June 29, 2009
The Anchor That Holds You
the anchor that held me, my newly forming Christian faith nurtured in the hothouse of Hosanna Calvary Chapel Bellflower California
How do we sink into hopelessness? A thousand ways. It can be one terrible event or a cascade of sorrows. We’re knocked off balance, then taken down too far to just get back up. It’s not that you don’t want to climb out of it, it’s that you feel helpless to act, you can’t figure out how to get past a loss, how to get back on top of your life.
Heart and Soul June 20, 2009
I held the brightly painted cup in my hand, the flowers of spring... tulips, hydrangeas and hyacinths decorated the pretty breakfast bowls and plates. A set of two, for a pair of newlyweds, that never celebrated the intimate breakfast times I envisioned. A wedding gift from a lady I came to know well, a lady I resemble now more than ever... I shed a tear for her, and for all of the lost dreams, as I quickly packed the dishes into the for sale box.
I dont think I ever understood her, as she lived her contrary life, at least to the way of thinking for the rest of the residents of Midway street. Originally from the Northeast she came to California to work in aerospace. She had a lucrative position with McDonald Douglas, and was making six figures...
She took her savings and money from her inheritance and bought tiny house on Midway street. She planted all sorts of growing things, and lived to herself...
One day the job went away, her savings lost in the dot come bust. She was a college grad, but couldn't get a interview..she had made too much money, was too eccentric, hated kids, so no teaching...She borrowed against her house to make needed repairs and to feed herself... months went by, years went by, until the money ran out.
The bank took a long time to foreclose and evict her. She held sales of her family antiques and I bought a few pieces, which I have enjoyed... some I am selling next month in my own sale to help defer my living expenses.
Barbara had no family left and we worried about where she would end up living. My little house had no extra space at 689 square feet. Most of the other had several kids, one had three generations under a small roof...
As we were having the neighborhood meeting, we failed to notice a shadowy figure leave a house that was known to the neighbor kids as the "haunted" house where the scary man lived... the scary man was Robert, once an engineer at Boeing, he had a Bi Polar episode that was so severe he was declared disabled. He gave up his apartment and moved into the desolate house that had stood vacant for the many years after his mother's death. He left the house to ride his bike to the market once in a while, go to the doctor on dial a ride or Barbara would take him...
Tattered and disheveled, he knocked on Barbara's door. The next thing you know Barbara is walking around to the overgrown gate pushing in to flatten the weeds and they went to the back. Behind the house was a large attached semi finished sun room. a small bathroom and outlets for electric were already there and required a touch of work to make them functional. Bob offered her the room, rent and utility free, in exchange for a bit of yard work... She needed a home... He needed the comfort of having a friend...we certainly had shamefully not extended our hands to him, but we did now. We neighbors pitched in, patched the roof, renovated the bootlegged bathroom. I donated fabrics, blankets and a large roll of used carpet that covered the cement slab. Barbara cleared the brush and weeds, and we all took plants from her gardens and transplanted them all over the neighborhood, and in Robert's yards. She also planted a large vegetable garden that helped to feed them both.
Barbara eventually became a perpetual student. She got grants and student jobs that helped to pay tuition and kept gas in her pick up truck. She would pick up part time work in the college library. Truthfully she thrived in the new situation with the release of her house and the academic environment. Robert came out more and joined in the gatherings of the local menfolk on Steve's driveway in the evenings... clean shaven and patched clothing courtesy of Barbara. Like a pair of cranky siblings they shared the house... Ten years later they were still in this arrangement as far as I know.
Barbara had the Anchor of Community to help her beat despair. I had two other friends that at the same time went through similar situations one a friend at Hosanna, who struggled with mental illness, lost her aerospace job and then her home. She became a student, a boarder in one home after another, then she was able to get a few small jobs, and lived alone for a short time. A few months ago she emailed me. Life in California had become too hard financially so she moved to Nebraska, to tend an elderly aunt and lives with her.
Another friend who has had a nearly two decade struggle with employment problems health problems and a very difficult life. We dated on and off for a time...He was brilliant, a former sound engineer with A&M, and RCA, a graphic artist that repaired backdrops for the movie industry, as well as ties to aerospace, which is what he was doing when we were together. He too was hopelessly eccentric, uber conservative ...we'd have verbal knock down drag outs over topics like speaking in tongues, eternal security and previenient grace. We desided we were unequally yoked dispensationally, and remained friends...He actually attended Woody's and my wedding. Once they closed the now infamous "skunkworks" in the San Fernando Valley, K. never had work in aerospace again. He worked odd jobs, sold things, and was badly injured in an accident. His injuries untreated because he had no health insurance.
He now lives in Death Valley with a long time roommate, in a home they bought for 4000.00 off ebay....Both men never married and are now retiree age and painfully disabled.. these three people have God as their anchor...I never understood their pain, their inability to cope, but I do now. And I am sorry that I failed to reach out to them when they needed me
I have hopes of finding work even still...I haven't given up hope. I too have an anchor that holds me...the understanding that God loves me, and will withhold no good thing from me, I just need to pray, trust, and go forth seeking the will of God... He is the anchor that holds me in the middle of the storms of life, and will be the Steersman that brings me homeWill your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.
Priscilla Owens, 1882
Labels: California, Family History, Friends