Sunday, July 31, 2011


"If we keep looking backwards, we will break our necks. We don't have time for regret." The Milk Carton Kids (Milk Carton Kid)

I have done a lot in my life that I should regret. I have hurt so many people. I have used people like garbage to get what I wanted. I have hurt people with the expressed purpose of hurting them. It made me feel better. It made me feel not-so-alone knowing someone else was miserable too...because of me. Sometimes because of their love for me.

I told my mother, she was gonna be a grandma while I was still in high school. Bad enough, but did I have to do it at a family reunion in front of the people she slept next to growing up? I used people and their emotions to lift me up out of the dirt for just a few moments as I watched their faces stomped by my boot into the manure. For these things, I will never excuse myself for any reason. I was a messed up kid that was misguided, but this was way too far.

I came to know Jesus and the first thing I did was make a list of people that I covered in crap and called them. I apologized and told them why things had changed in me. That alleviated my guilt a little...but should it? Should I have been able to hurt someone that bad and just apologize and all becomes well with me and them? With me and God? I don't think so. All is well with me and God, but I can never take back what I said and did to those poor people. I may be forgiven, but I am still may be a monster in their eyes and all I can do for them is apologize.

This is the finality of our actions. We can apologize and if you are close enough to the person, they may forgive and forget about the offense entirely. But if you aren't close to them, your apology may help them understand, but you can't take back their suffering. Their suffering may have been a tool from God to make them stronger, but the cause of their suffering was a tool of the devil to destroy them. I am not sure what it is I am even trying to say. I have no answers on this one. I don't know,  I feel bad for things I have done. I pray that the guilt I feel will continue to remind me that every moment means something to someone. We are affective to those around us. A single word said in jest may cause a person to go home and cause herself to vomit. A joke can provoke someone to give up on any faith they have left. I am not proud or delusional about these things. I cannot ruin someone. God is bigger than that, but that doesn't excuse my gross contribution to their lives. We must be very careful and handle people very delicately. Some people are porcelain dolls that will shatter if dropped.

Regret. I said earlier that I have a lot to regret. I have done a lot of bad things. I really have. Here I am though...alive and writing. Here I am looking for ways to break through people's defenses and expose them to love. I am here because Jesus is so good and merciful and graceful to use an evil person to reach others. It goes against every human instinct and idea of fairness. It is to humans, ironic. To God it is His work, His eternity long mission. To regret the evil I have done is to negate the grace God has shown me and those around me. When God changed me, everyone around me saw it happening and knew it was real...because I was so bad. I can only pray that those people I hurt will forgive me and most importantly run to God. I am sure they haven't thought of me since, but I do still think of them. I do care. I do still think of ways to make amends with them, not for my sake, but for the sake of justice...even if it is only human justice.

Photo credit to:


Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Brotherhood

And we watched the last rocket burst into flames and shoot into the night sky. It soared like a real rocket would. We watched it until we could see it no longer and closed our eyes. We knew this would be it. This would be the last time we watched in wonder as the work of our hands and a few toilet paper insides and cardboard fizzled into the cold world. We were growing up. We didn't want to, none of us did. We had to. Things were changing. We graduated and moved on. Our big brother was getting married. My little brother went to the Navy and my other little brother moved to the place of sand and lights. I stayed put because I had a child on the 18 years old. I was that guy that did that thing that made that person that I love so dearly.

Stepping out into the world isn't something that has ever been taken lightly by anyone. Mother birds have to push their young out into the wind. Sometimes mother humans do too. Other times, we just want to do what is expected of us, so we get up, and pack our things and walk out the front door. We say goodbye to the things that have meant the world to us and promise to see them again at Christmas.

