Yes, He Is In

March 13, 2012 - Leave a Response

One name appeared on the door.  Smiling, I walked in as I had done many times before. Strangely, a man sat behind the desk.  “Mr. J, please, I have an appointment.”  “Mr. who?” he asked.  I repeated myself.  “You must be in the wrong building or have the wrong office. ”  Humm. Walking back down the hall,  I stopped, looked at the office building board next to the elevator.  It confirmed what I already knew.  The man at the desk had a major problem. Reentering the office I said with a soft chuckle, “Well, right building, right floor.  You must be a “newbie” in this office?”  He grinned and  said, “No, I’ve been here many years.”   Whoa, now we are in trouble. My mind spun.  One of us must be “loosing it”.  “Is Mr. J in?  I have an appointment.”  “No,  you don’t.  Please check your calendar.”  Whipping out my cell phone calendar, I commented, “No, today is the right day; in fact, yesterday I received a call as a reminder of my appointment today.”   My voice grew firm,  “So, please listen: I am in the right building, on the right floor, on the right day, asking to see the right person who is in.”   “Surely,  he said, “Go down the hall to the first door on your right.”  Boy, is this guy ever squirreled up!  By now, my own mind felt cloudy and a little crazy.   Trying to refocus, I knocked on the door and entered.

A new man sitting behind this desk said, “Have a seat. I’ll be with you in a moment.”  Over the next hour, he offered me coffee, the daily newspaper, suggested I answer my cell phone, and to feel free to change the TV channel.  All of which I did.  Later, he casually looked up and suggested that if I needed to use the restroom, it was down the hall.  Or if I was hungry, I could get something to eat in the snack bar.  Scowling at him, I said:  ” I have been waiting more than an hour.  And I am the only person here. What is going on?  Is Mr. J in or not?”   “Yes, he is in. I’m sure it will not  be much longer.  Please relax and enjoy the beautiful view from this 27th floor.”  Parking myself in a chair facing the window, I gazed at the skyline, watched the planes fly in over the city, observed the birds on the window ledge, answered my e-mails, made my grocery list and gave some serious thought on how to resolve the issues existing in the lives of those I love.  All done, I approached the desk again.  “I know Mr. J is expecting me. Are you sure he is in?” Glancing at the chair where I had been sitting, he said, “You left your purse open; better zip it shut to be safe.”  Speaking sharply, I said, “I have an appointment with Mr. J !”   ” Yes, Madam,  I know.  Please go through the door to your left.”  Jaw clenched, I jerked open the door.  I walked through fully expecting to see Mr. J only to find a security guard blocking my way. “May I see your ID?”   Shocked, I took out my driver’s licence. “Sorry, I need more,” he said pointedly.  I handed him my Social Security card.  “Sorry, I need more.”  Next my voters registration. “Sorry, that’s not enough.  Sarcastically I said, “My birth certificate and passport are at home.  I didn’t know I would need FBI clearance to get in!  Why all  this craziness and the delays?  Are you accusing me of not being who I know I am?” Angrily, he retorted,  “How long have you known Mr. J ?”  “Years, now …… !”  “Follow me” he said harshly.  Walking down the hall, I was beyond furious, close to the rage stage.  Stepping up my pace, I passed the security guard.  Seeing the familiar door with Mr. J’s name on it,  I boldly opened it and walked in.  Smiling broadly,  Mr. J stood up and said, “There you are!  Where have you been, Mamie?  I’ve been waiting for you.  I’m so glad you’re here.”  Shaking my head, I reached out to my friend. He put his arms around me and hugged me affectionately.

A sweet stillness filled my darken bedroom. Softly He whispered:  “Never let confusion, distractions, or condemnation keep you from our precious time of friendship together.   I am always “in” for you.  I am always waiting for you.  Perserve with boldness and press in to see Me like you did in the dream!”

Reflecting on His Words,  I recognized that these are some of my major weaknesses.  Daily, I must recognize them, and I must refuse to let them control me. In His strength, I can press boldly into His ever waiting, smiling Presence.

No,  He is not the Author of confusion.

Yes, He is my Peace.

I Corinthians 14:33 — For God is not a God of confusion but of peace …

No, He does not want me to be distracted.

Yes, He desires me to be still and focus on Him.

