Off the Grid

grid

I want to go off the grid.
My mouth and fingers away from the eyes of a button marked click like, love, unlike.
A thumbs up.
An emoji that cannot equate the feelings in the heart created by Our King.
I want to go off the grid.
Away from the scrolls and scowls of the minds of men.
A million eyes stare back at me–
And I at them . . .
Go to a place—a space–
Where I am more than the Clichés and quotes I post or link.
A place where I am me.
Free.
Learning.
Leaping.
Where my words are not shuffled and played like an accordion.
Where I am not judging selfies or scholars, or blue collars.
Where politics cease to exist.
Where religion is mute.
And the horns of the greatest are no more than a toot compared to HaShem and His shofar rebuke.
I want to hide away.
Go off the grid.
We are all just broken men.
I must go off the grid.
Where a paint brush sings in my hand.
Not to be applauded by man but by Him who gave me the gift.
Where I learn from the bread I don’t eat.
The water I don’t drink.
To lower my camel and water the sheep.
To rise up as Gimel and still be small.
Like a dish with a chip–
Like soap dried suds–
Like waves of grain and sands of shores.
Like Dalet to an open door.
I must leave the grid and hold up my arms.
Like Moshe and rocks’
Oh, send me friends like Aharon and Chur.
Friends that bend an ear and whisper a prayer from a heart filled with doves.
I must fling–
Off of the screen!
When the cup overflows and it’s not due to holes.
A sieve in a heart.
A snuff of dark or gilded thread to uncover the dead.
Casting a pole into the water.
Catching fish without dollars–
or signs,
or a title,
or tale.
The sound of the birds and the trees that clap their hands.
The rocks cry out and the mountains sing,
but I can’t even hear the buzz of a bee while sitting here looking at you from the face of a button–
A television.
A computer screen.
I need to go off the grid and write for my soul.
Touch the grass barefoot- the freshly fallen snow.
Drink the honey and eat the comb.
Samson leaves a Lion dead on the side of the road and the old prophet requests to dine—stay and eat he says, but I think I’ll pass.
On the side of the road lies the dead next to a donkeys ass
And a lion guards the way.
No, I’ll not eat with you today.
I must go off the grid.

“He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey. So the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back, and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. He laid his body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” After he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. “For the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria.” 1st Kings 13:28-32 NASB.

Photo by me 🙂

Sap Sucker’s

buggy

 

I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day, and her cat had found a giant bug. It was large and had wings, and the cat was playing ping pong with it and smacking it back and forth. Eventually, the large cicada was dead. My friend took a picture of it lying next to a quarter to show me its size. I noticed the dead bug and also the quarter. One word, liberty–He who the Son sets free. The image seemed to speak to me. It was as if Abba was saying look at that picture closer.

What are cicadas? These giant bugs look like they are wearing combat gear—camouflage.

“Cicadas begin life as a rice-shaped egg, which the female deposits in a groove she makes in a tree limb, using her ovipositor. The groove provides shelter and exposes the tree fluids, which the young cicadas feed on. These grooves can kill small branches. When the branches die, and leaves turn brown, it is called flagging.

Once the egg hatches, it begins to feed on that tree like a vampire sucking all the life out of it. Once the cicada gets bigger, it falls to the ground and tunnels underneath, hidden and feasting on the root of the tree.

Hopefully, you are getting a vision now of what I am trying to express. The Bible often compares people to trees.

“The man looked up and said, “I can see the people, but they look like trees walking around” (Mark 8:24 BSB).

Even Daniel interpreted a dream for a King that used a tree to represent him. “Your Majesty, you are that tree!” (Daniel 4:22 NIV).

The Tree is also Israel.

“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you” (Romans 11:17-18 NASB).

We need the root and the rich sap of the olive tree. We need it to survive in our gatherings.

So these cicadas live under the ground anywhere from two to seventeen years, and while they are underneath, they are actively feeding like a termite on the tree’s roots. The book of Jude warns of those who are hidden among us too.

“These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” (Jude 1:12 ASV).