Something changes while we are gone. Cold seeps in and makes us adults. It makes us proper. It drives a wedge between what we used to love and who we are now. You come home and nothing is the same. The house is changed, the people have moved on, and even the neighborhood has changed it's face. Home feels like not-so-home. You look into each others eyes and you see yourself written on their hearts, but each of you know you can't go back. And you shouldn't go back. These were the days of your youth. It's time to grow up and make yourself a man. But there is a gap between what you should do and the feeling of emptiness that comes when what was once there is gone. There is this middle place where you just want another day to be a kid. You want to make those mistakes one more time.

One of my brothers is gone. One of my brothers isn't gonna make it for Christmas this year. But I have three brothers that will. Looking in their eyes is like seeing into the past and the future. It is seeing these little kids in pajamas trading baseball cards and ripping each other off. It is seeing two pairs of Doc Martin boots standing together with the wind at their backs. Even if currently the wind is forcing us backwards, we see the hope in each others eyes. This is brotherhood.

Photo credit to:


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, July 29, 2011

Counting Sheep

"The only time I have problems is when I sleep." Tupac Shakur.

I have written about sleep before, and I will again, because of what is signifies. It signifies vulnerability. Some people are these utopian, somehow inhuman creatures that cannot be touched. Some people are a fairytale of everything you have ever wanted to be, but at night, when the sun goes down and the mask comes off, they close their eyes just like the rest of us, and wander off into somewhere different.

Sleep is scary because for 5-8 hours a night, you have no idea what is going on around you. There could be a guy with a giant sickle standing at your feet grinning at your bad dreams. Or there can be an angel that fights away the evil things unseen to you in your most vulnerable time of your life. We will never know, because when we close our eyes and drift off to somewhere else, we leave whatever consciousness remains here. We go to wherever our minds want to take it or not.

I too often go to where my heart does not want me to go. I go to the very moments I fear the most. I hear things I don't want to hear. I see people I know cannot be there, except it all feels so real. You wake up over and over only to drift back into this abyss of forgotten memories and subconscious lies. And sometimes truth.

I used to fear falling asleep. I would sleep at the foot of Will's bed because I knew that when I fell asleep, I would not be alone. I have always hated being alone, especially in my most vulnerable state. I won't write about some of the things I have seen in the dark, they make me shake even now. But I will write about the methods I used to defeat them. Starting with the things that didn't work.

Metronome. I slept with one ticking exact seconds away in 4/4 time, 120 BPM for a couple of years. It was effective in putting me to sleep, but not effective in releasing the dreams or the fear of the dreams.

I tried sleeping under the kitchen table and in the bathtub. They helped for a while, to trick my brain into believing I wasn't in bed sleeping, but dreams will always catch up...because your life will always catch up.

I tried pretending I was in these horribly unsafe scenarios, but was completely safe, like in a boat in the middle of the ocean in a hurricane, but completely untouchable from the storm. It puts me to sleep most nights. It is my single most effective way to drift off, but nothing keeps the dreams from finding me. When I close my eyes, there is nothing I can do. I lose control of the one thing I always have conrol consciousness. I lose control of the way I see things. I lose control over reality and things that are impossible. I lose control over my own ability to stop calamity from happening. Many dreams, I get to watch my worst fears realized with no defense or any ability to change anything. It is a horrible feeling and a horrible way to wake up to the world...knowing you are completely helpless. Hopeless.

But isn't it a reflection of reality? Isn't that the real world? We cannot control everything. Things happen whether we want them to or not...great things that we celebrate with family and friends and horrible things that we mourn all the days of our lives. If we could go back and change some things, whether you admit regrets or not, many probably would change them. I would change many things because I am tired of feeling bad about them and am tired of knowing I did the wrong thing and don't know what might have been. But what would happen if you did change them?

Chaos. Chaos theory is based on things like the migratory pattern of birds and the way things don't happen as predicted by many years of study. Life is a series of anomalies that when predicted would have turned out differently. I guess this isn't why we get to control of the world. I guess this is why nothing really works out just like you had planned it... because there is chaos. That chaos is a delicately composed symphony radiating from the fingertips of God, but to us, it is chaos and not understandable. So we fear things like dreams....things unpredictable, because they make us lose order. No one wants to lose order.

