find her true self, the real Maria that was the part of His body left behind somewhere. However, before she could find who she was in Christ, Maria had to comprehend the ruins of her past life. The satyr was gone, dead and buried long ago but his mate, the mother, was still somewhere in that land she had left behind. Maria felt compelled to go there and travelled the many miles from coast to coast with a rucksack on her back to confront the woman for the truth. 25
In the end it was the story of salvation that pulled her out of this living hell of humiliation, guilt and self-condemnation. All she needed, Jesus had said, was to for-give them for what they did to her. When she finally could bring herself, not without grief and sorrow, to do just that, he released the power of the Cross into her life - the same power of the Spirit by which our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave!
But after a thorough examinsation, the brain specialist decreed that there is nothing wrong. It was only then that Maria could realise and really appreciate the full impact of a God-given life. What God said to her was, ‘See, I set before you this day life and death, blessing and cursing. If I were you, I would choose and grab the life, which I am holding in the hollow of my hand. Cherish it, for it is refined gold. To keep it shining, it shall depend on you and you alone. Stay far from the For ten whole years the Lord put Maria through her pa-ces. darkness of fear and hate and bitterness; of shame and It was like being put under a grinding stone or tram-pled guilt and condemnation of yourself. You are mine and your with grapes in a winepress. When he allowed her up for air, worth in gold cannot be measured. Take now this life, she would plead with him to stop but his an-swer had which the jubilee offers you and live! been, I’m preparing you to be my mate! What this could mean, she could not understand but later, when she asked him to send her someone who had Je-sus in him and who could help her through the deep wa-ters, that is exactly what he did… He gave her himself. The Lord took everything away from Maria. Her pseudo family was easy to let go of but the son whose love she craved, was kept on a tight rein and away from her; friends she thought she had and who cared for her; eve-rything that she owned – her house, her job, her stuff, books and baubles she had cherished as things of worth He truly stripped her bare. And he nearly took away her life as well, for one day she was confronted with the possibility of a probable malig-nant brain tumour, which made her panic because this would mean that she could die.
In Part 2 Maria is in conversation with God, which recounts how she had experienced His saving grace.
am, send me! Instead of going out to reap you sent me back to cultivate and plant the soil with lessons learned from you. Now that my cup is come to overflowing, I kneel before your throne and offer up to you my sacrifice: The savoury taste of meat and herb with bread so fine and water from the Rock. Take now this cup, my Father and pour it out to emptiness so that the broken shards of this, my finest alabaster flask, can release its fragrance of life unto life! Now I’m ready Abba, Father: Here I am, send me. A soldier fitted out with love and peace and joy to cross with you this mighty stream - this, my Jordan; to rule with you this mighty land - this my Canaan!.
Not for long did you allow a mother’s breasts to feed this wanton baby born. When I was cast into the open field, you washed and covered me with blood - even the blood of Jesus your Son. You clad me with linen, gossamer and sheer; anointed me with oil so costly and pure. My feet you shod with badger’s skin; upon my head a crown of finest gold; upon my chest and loins you fastened and secured your righteousness and truth. Out into the wild you sent me forth to drink from leafy cups of dew; gathering the choicest herbs, you gave me some honey to eat and put a locust between my teeth. Here you taught me how to weave the silky threads of spider’s webs; here you taught me how to build walls of prayer and hedges of song. When you wondered whom to send, I shouted, here I
“I have called you by a special name to cover my people with my wisdom’s fame. Because of my love for you, I’m guiding you with favour from above. With After trudging many tired miles, Father you gave me your witness am I pleased and it does not matter what the first when I was deprived of a welcome at the you’ve done, you still bear the image of my Son. entrance to the fold. From their midst did you withhold me by the angel’s sword, for I was still held fast You are the rock on which I will build my house, from by the thongs of my own iniquity. This key was given the ashes of your past. Take now these two keys that the knots to untie, while the circumcision made my would allow you to enter through the door to my soul to die. house.” Before I even knew you, Father God, you have bound me to yourself with an unbreakable cord. You knew that I would struggle to find the keys that would open this door – a door that’s guarded by your cherubim. Before I may take the keys that you are holding in your hand, I need to find the Branch of Jesse, David’s seed. Once I have embraced his cross, you will give me these two keys that will unlock the riddles of my life. I am yearning for these two keys, that’s made of gold for they alone can break the chains of my family tree; can unravel the puzzles of my past; and will unlock the truth, hidden from me since my youth. It was only when you gave me the second key that I knew, with the slaving beast was’t reckoned.