After 2 to 17 years the adult Cicada comes up out of the ground as a nymph. These nymphs suck the sap from the roots of trees with piercing-sucking mouthparts. They even drink the xylem from the stem of the tree. What is Xylem? Xylem transports water from the roots to the branches, leaves, and shoots of the tree. It also transports nutrients. The very word xylem in Greek means wood. If we are like trees and we are being eaten by a type of pest, and they are busy sucking us dry of our nutrients and water source which is His Holy Ruach Spirit and His Word then we need to be made aware of who is doing it.
“so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,. . .” (Ephesians 5:26).

What else does Jude say about them?

“Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil (Adversary) and argued about the body of Moses (Israel,) did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them!”

These men are dreamers. They are puffed up with themselves. They reject authority. They talk about angels (Messengers) Abba created perfectly and said they slept with women.

“The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey His Word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do His will” (Psalm 103: 19-21 NIV).

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14 NIV). Or Young’s words it this way. “are they not all spirits of service — for ministration being sent forth because of those about to inherit salvation?” YLT. Remember that we are told those who preach the gospel will be judged more harshly. Messengers were also Kings, Prophets, and leaders. Let’s look at an example, “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:25 KJV). This scripture calls the spies Joshua sent to spy out the land Messengers. John the Baptist was a messenger.

“Strong’s 4397: Malak: a messenger.”

Original Word: מַלְאָך Part of Speech: Noun Masculine Transliteration: Malak Phonetic Spelling: (mal-awk’) Short Definition: angel ambassadors (2), angel (101), angels (9), envoys (1), messenger (24), messengers (76).’

In Numbers chapter 16 we read about these men who were princes, leaders over the Tabernacle of the Lord Adonai. Over 250 of these men rose up against Moses and Aaron and wanted to be in the spotlight and control. If you read the entire chapter of Jude, which is only one chapter, it brings forth the topic of Moses death and these men that defile and despise angels. This chapter also goes hand in hand with 2nd Peter. I believe the subject is about the earth swallowing up these wicked men. These men were loud and hidden underneath. They came forth like these cicadas and made a loud noise and then went to their death.

“Males sing by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens. Small muscles rapidly pull the tymbals in and out of shape — like the cap of a Snapple bottle. The sound is intensified by the cicada’s mostly hollow abdomen.” Cicada News, Facts, Lifecycle & Sounds | Cicada Mania.

Paul warns that we can be as empty as a drum or a clanging cymbal. An empty hollow belly that’s empty of water and love.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing” (1st Cor. 13:1-3 NASB).

 

The Hebrew/ Torah Observant community has a lot of Indians but not many Chiefs. Not many Apostles like Paul visiting and writing letters to the assemblies. Not many prophetic voices that cause men and women to look deeper at their walk and obedience and less at the trite conflicts that divide us.

When these cicadas come forth, they have the loudest voice. Their sound is louder than all the insect kingdom. This should not be the way it is in the Spirit. The Body of Yeshua should not be flocking after the most booming voice but the most humble—those who are upright and upright doesn’t mean living in a community with fellow believers who have separated from the rest of the Body due to them thinking other parts have things wrong or are usurping jezebels who can’t get their calendar, beard, sacred name, attire, the shape of the earth, the size of a Giants butt or the proper Torah portion in order to be a part of the group. I digress.

“For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you” (1 Corinthians 1:11 NASB).

Are we sucking each other’s sap? Are we stealing nutrients and water, fresh living water from our own BODY? People, it’s time for us to wake-up and be filled with His love and let perfect love cast out fear.

Can the Body come together and stop acting as Peter did right before Little Paul had to address him in front of everyone and rebuke him?

“But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong” ( Galatians 2:11 GNT). This wasn’t about whether the earth was flat or round, it was over hurting sheep.

Does anyone rebuke anymore? “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2nd Timothy 4:2 NASB).