I say, God was never meant to be predictable. We cannot always have control. Our dreams show us a wonder that may not be possible, but can be completely real to us. They can teach us something about ourselves, and maybe even others around us. At the least, they can teach us that God is in control, even when we aren't. Because we wake up...most of the time.

Photo credit to:


Thanks for reading...Z

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Old Quilts

It is sad when a quilt outlives it's maker. Or even an afghan.

Mortality is the single biggest issue of my entire existence. I fear death. Not for the reasons that I will be dying. There are so many ways I could have already died and that doesn't really bother me. What bothers me is that it could have happened. Tonight a guy walks out of a gas station to another man with a gun and gets killed right there for no observable reason. Last week, an old woman curled up in bed, feeling a little more tired than usual and doesn't wake up. Either is OK with me as long as it isn't fire or drowning. The thing that gets me is being deleted.

When a person dies, their loved ones hurt and never forget as long as they live. How about their not-so-family ones? They get shocked and sad, attend the funeral and in a few weeks, you don't pass across the thoughts that dominate their brains. You have been forgotten. I hate that. I think the people of the Old Testament had the right idea. They hired mourners to wail at their loved one's funerals. Maybe they can make such a scene that people would respect your life.

People here don't have much respect for life. I saw a guy honk his horn at a funeral procession the other day because he missed two green lights as they rolled through the intersection. He had had enough and cut into the procession. He missed the point of the procession. It is about respect for humanity. People on this earth loved that deceased person. People had memories made with him or her. His kids remember being bounced on his lap and feeling his stubbled face scratch against their smooth kid-skin. Her parents remember her real-pain cry she would shriek out when she was really hurt as a toddler. His wife remembers the sacrifice he made, working his hands to the bone to keep food in front of them. So they pull their cars into a procession of people who love and respect the deceased. Some of the mourners will forget quickly and others will have grandma's perfume smell programmed in their brains forever.

We kill. We kill babies. We kill kids. Tonight someone kidnapped a 5 year old girl, killed her and burned her in an abandoned house. We kill criminals. We kill with our words. We kill with our swords. We kill honest people fighting for a different country. We kill evil people trying to harm us. The point isn't a moral one. It isn't an argument about what killing is right or wrong. It is a cry for life to be respected. If a person has to die, don't dance on their graves. Someone loved them. Imagine how the parents of a murderer feels when their child kills a family of 5. Imagine how they feel when the country rejoices at their night in the electric chair...there baby frying by electricity. Look at their faces as visions of feeding the kid a bottle and the first time he hit a baseball rush through their heads as currents run through his.  The Bible says God flooded the world because of violence. What is clear from the Word of God is that God loves life and hates watching those in peril.

I fear being deleted from anyone's mind. I know I will be, but I refuse to like it. Maybe this is a good way to live. Maybe it sparks a passion to make Christ that much more visible in me. Maybe it produces pride and an obsession with people remembering just me. I don't know, but I do know that I really wish people cared more about life. This world would be better and lighter if we did.

Photo credit to:


Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Guess This Is Growing Up

I can feel myself growing up. I feel it in little moments of the day that I realize I just handled a situation completely differently than I usually would have. I realize it in those isolated moments when you look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, "What am I doing? I am not 21 anymore." Then change your clothes into something a 33 year old person might wear...something plain...something without labels and print...something that tells the world you are ready to get old. Is this maturity? I hope not. I always thought of maturity as making a choice based in integrity...the right and sometimes unpopular choice, even when people are watching you silently judging. I thought maturity was based on your actions. I thought maturity was something you proved and never had a face. I thought maturity was judged by God himself.

To me, maturity means integrity. Integrity means that no one that seeks to destroy your walls can breech your defenses. Integrity is silent. No one speaks integrity. It is something that is seen and learned in a choice few. Integrity can usually only be taught by a person with integrity.  I was taught by many. God gave me models of integrity to guide me my entire life. Here is a list that is not all encompassing because there are too many to number. But here are a few.