Round and round the family tree I went, shuffling my my feet in a dusty dance with fingers groping for the slightest chance. And the devil laughed himself to pieces because he thought I would never come to Jesus!
With a mighty shout of someone very bold, could I declare to all within the fold that Jesus, of the living God his Son, Christ for me eternal life did won; that this was revealed to me by you, my Father, with a voice as thatof a trumpet, peal upon peal. These two keys you said, would release the fulfillment of your promise. A promise that in life’s due season, each one would return to his own - his family, his clan, his kind. This is a promise that you, my Father, had made in times long past in your covenant, which was a cast, a shadow of a future worth that would be incarnated by the Virginbirth.
I did escape the shadows that was cast by the devil’s gallows through the dynamic energy of your explosive force, that propelled me forward. After you have covered me with your protective magnetic field because my soul was shrivelled from that perpetual chill, I could finally lift my eyes and hear your call. I heard the beckoning trumpet say, “Come ye all”. As I lifted my hands in joyful celebration, I was given a glimpse of Zion’s towering formation and felt my body yield to your Spirit’s pull. Before I could be afraid again, Lord, you smiled and said, “It’s only the latter rain.” Behind my back there was such a massive explosion that it caused all other powers to fail - what a great commotion! Suddenly understanding, I could now step forward with awareness enlightened to receive the riches of your glory, reserved for all your saints who have believed. Now I could know the hope of your calling and when you send me, I’ll go willingly to fetch my brothers one by one, till the fullness of your Body has been won.
Without the blue-white crackling surge of Christ’s vitality arcing lightning flashes around my head, I could never have the sparkling audacity to bring to life those asleep beneath the dust. Oh, I am prepared, my Father to re-enter through darkness’s door, for did you not empower me with your weapons of war? The first one already stood waiting - awareness was there when a flint of your truth struck rock. Before she could waver I took her hand and lead her straight into your positive field where all doubt and uncertainty were dispersed. No longer will her song be a lament but one that will merge with mine, oh what a joyful testament! Dunamis - a force so miraculous that the Kingdom of heaven is suffering violence and only the violent can take it by force. They are the ones who would open doors for others pining away upon so many funeral pyres.
In Part 3, written in poetic form, a much older Maria talks and listens to the pigeons on the roof of the Church, in the shadow of which she is spending her twilight years.
When the light of sun and moon and stars grow dim and rain clouds never pass, my arms do tremble and my legs, becoming weak, resemble young stalks of corn. My teeth too few to chew; my eyes too dim for any view; my ears don’t hear any more so good and soft whispers change my sleeping mood.
Afraid I am of places high and even walking make me want to tie myself to life’s holding anchor line.
Of ageing is this assuredly a sign. White as snow my hair has turned and desire gone from where it once had burned. Prelude this is to the snap of the silver chain; the golden lamp for none any more, a gain. My body soon will go to earth, its dust. And merely a gust of breath that had been mine will go back to God, into heaven’s time.
We are pigeons on the church’s roof - of your vigilance is this the proof. One day in an afternoon of May we sat together waiting for others there to gather. On they came until the hour the clock struck four in the church’s tower. Why, asked my lady mine, oh why are people all in black when they come to say goodbye? My feathers I riffled while I thought of a suitable answer pleasing to the Lord. Death, my dear, I finally did say, is for some the end of a day; for others who across the night can see, black is just for this day to be sombrely quiet, pensive and still until the morrow when their vigil be fulfil. They are the ones who do know that when Jesus to heaven did go, he with him took all of those who in death’s captivity repose… May that then be the reason why he had to die in the Pascal season? Yes, yes, I answered absentmindedly for already the truth was spoken to me quietly. A voice did say within my heart, Hark now, the angels sing for the one depart.
While the faithful bade the mighty Lord, ‘Kyrie eleison’ for him whom you have bought with your blood, which upon the earth did spill, a lifelong service has now been fulfil. Ere she could ask another thing I heard a man and he did sing, ‘Halleluiah, Jesus lives for evermore,’ - his voice to me on the wind did bore. Softly did I bade him, who from us has gone, Shalom my friend, to you I am anon but one day in heaven we shall meet after Jesus for us has come, on his pure white steed.
Eventually I looked at my lady dear and was surprised to see a tear in the corner of her eye. But before I could ask her why, her wing she lifted, bade me still to be.