I guess I am. Who am I to rebuke? No one. A filthy rag. But I am grieved over My Body. My Body and Your Body and His Body. Let’s stop being like these sapsuckers and instead of destroying each other let’s sing a new song. A song that is loud in Abba’s ears and exalts Him who created it all and encompasses it all and let His Holy Ruach Set Apart Spirit knock this cicada out—yes, like my friend’s cat who happens to be named Shadow. His Feast days are a Shadow of things to come, and the sound of His shofar blowing should wake us up soon for the coming year. Let’s become more unified, more loving, more kind and more at liberty.

Stay in the Light as Shadow below. Even a cool cat like Shadow knows how to keep Shabbat.

 

cat

Sources:

http://www.cicadamania.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4397.htm

Strong’s.

Photo rights given by Kisha Gallagher.

 

A bit of Jade

diner red

 

 

“Where you off to, Jade?” He looked past me kind of shy-like.

I had no idea what made me spill out my next words, except for a fear of being alone and the urge to know him better. “Oh, I was just thinking about going down by Jupiter Lake and taking a stroll.   It has been so humid and hot out today.” I stuck the side of my thumb in my mouth and chewed all the skin around my cuticle, a nervous habit of mine.

“I guess it’s a nice night ta go down by Jupita.” He scratched his head, “Thang is, see, I was thinkin’ more ‘bout gettin’ a cheeseburger. You houngry?”

“Well, I can always eat somethin’,” I said and laughed nervously. I was seventeen years old, never had a boyfriend or even been on a date. I felt about as gawky and ungraceful as a girl could be.

Dillon looked down the road and then back at his car. “I don’t want you to get into no trouble now, Jade. You knows how folks are in this town.” Tiny beads of sweat were forming just above his lip. He seemed as awkward and nervous as I felt.

“I can take us down to my territory, Nathan’s bowling alley. It’s colored, though. You might feel uncomfortable, Jade? How old is you now anyways?” His eyes scanned me kind of discreetly. I was wearing a cream-colored sundress with a pale blue short jacket. I had my hair in a ponytail to show off my newly pierced ears, another gift from Verdi.

“I’m eighteen.” I lied once more and then immediately started looking for more skin to chew, this time on my index finger. I didn’t want to lie to him but knew what he was thinking. If my daddy went to the sheriff, he would go to jail just for having me in his car. I had never really been alone with him. We just always talked at the store. He opened the passenger door and motioned for me to get in. It seemed like he had weighed the possible penalty against the chance to spend more time with me and made his decision. I slid across the mahogany seat cushion and bounced on the springs. He told me of his plans to go away to college and showed me his class ring. There was a real sense of pride in his voice.

“How’s your daddy been, Jade? I saw him with that Veronica woman last week. Is that goin’ okay?”

I must have rolled my eyes or made a face because Dillon let out a laugh that was hearty and knowing. “She’s something else, and Daddy’s drinking again. I try to stay away from them and their parties they throw every weekend.”   My head filled with images of Conner and my throat constricted at the thought. I changed the subject quickly. “I miss Johnny so much, but I guess everything happens for a reason.” No sooner than the thought escaped my mouth, I wondered the reason for Conner and his advances.

“Oh, girl, you is somethin’ else. I had my stepfather Leroy, in my life for some time now. He been good to my mama, a little strict with me at times, but, all in all, a good man. Course he ain’t never been one for the booze, nope, but he do like the ladies, the ladies be his downfall.”

“I was thinkin’ ‘bout findin’ my real father. I think every chile need ta know who his parents is. I looks at every white man I meet. I looks into his eyes and I say to myself, ‘Dillon that could be your ol’ man, right there.’ The Negro man don’t accept me half the time ‘cause I ain’t dark enough, and, course I ain’t light enough for the white folks neither. I did hear though in places like New York, Michigan, and California that theys more acceptin’. They says that the bigger states and the Northern states is not as racist like they is here in the South. I’s even heard tell all kinds of relationships occurs.”

There was a silence in the car now. I didn’t know what to say. I could picture kissing his lips. I wanted him to know that I had feelings for him before I knew it I blurted out, “Well, I’d date anyone outside my race if I liked them.” My voice sounded strained, and I gave Dillon a matter of fact look, but inside I was scared.