My mom- she picked up kids from the ghetto and dressed up like a clown to give them Jesus. She made herself a joke for God. Even more undignified than David in my opinion. She bled a clown's blood for me.

JoAnn/Jim- They didn't have to see me as their kid and sacrifice for me, but they did because God was their guide. They showed me a character that I had never recognized before. They gave me their hearts.

Andy- We made the world's greatest death metal band ever created by two kids under 13. I changed your diaper and you changed my life. You are integrity to me. You are the blood that courses through my blood, and I couldn't be prouder of you.

Jason- We are the opposite of each other in so many ways. But in the area of heart and love, we are the same. We went through it together...the good and bad. We came out breathing and I love you.

Will- You were my heart. You were a sacrificial lamb to everyone you loved. You gave and gave. You told me the truth about you. I appreciated your laugh and how genuine it was. Your smile and how it was specifically directed at someone.

Joe- Me and you have seen hell together. We held each other shaking in fear. We held each other shaking in pain. We are brothers even when being a brother hurts.

Dave McWhorter- I needed someone who would be willing to guide my sometimes very misguided passions into the right direction without encouraging pride. Even when your words to me didn't make sense at the time, I got it later on. You have always been a great mentor.

Jim Stew- You put me on a roof and taught me who Jesus was. I didn't know. You helped me find Him for who He was in my life. Remember, I went to you first when I was searching for Christ because I watched you give both your jacket and shirt off of your back to give another broken kid, a picture of the love of God.

Last, but certainly first- My beautiful wife, Laura and my children- If I am to speak of growing up, you are the first that comes to mind. I wasn't ready to be a husband and father, even though I always thought I was. I never thought it would bring so many fears. I never thought it would cause me to worry so much. But that is what love produces sometimes...worry. We worry because we never want to lose what we love so much. I never knew love would make my heart ache so much. You hold my heart firmly in your hands and have always been so careful not to drop and break it. When I weep, you weep. We are one.

These are the people who taught me to grow up. These are the people God gave me as a gift. Without these people, faith in God would not have happened for me. Growing up is knowing your are not in control. But as scary as it may seem, God is.


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, July 22, 2011


My problem has never been whether there is a God, my problem has always been with, "Does He care about me?"

I was raised in church to believe in God. Some would say I was indoctrinated from birth. I would say, I was taught some very important aspects about the truth that the world refuses to see. In many ways, I refused to see them too, because of the consistency of hypocritical Christians to be awful. When I laid my head down on the tracks, I never thought for a moment that God was not there with me, watching. My thought was that He was laughing at me. Jolly, Santa, laughing at my plight to make a ruined life work. This was my anger. It fueled me to live as long as I did. I wanted to fight against the God that had destroyed me. The truth is...I think....that He did destroy me. He did it. He doesn't cause sin, but allowed it. Why? Because He sees the bigger picture. I did not.

I came to know Jesus the day I realized He cared about me. He really did love me. He really was guiding me and had always been there. I was out of my mind happy and excited to finally know the truth. I served Him with the best of my heart and life. I made horrible mistakes and fumbled around trying to get it right, but I fought so hard against the evils that wanted to take me. I beat my body and made it my slave to glorify God. I dedicated my life to showing a glimpse of Christ to those that were just like me. A kind of kid that I have been a lightening rod to since I started working with teenagers 11 years ago.

Many years later, I found myself battling again. I found myself sitting in the dark in front of a religious icon shouting and shaking my fists at my God. I found myself again, not wondering if God was there, but wondering if He cared at all. How could he let one of the closest people to of the saviors He sent me of my whole life to put himself on a thread. How could He do that? How could He let me lose him? I never believed God to be a God that always keeps bad things from us, but I believed us to be friends. Him to be my Father. I always saw God clearer when I pictured my own son and how I would love him. I would never take away one of the things he loved the most. I would never take away someone so dear to him. This is where I got stuck. I got stuck in pride. I got stuck looking at me and not Will. Will suffered for a long time. Will did love Jesus, but got lost in all of the evils this world shoves down our throats. It is a horrible thing that he did and it had nothing to do with what God wanted him to do, but he isn't suffering anymore. He is with God...happy for once.