Indescribably beautiful the sound of a trumpet - my attention again did bound. The purity of note in the air did trill of a final goodbye from us all upon the window sill. The trumpet it did bless the one departed: ‘May you stay a priest like Samuel and see the face of God at Penuel. ‘May you be as Elijah had been, a prophet who against the Baals did act so keen. ‘May you rule your house as wise as Solomon, who as king the people’s favour did won. ‘May you become a rock as sure as Peter, his witness still endure today - foundation of the Church, which Jesus Christ, as Son of God, will purge. ‘May you stay ambassador for the Word of God that you have heard. You cannot err with his rules of faith and love divine – like as Paul, an apostle as fine!
Softly, swiftly, safely you must go - thát we know. But do not tarry over-long and return to us on the sound of a song of the nightingale, which in due time you will hail. Enjoy your rest our Sister dear in places where the air is clear, and where in evenings dark you smell the pine tree’s bark; while warming flame the wood do claim, the hours away do burn and the days do shorten, you to us return. With our love within your heart, our prayers you will guard until upon the silver shining wing, the news of your return to us will bring. When you have returned to this place where you sojourned in the land of far away, where you’ll live again each day; let it be that you remember all of us who, between the sand and foam and sky might ever roam, in endless circles of your mind with yearning bind, to have you at our side and within our hearts again, abide.
So many ones are they out there, shadow-walking in streets so bare of feeling and a sign of care: With endless lists are we a-hurrying to provide for gifts and food and more of whatever else demands that we be worrying to prepare in time, the Feast afore. But, do we assign one single thought for those of everything have naught? I speak not of them that dwell in township, shack or dell of ghetto-living but, rather is it those among ourselves, the hardest hit with loneliness, who are without friend or family about. Those for whom it makes no sense to forward look from this day hence, to Christmas as some thing of worth, of joy and happiness and of mirth.
Come, let each of us reach out a hand to gently enter into one such land and with compassion, touch a heart gone cold; yes, nudge an empty soul that’s lost the way to the warmth of love’s rich pay.
With such request should we comply and not think to ask, but why? May be assured that He for us was born and later on for us again was torn, would become for us the One for whom this deed of love, we’ve done!
Allow me to give you an example of the sum, yes of the ensemble - the result of what has been experienced, when there meet on earth an angel, with a man of worth:
I really looked and saw, not a beggar standing by my door but her face as that of the Angel who came knocking on the doors of my forefathers and of yours. Before I could say yes she was gone and wondering what I had done, I sunk to my knees where Jesus changed my shame into peace.
A beggar once came to my door and what she said brought me to my knee upon the floor.
Excuse me sir, can you spare me a dime of your precious, life-consuming time; can you spare me of the mercy that you so carefully hoard for your children’s bed and board? I once was rich, called ol’ wealthy Nan but now I am poor and called ol’ poverty Moore. Once I sat in palaces of kings an’ queens, on terraces; but now I sit in alleyways with cats and dogs, and strays. Now I come begging to your door, come asking for a crust of bread, a glass of sour wine - will you spare me some of your precious time? Excuse me sir, can you spare some compassion that is of late gone out of fashion? All I ask is your touch upon my shoulder, which would roll for me this heavy boulder of my destiny, a little way apart?
Maria, who has suffered so much and in the end had conquered it all in Christ her Saviour, now turns to you, the reader of this book. You may be someone who is suffering or has suffered in the same way, be it as victim or as perpetrator. In this book, Maria has told you the reader, what to do and how to do what is necessary and important for Jesus Christ to set you free.
She tells of her conversations with God, her communication with Creation and in the final fragment, she offers a plea to others out there in the world to reach out to people like you in need of understanding, care and help.
When my son, was your soul taken to reside with God; his heaven your goal? Was it when, deep in your mother’s womb you heard the verdict and felt the numb acquiescence of my spineless soul unable to keep you whole? Vibrations of the judge’s hammer spelled our doom, my son. And you, for me did redeem my life with your blood, my son.
You had to die so I could live.
Could it but be the other way around? I cannot even whisper this by the mound of your grave, for there is none. Your remains have turned to ashes and long ago were they strewn to the wind by someone kind.” “Upon the hammer’s rap my spirit Jesus did commend to God, my mother!”
Abortion is a poem written of a very young mother-to-be, who was forced by her parents, afraid for the besmirching of their good name, to have an abortion done to terminate her pregnancy. The foetus was 14 weeks old, as shown on the title page.
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