Dillon looked at me with eyes that seemed sad and wiser than before.   “Jade, you would have to put up with a lot of racism. You ever been called a ‘nigga lovah’?   Ever had people stare you down, try to make you feels dirty inside over the color of your outside? Did you know children of a mixed race are badgered and treated like trash? They git it comin’ from both sides. They ain’t black, they ain’t white, so they is nuthin.’ I was lucky to be dark enough to be okay, so to speak. But some folks have children and the babies are almost white, kinda yella looking with a light brownish color hair, but always nappy. People is cruel today. If any of the white boys in this town seen you with me, they wouldn’t want nothin’ to do with you and they’d beat me and maybe kill me, before they’d let a nigger have ya.”

I thought about what he’d said and it seemed an answer to my prayers, “No man would want you if they seen you with me.” But it was the last part I didn’t like. I didn’t want Dillon to get into trouble, but I wanted to make sure that Conner never wanted to touch me again.

I looked at Dillon as he pulled into the parking lot of Nathan’s. It was very busy from the looks of things. He turned to me and said, “Jade, I brought you here because they’s good people and you won’t be humiliated here. I won’t let anyone harm you, even if it were to cost me my life.” He reached his hand under my chin and pulled my face up, looked into my eyes with a look that made me feel safe.

We grabbed a booth in the back and Dillon went to the counter and ordered. There was a jukebox in the corner playing Aretha Franklin and bright red-checkered curtains in the windows. I loved soul music because it seemed to carry so much emotion. Dillon set down two Coke-a-Colas and a bottle of ketchup. “Two double cheeseburgers and fries is on the way! Miss Jade, I hopes you got an appetite because Lenny makes the best around.”

He smiled and his teeth looked like a parade of polished pearls. Dillon was something foreign to me, and I loved to hear him talk and tell stories. Before I knew it, darkness had fallen outside the red covered window. I wished I could stay with him forever, but I knew Miss Rita would be worried about me, and I didn’t need her calling my daddy. “I best get goin’ Dillon, it’s gettin’ late and I don’t want to upset Miss Rita.”   Dillon reached in his pocket and pulled out a crumpled mess of dollars to pay the tab.

We didn’t talk much on the ride back to the Taylor’s store. I guess I was busy trying to figure out how to deal with the emotions I was feeling. I was terrified of Conner and not very sure of what would happen if he caught wind of me being with Dillon. I wanted more than anything for Dillon to somehow wash all the pain away. I wanted to know what his soft lips felt like. I wanted to make love with him and let him replace every fingerprint of Conner’s and every piece of skin that he had brushed upon me. More than that, I wanted his spirit to cover all the evil Conner’s had placed over my soul.

“Jade, I’m just gonna drop you off a little ways from the store. Don’t want no static from the Taylors or with your pa. I’m not doin’ you no disrespect. I’ve had a fine evening with you, Jade. Just don’t want no worries.”

I knew the concern was genuine. I knew we were treading on dangerous ground, but I welcomed the opportunity no matter what. I felt alive and more normal again. We got out of the car, and I could see the porch light of the store glowing down the way.

“Good night, Jade,” he took my hand and kissed it. I reached up on my tiptoes and let my small thin lips brush across his warm full mouth. I felt a ripple of electricity and then a warmth that I never wanted to forget. He hungrily kissed me back with such intensity that I ran, ran like the wind and never looked back at Dillon. I carried the kiss all the way to the twin iron bed Miss Rita had fixed up for me. I replayed it over and over in my mind until I drifted off to sleep. My first real kiss.

“Dear God, it’s me again, Jade. Thank you for making Dillon’s lips so soft, and please help me to disappear. I still don’t like the Earth you created and I’m sorry for that.”

 

Photo:

Vintage Diner Interior

 

Pink Cotton Candy

“There’s always a time to shine,” she said, curling her bottom lip.