Meanwhile I watch his kids falter and stumble and lose everything they have trusted in. I watch their hearts get destroyed and I ask myself again, "Does God even care?" "Does God even CARE!!!!!!????" Do something! Anything!


So I bang on a statue and shout at the devil I have made God to be and weep. I deteriorate. My faith shatters into shards of glass. I believe God is near and my gut tells me I am wrong about Him, but my anger will not let me forgive Him for something He didn't do. This is grief. This is the cycle I went through. I went through all of the predictable stages of grief. I went through denial as I sat stone as I watched his family die at his house just 25 feet from where he was hanging. I experienced anger as I resented what Will had put us all through. I experienced sadness and grief as I really missed my friend. I experienced recovery as I realized my God is not to blame for the actions of anyone. Will did what he did because he is imperfect. God cares. God was far more wrecked than me, or his mom, or his brother and sister, or his wife. I pictured me losing my son the same way God lost His and realized that I get it. I would die inside with no words that could ever express my suffering. I would be in mourning for the rest of my life. It isn't that God doesn't is that He does care. It isn't that He watches us do things eternally painful to Him, it is that He watches the whole world suffer as a Father that is watching his own son writhe in pain. Acceptance. The fourth stage of grief. It is accepting that we cannot control everything. But also that God sees a bigger picture than us. I was sent to the Will or God or whoever...the point is that God, who cares brought me back again. For that the tears will drop onto smiling lips.

Photo credit to:


Thanks for reading...Z

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Separates Us

When was the last time you felt like you were out of control? Out of control of your own emotions? Out of control of your actions? Out of control and the actions of those around you?

I haven't written about my brother Will in a little while, but I want the entire world to know that it isn't because I am not thinking about him. It is because I have to move forward. I have to be everything God wants me to be, because that is who I am turning out to be...He is resculpting me.

I think Will felt out of control. I think he felt out of control of the pills. I think he felt out of control in his family. I think he felt out of control in the very few things he still had faith in. Life seemed to be running him over without any knowledge or permission from him. That's what life does doesn't ask your permission for anything, it just keeps moving like some train that has no time to stop before it hits something. It just kept moving and ready or not, deal with it. I think too many trains hit him all at once.

Ironically enough, he worked for a company that loads trains, which just happens to be my favorite nonliving thing in the world. He worked really hard and worked whenever he got the chance. His fingers were caked with grease permanently from the years of sweat he put into making broken things right again. I always looked up to him because he did something that I couldn't do because of the things God put inside him. He made broken things right. I always wanted to be able to do that. I hate looking at broken things. They shouldn't be that way, no matter who broke them. He was a picture of a part of who God is to me and my wife.

Still his Gojo sits in a little bag dangling from my wash tub he used to scrub his filthy hands with. I want to blame people for what he did. Everyone wants to, but real discernment will show that no one can change the actions and reactions of another person...only your own self. I hate this fact. I hate it because it makes you feel out of control. It makes you question everything another person says and wonder about everyone you look at and love. It makes you eternally sad.

For those that read this blog often, I am OK. I am good. Things are going really well. I am recovering. But I need to write about my brother sometimes. Some days, something small that crosses your vision, like a little bottle of mechanic's soap, can trigger really intense feelings of regret and just missing someone...whatever that feeling is called. So I write about it because it's all I know to do and tomorrow I will wake up fine and forget for a few hours until another crosses my vision. This is life. We get our hearts broken pretty often. The way we define ourselves is in how we react. We can hate God. We can hate people. We can give up faith in all things. We can give up the air we breathe, but this doesn't make what happened...not happen. It makes what happened become what happens. Even to us. We can take hold of what has happened and give up, or we can let go and look toward the Heavens knowing God ISN'T there...He is HERE with us. God with us...Immanuel...God with us...Jesus. This is faith. This is what separates us from those who parish. Hope. Faith. Love. Not just in anything, but in Christ.


Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Lion- Blahhhah Darrdd blak
Seal- Ort

If only language were so easy. Just say whatever you want and the other will read your body language and understand to get out or go to sleep. Unfortunately, the subtleties of body language is lost on most people. For most people they need to hear the words..."I'm gonna eat you or just shut up and go to sleep and leave me alone." The thing in our culture that get's lost in language is our actual faces. With media being the top way people communicate outside of work and school, people get used to seeing the picture of a guy sitting on a boat with a fish dangling in front of him or a girl giving a duck face in whatever God forsaken bar they have decided to frequent, followed by a short 120 character message of where they are or how they feel at that given moment. It is a weird thing. Not sure Mark Zuckerberg wanted to ruin all verbal communication....or did he.

People say things over these lights that are devoid of humanity. It's like they are actually speaking to the numbers that form themselves into pictures and emotions built inside of flesh and blood. People forget about the destination of their keystrokes. Hearts. They go directly to hearts. And break them. Sometimes lift them. But mostly disregarded by the sender.

I miss the days when I would hang up the phone and insist on meeting face to face. I have always hated talking on the phone. I hated it because you don't get to look that person eye to eye and connect as two real people. I admit I have been seduced by the age of technology and have taken the easy route because it is so much easier and less time consuming. But isn't our time best spent with other people? Isn't sharing our lives meant to be done with a cheeseburger in hand glancing down the barrel of your Coke at a real live person? I think it is humanity that is getting lost in the communication. We have improved in our eloquency of words and drunk on our own witty 120 character humor, but we have forgotten about people being real...just like you are when you lay in your bed and find a way to go to sleep. I think people deserve more. I think that while technology has it's positive place in the universe, it's place is not to substitute real connection.

Let's all work on that together. Let's work on face to face, eye to eye relationships.

Photo credit to:


Thanks for reading...Z

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Watched The World With My Head Pressed Against The Glass

Have you ever been to the bottom of the sea? I bet it's dark down there...and deep...and cold. I bet it's full of fish I have never imagined before. I bet things are a lot simpler. That's why the eight tentacled octopi reside there. It's easier to fit in with eight protrusions down there. Fish down there are less judgmental. Down there, everyone is a communist. It's the only way to escape the sharks. Deep space and the bottom of the sea are the two most frightening things in the universe due to our relatively small amount of factual knowledge about them. They are just dark. Both containing enough pressure to smash your skull and turn your blood into icicles. We cannot go to either without really high tech and expensive equipment, but their inhabitant fish have bodies suited to survive there. The reason for all of this nonsense about places I will never go, not just because of money, but mostly because of fear, is to relay my relative distaste for my culture at this given moment.

I am sick of most things. It is easy to get jaded and think negatively about everyone when moms are killing their kids and getting away with it. Fathers are punching their pregnant girlfriends in the stomach to kill something they will never get to hold. Jimmy John is killing actual elephants and bears just for the photos. Nothing seems right to me. It is all off..

However, the other day, things changed a little. I was at clinical in Detroit. My friend from school, Andrea had lost her wallet a week prior while running across the street. She returned the next week and went to security to ask if anyone had turned it in, not expecting that they did. Well, someone did. Except something was different about the wallet. She was broke with no money when she lost it, but when she got it back, it had 5 dollars in it. How cool. What a great God to remind us that He cares and that He is still active and working in this world. Not everything is all bad. He smiles on us in the little things we have to be looking for.