Luke 10:40 — But Martha was distracted with all her preparations … while Mary was seated and listening to the Lord’s word

No, He does not condemn me.

Yes, He corrects me with wisdom and love.

Romans 8:1 — There is no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Jesus.

The question is:  Am I always focused on Him, available to Him and obedient to Him?

The honest answer is:  No, that is why He gave me such an unusual reminder, a poignant dream, not to let confusion, distractions,and condemnation steal my focus from Him, my availability to Him or my obedient to Him.

You guessed it:  Mr. J is Jesus

As I wrote this, He put into my mind, my confusions, my distractions and my condemnations that I shared with you.  Yours may, probably will be, different from mine. So, ask Him to reveal to you your own.  He is waiting for you! And SMILING TOO!!



August 15, 2011 - 3 Responses

Sitting on the edge of our deck with a yellow tennis ball in my hand, I leaned back and threw it as far as I could across the backyard. My party poodle, Shabbat, took off after it like a shot.  Skidding to a stop, scooping it up, turning around in a flash, she began running back toward me as fast as she could.  As she zoomed directly toward me, I laughed as I noticed her ears were laid back and flapping in the wind like a dog with its head hanging out of the window of a fast-moving car.  The game was on. Dropping the ball at my feet, she would spin around and start running back to the same spot where I had thrown it before.  I called her name over and over trying to get her to slow down, look back at me and watch where the ball was going.  I wanted her to see that I was getting ready to throw it to another part of the yard.  Finally, when she stopped at original spot, she turned around wondering where the ball was. Only then did she realize and see ball headed toward the other side of the yard. Then she would switch directions, run like mad toward where the ball laying in the grass.  I threw it again, and again and again in different directions. She followed the same pattern. Run to the old spot, stop, discover the ball was headed in another direction, race for the new spot, grab the ball and come back panting like a dog. 🙂   Finally we both got tired.  As she sat in the grass close to me, I spoke her name. She turned toward me, cocked her head, and if a poodle could smile, which, of course, they can, she did. I smiled back.

Visiting with a friend several days later, we were discussing waiting on and hearing the voice of the Lord.  “You know, Mamie, you can’t hear the Lord with your ears flapping in the wind.”  The  picture of my racing poodle with her “ears flapping in the wind” flashed into my mind. I realized, like Shabbat, many times my focus is not on listening to the Lord but running ahead of Him thinking that where He was before so He must be going there now.  I, too, was patterned and that pattern or habit needed to be broken. But how? It would have to become a daily life long discipline.

Sit at His feet,

open my ears

and my heart to His Words,

listen to His Spirit

and then see Him smile at me,

and I’ll smile back at Him.


July 24, 2011 - One Response

Walking into one of my favorite shops in Galveston, I thought, “Lord, I need a sense of Your presence.  Just let me see the word ‘covenant’ somewhere.”  Meandering through Gracie’s  is always a delight.  I looked, I touched, I sniffed and I even hugged a few stuffed animals.  The colorful purses, the wall hangings with encouraging words, the baby “goodies” — the uniqueness of it all is enchanting. But the jewelry is one thing I rarely stopped to drool over. The racks of beautiful bracelets, lovely earrings and fascinating necklaces are all very creatively displayed.  Rounding one of the counters, I saw a free-standing glass case in the shape of a pyramid.  One glance inside revealed a wire triangle with all styles of elegant rings hanging on it. Instead of turning aside, I found myself stepping closer and looking deep into the locked case. At the bottom was a triangle-shaped plaque made of dark stone.  The small print at the top read: Unconditionally Guaranteed.  Ask Sales Clerk for Assistance.  In the center in very large bold lettering were the words: Sterling Silver, underlined twice.  The last line, in medium print, caused me to gasp and laugh with joy all at the same time.  It read:  R. S. COVENANT – THE RING MAN. It was underlined with scrolling on each end.

I said softly to myself, “Thank you, Lord.  I hear you. You’re right here with me.”  Stepping to the counter I asked the clerk if I could please take a picture of the name.  Looking puzzled, she nodded. Stepping back, I focused into the glass and quickly snapped two pictures.  They both came out perfectly.

Yes, He does hear us as He heard Jesus.  Yes, He does answer us as He answered Jesus.