“You need to let the light shoot out of your hair like cracked eggshells covered in glistening white yolks.”

 

Sparkles.

 

I pictured her hair standing up all over her head illuminated and glistened like the moon draped over an armchair or a starfish on fire.

She looked up at me compellingly.

 

“What are you thinking?”

 

But before I can answer her, she continues . . .

 

“I like to take out my pastel pink shirts on these occasions when I feel shiny. Reminds me of cotton candy and the summer of 1972— or a breezy blouse that’s indigo blue.

 

“Whatta ya think?’

 

She twirled around showing me her new outfit.

 

I frown and reflect on the dozen black shirts hanging in a row on one side of my closet. Even the hangers looked tired and exhausted from holding them up. The other side has a smaller colorful section that used to hang off my thinner more active body.

 

She looks up again with a glazed expression.

“Sometimes on rare occasions, I braid my hair like a fishtail and sit on a rock by the river.”

 

“Over there . . .”

 

She points down the hill. Past the briars and the thorns and the medicine.

“It’s best to go just before the Sun begins to bursts forth like Samson stretching and yawning his head full of fire.

The fish move their mouths above the glassy waters.

Do you like water?”

She said it as if I might be thirsty.

 

I’m always thirsty.

 

I try and answer her.

 

“Yes, sometimes the sea calls my name and the ocean crashes into my bed and pulls me upstream.”

I look down at my black shirt and notice a butterfly light on my shoe–just the corner of my flip-flop.

Its vibrant blue and the palest yellow.

“Did you see it?”

“See what?”

“Never mind.”

I sigh long and hard and stare at her ginger brown hair woven into the sun.

I cut my hair with a paring knife and a dull pair of scissors.

Choppy.

Suddenly, I feel gloomy in spite of her pink shirt and the trace of Dianthus on the wind, and I try and think of a song or something cool to say, but nothing comes to me.

I force it.

“Remember when we were nineteen? And you used to walk to the corner store with me to play Pac-Man. We’d eat ice cream and go to your house and play your Grease, Zeppelin, and Meatloaf albums until dark . . .”

It was 1982.

I wait for the spark, and the engine to fire.

And then her hair lit up her smile, and the butterfly lit on my arm, just as she motioned with glee.

“I see it,” she says finally.

“You need a butterfly.”

“You need to shine.”

Suddenly I feel duller than the scissors I’d used the night before. Like a sparkler that goes out on the 4th of July.

Her perfect white teeth look like choir boys rehearsing for an audition. She was forever telling me what “I needed.” As if she held all the answers.

“You need a black shirt,” I say rather curt with my nose crinkled up.”

“Just a hint of sorrow would be refreshing.”

Now the light coming from her had sizzled.

Her hair turned mossy brown and her eyes faded.

Was I to blame?

I fold up my lips and tell her that the earth has eaten the trees and we’ve killed the honeybees, and the oil has spilled into the Sea.

“Aren’t you starving for something tangible?”

 

She laughs hysterically.

 

“Darling you’ve always been gloomy and extreme.”

 

I cup my hands that are now suddenly full of oil and swath my hair in it. I pick up my shoes and then barefoot run through the thorns licking up the straw like grass, and throw myself into the river. It’s alive, and suddenly I can breathe.

 

I am the sea.

 

“Oh Abba, Mikvah me!”

The moon gleams from the now darkened heavens.

The waters tremble and then the fish light up like light bulbs in the dark.

They’re as green as a cucumber salad.

I come shooting up out of the river like a sea creature. I’m covered in gold dust, and the waters turn pastel pink like cotton candy.

It tastes good on my skin.

I drink it in like pomegranate juice.

 

She yells something incoherent and then runs down the hill past the briars and the weeds. Her pastel shirt snagging on a shrub. Out of breath, she dips her foot in the pink waters that match her blouse.

“Are you thirsty?” I ask.

Her fishtail braid falls to one side of her shoulders, and with a just hint of candidness she whispers.

“Parched”

And then she jumped into the deep.”

Image result for cotton candy