It reminded me of when God did something similar for me. I was working construction on a really big crew building condos. I had previously worked for an all Christian crew of my friends that debunked. This new crew hated me. I was the new guy and they hated me. Even if their emotions were devoid of any opinion at all, their actions were brutal. They called me Ass*ole. That was my name any and every time they referred to me. "Hey Ass*ole, go get us beers with your own money!" Hey Ass*ole, go do everything that we don't want to do because your an ass*ole." I hated working there. I hated it more than anything I have ever had to do, because I am usually liked. I wasn't here. I was hated by their actions. One day as I dragged myself in to work after dreading all night before going to bed because of them,  realized at lunchtime that I had no money on me. Forgot the wallet. I was so hungry, but more than that, lunchtime was the only time I could escape them. I would sit and eat lunch in the woods and break down as I prayed over my food, needing to connect with my Maker. This day, I had no money to eat. I took a deep breath and came down from the roof where I was nailing boards down all day and as I came through the plywood doorway, a five dollar bill came flying through the air and landed against my steel toed boot. I picked it up and asked the crew if anyone lost any money, fully expecting them to claim it even if they had lost nothing. No one did. My heart dropped. I didn't care about the food that money was going to buy, but I cared because I knew God sent it. It was his way of saying "I love you" to me. It may seem so small, but it meant so much to me that I am writing about it 13 years later.

When things get bad, even when it is hard to imagine, God is here with us. God is here and active and lavishing us with love. When things seem to be without any hope, here He is. Whispering love into our ears.

May God show His love to you today and everyday.


Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lightening Bugs

Little kids knock them down to see their lights go out slowely. When they are really young, they catch them and put them into jars to watch and use as a night light. Get a little older and they are smacking them down and smearing their nuclear looking guts all over the ground, just to see what is inside of them.

Why? Why do we do that? Why do we tend to destroy the most beautiful things. If you ever held a baby, you can easily see it's beauty. You can understand why a person would want to have one. They are cute, innocent, and totally reliant on you for survival. Yet, some people can walk away. Others who cannot just leave, stay and hurt that sweet little person for the rest of their lives. Maybe it is the very fact that the babies need them that makes them nervous. Maybe they aren't worth needing. The cold truth is that some people should not have kids. Some people are so self absorbed and irresponsible that they should just pay the money and walk away. I know this isn't the greatest or most popular thing to say, but I really believe it to be true. This is not a perfect world, if it were, a married couple would have a child and raise it in love and peace until it didn't need raising anymore. But this isn't a perfect world. Some people should never be parents and because of their ignorance or rebellion, they have kids. Maybe they should walk away instead of treating them like dirt or abusing them. Maybe adoption IS the very best option for them. They made a mistake, and maybe they shouldn't make another. Maybe they are not in the right condition to parent a child right now.

It is a hard concept for me to swallow because my father split before the gun sounded and the crowd finished their bets. It sucks to think of a guy that walked away. But what sucks more is the reality of who would have been in my life if he had stayed. God protected me from a monster. Maybe not a life long monster, but the definitive monster of my adolescence. He may have been a hero to my sister, but to me, he is everything I never wanted to become and it is God I thank for that. He smashes my beautiful guts all over the pavement and just walks away as though I had never shined so bright in the night sky. It is what evil is. It is the sickness of sin hemorrhaging all over the earth. I was a victim among many, many more victims.

The Ten Commandments say, you shall not murder. Jesus said, if you if you even call your brother a fool you are an offender. Many stand here dead because of you...because of me. We speak death into the lives of many people as we go about our business doing what we think God wants us to do. We can be careless with fragile human beings. Sometimes we don't see the light we are about to stomp out. Maybe we need to open our eyes because people are lightning and mean so much. People are worth so much.

We may get the impression that our depth has gone far beyond that of others, but they bleed as red as we do, and shiver in fear, and writhe in pain when pierced. To crush a person's spirit is to crush their bones. To leave them barren is to leave their corpse for the vultures in the desert sun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Deformed Animal Crackers

There is this product they sell, called Calm. It is Magnesium. We bought it to help with my son's nervous issues, inherited from his father. You mix it with some water and fixed, you are calm. I wish it worked that well, truth is that it's Ok. But if a person invented something that really would work like that and actually give you peace, that person would win the Nobel peace prize (for obvious reasons).