June 5, 2011 - One Response

The stench was horrible.  Looking into the room through burning, watery eyes, I saw four wire cages sitting on the filthy floor. Each held three or four dogs.  I had made an appointment with a Bishon breeder to look at the only female puppy she had advertised for sale.  Reaching into one of the cages, she jerked out a very small, dirty white, flea-covered puppy.  Handing her to me, the weightless little animal buried her tiny head in my shoulder.  I thought, “I can’t stand this.”  Handing her back, I turned to my daughter and said under my breath, “I”m not buying a dog in this place. Let’s go.”  My daughter just stood there.

 As I watched, the woman filled a small sink with water. Dropping the puppy in, she scrubbed her with a mean fury.  The pitifully weak puppy with lifeless eyes sagged under the cruelty as the woman ranted on and on that her vet was wrong about her dogs being covered with fleas.  “Let’s get out of her now, I pleaded.”  My daughter just sat there.

Then the witch of a breeder shoved the soggy, still flea-covered pup into my lap. Her tiny legs buckled, her eyes clamped shut. I looked at my watch.  Three hours! Oh, God, I have been in this hell hole three hours.  How do I get out of here? “Lord, help me! What do I do?”  I heard my own calm voice ask, “How much do you want for her?  $500.  I didn’t blink. I wrote out the check.  Smiling, the breeder said to me, “You have 48 hours to return her.”  Gently holding my new puppy, I whispered, “Let’s go home, ZoeyGrace.”

Calling my daughter’s vet on our way home, he agreed to see ZoeyGrace immediately. Lying on her side on the examining table, ZoeyGrace’s breathing was very slow, very shallow.  Dr. Derrick’s words hurt our hearts.  “This is so pitifully sad!   Three months old, 4 pounds, badly malnutrition, and dangerously dehydrated. And her bones are protruding from her spine.  She probably won’t ….  How long do you have to return her and get your money back?”  Then he gave me a short list to try to save her if I wanted to keep her.  Again, I gently gathered the frail dying puppy into my arms and said, “Let’s go home, ZoeyGrace.”

Dropping us off at home, my daughter went directly to PetCo and bought everything necessary for a new puppy. Even a puppy toy for a puppy that couldn’t move.  I called that faith.

Praying, I tried to hand feed ZoeyGrace a soup mix of puppy food and water. She could barely lick.  Praying, I picked  her up ever so gently to take her outside.  She passed maybe one, maybe two drops of urine. Praying, I continually asked God to heal her as I called her by her new name, told her I loved her, that she had a new life and that she was home.  Her dull lifeless eyes looked intently into my face.  Most of the time she just curled up in a tight ball, her body continually stiffing in fear.  Three weeks later at a vet visit, he said, “Amazing, she’s gained a pound.”

Several months later, ZoeyGrace walked in the back door, stopped and looked directly at me.  I immediately realized her Creator’s light had come on in her eyes.  Suddenly she darted around the room like a shot, then skidded to a stop in front of me. (I learned later this was called a Bishon buzz.)  Yes, she now  had happy puppy eyes and her tail was wagging like crazy.  As I sat down on the floor, she took a few steps toward me, then stopped.  Realizing her total heart trust was still lacking, I smiled at her.

One day out of the blue, I heard myself say aloud, “I can’t believe I paid $500 for a half dead dog.”  Instantly, His Loving Spirit spoke very tenderly to my spirit, “You were totally dead and I paid for you with My blood.” Catching my breath, my eyes filled with tears as my mind reeled under this awesome truth. His written Words jumped into my mind with a new clarity and revelation: “You are not your own, you have been bought with a price.”   (1 Cor. 6:20)

Today, my two-year old Bishon sits next to me as I write this. We enjoy peanut butter, bagels, and coffee together — one teaspoon for her.  We play soccer in the back yard, we listen to Christian music, we go to the groomer and get beautiful — I look a tad funny with a Bishon cut.  We play with her toys, now a whole basketful, generously given to her by my daughter.  Tracking with me, I am never out of her sight.  She defends me with vicious barking.  We sleep under a warm blanket.  What a joy she is! What trusting love she showers on me.

My experiences with ZoeyGrace, His Spirit Words spoken to my heart, and His written Words recalled to my mind have changed my life.  Realizing my worth to Him and the sacrifice of His life for a “totally dead-in-sin” me, not just a case of the fleas, have caused my love for Him to grow in a deepening intimacy with Him.  My eyes have a new God light in them.  I look into His face lovingly.  I run around waving my hands in praise to Him, called a “Beck-buzz” of joy.  But as for tail wagging, I’ll leave that to ZoeyGrace.