Sometimes, I have to tell myself to breathe, my chest gets so tight. I will find myself writhing in my chair accepting all stimulation and sweating. It builds up I think...this tension that drains your energy and makes you want naps 3 times a day.

Many wake in the morning and grab some coffee and try to stimulate their nerves so they can be successful at work or wherever. I just try to relax. I listen to really mellow music and drive with the windows rolled down so I can feel the wind on my face and sway with the branches. When I get to wherever I am going, I am loud and obnoxious. I demand attention, not because I want attention, but because I cannot keep my mouth shut. For the most part, I hate attention because of the nervous problems I have. I cannot help myself. So when I get home, I want to spill out and absorb peace. But I have kids. So, here at night, I write and listen to "Sad" music and go for walks and enjoy the sound of the world sleeping. It isn't normal, but it is me. I didn't buy this ticket, but I really enjoy the ride most times.

God makes people different. People are different because God willed them to be. God desired each friendship with us to be unique and unlike any other. There is nothing new under the sun, but every person made in the hands of God is unique and interesting. It is interesting to look at our lives and see the way our differences have served to make us who we are or shape something or someone around us. It is cool to see the way things pan out. It is especially cool to see the way our differences are used to accomplish things eternal and things unexplainable. We bleed bright God's love when we allow ourselves to hemorrhage our fears, anxieties, and insecurities. We spill out to all of those surrounding us. Sometimes, the very things we hate the most about ourselves are the very things that make us unique and special to others and most importantly to God. If God wants to make a gingerbread man with a missing arm, does that cookie taste any different? I purposely eat the deformed animal crackers first because they are fun and different. I realize, not everyone feels this way, but I do, and I think that God may too.


Thanks for reading...Z

Monday, July 4, 2011


My eyes blinked to the sharp pain of early morning sunlight beaming through my fluttering eyelashes. My face hurts, at least the right side of it does. My hair is wet and my clothes are twisted around my body like some piece of violent licorice. I cannot move my arms as one is smashed beneath my body between my skin and whatever lies below it. First thing my eyes can decipher is a very large spider web, with a very large spider in it. I would move out of the way if it weren't for the defiance of my arms. I groan very loudly and here an echo. I thought it was an echo, it turns out to be my brother Joe on the other side of me waking up at approximately the same time to the very same dreadful truth that I did. We had fallen asleep on the pier. Somehow.

I cannot tell you how many spiders we ate during our slumber, but I can tell you I did not awake hungry. I sat up finally and wondered how we got here. What had happened. We must have been assaulted and thrown into the back of a truck and brought here to die. We survived. Except my face didn't feel alive, at least the right side didn't. It was creased twice from being smashed into the spaces between the flooring of the boardwalk. The bones seemed to have shifted to compensate and I woke up very ugly...inside and out.

"Give me a cigarette," I say. We leaned against the spiders for a smoke. Joe's face was ugly too, his left side had been made to match my right. Pieces of the night begin coming back with the vaguidity of a vampire seducing it's prey. I had some blood on my left arm running down the side. I followed it to the small, clotted spot that seemed to be the leak in my skin. I remembered a blow dart puncture. We remembered sirens and police sternly warming us never to return again. I could think of running several times for unclear reasons throughout the night. I remember standing on the pier with my shirt off, walking the railing between solid ground and the Detroit River. I remember punching Joe in the neck for reasons I would find out later. His neck looked pretty bad. We walked the wall with our backs until we reached our feet, recovering from the shock of the morning elements. It was cold outside and I wondered to myself how we were able to sleep through the night in this cold. I woke up shirtless. We looked at each other with bewilderment and I went to work. "Hey Joe...I'll see you this evening." "Happy Thanksgiving."

Photo credit to:


Thanks for reading...Z