ZoeyGrace is not only home, she has made herself at home in my love.

Habakkuk and I

March 22, 2011 - 2 Responses

Mr. Peterson’s, The Message, a contemporary rendering of the Bible, lay open on my lap to the book of  Habakkuk.  Ok, it’s only three chapters.  I can handle that.  I read the introduction. Habakkuk was a Hebrew prophet in the seventh century B.C.   Several sentences in the introduction leap off the page into my spirit. 

” Habakkuk speaks our words to God.   He is a man who gives voice to our bewilderment, articulates our puzzled attempts to make sense of things, and faces God with our disappointment with God.  He insists that God pay attention to us and he insists (on this) with a prophet’s characteristic no-nonsense bluntness.   He dared to voice his feelings that God didn’t know God’s own business.  “God you don’t seem to make sense.” 

 “Right on, Habakkuk, I thought.  I’ve got a few questions for God too”,  Suddenly Habakkuk becomes my new best friend. “Go for it, Habakkuk. I’m with you.”  My life is screaming questions at God too!

 The introduction continues:  “But this prophet companion who stands at our side does something even more important:  He waits and he listens.  It is in his waiting and listening  — which then turns into prayer — that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God’s sovereignty.   Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life (and) the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life.  Habakkuk started out exactly where we start out with our puzzled complaints and God-accusations, but he didn’t stay there.  He ended up in a world, along with us, where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

OK. Chapter One — Habakkuk ‘s problem:  Justice is a Joke . God’s concise answer.  Next Habakkuk challenges God to wake up and smell the roses.

OK. Chapter Two — Habakkuk ponders:  What is God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst.  I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon.  I’ll wait to see what God says, how He’ll answer my complaint. 

God begins His answer with a command to Habakkuk: Write down what I am going to show you. It will come to pass later. Be patient. It will happen.

Ok. Chapter Three — Habakkuk’s prayer: I have heard about you.  I stand in awe at what you do.  God, do what you have to do but have mercy. I am scared to death but I’ll wait for You to act. Then in the last ten sentences, Habakkuk declares his stead-fast confidence in his Sovereign God.

OK. I take out my paper and pen.  I followed Habakkuk’s outline for pouring out my anxieties; then like Habakkuk, I declared my faith and asked for mercy:

Though Morris is sick and won’t get well,

Though I get tired,

 Though I am loaded with responsibilities,

Though time flies and plans change,

Though my “glo” years dim and my life is like a revolving door,

I will still sing Your praise till the cows come home.

I will still turn cartwheels of joy to You, my Savior, my Covenant Friend.

I am counting on Your goodness to work out every detail of my life.

I hum like a NASCAR.

I feel like the queen of the homecoming parade.

DONE.  I stick those last ten sentences of the book of Habakkuk, closed The Message, and put it on the shelf.

Today, ten years later, as I took that old torn-up paper back Message off my book shelf, a paper fell out.  I reread what you have just read.

No, Morris did not get well.

Yes, God has rested, restored me, and lifted those heavy responsibilities off my shoulders. 

Yes, I am ten plus years older into my “glo” years; I live in another city, new friends, and a new life path.

Yes, I am still singing His praises, turning cartwheels of joy but on the inside now.

Yes, He will always work His perfect will out in every detail of my life and yours.

Yes, I still hum but like a Mini-Cooper now.

Yes, I will be in His Home-Coming Parade, a real queen, wearing a crown of life.


February 10, 2011 - Leave a Response


Mr. William Howard, a 6th Degree Black Belt and my Tae Kwon Do instructor, stood in front of the seminar class on Patterns and Self Defense.  As we stood at attention, he spoke, “You don’t have to prove anything to me.  The fact that you are here is enough.”  I relaxed.  His words released my self-imposed pressure. 

 HIS VOICE, lovingly: “You don’t have to prove anything to Me. The fact that you are Mine is enough.”

After practicing two hours of green belt patterns, I sit propped against the wall.  I watch as a group of red and black belts line up on the mat.  With his back to the class, Mr. Howard gives them verbal pattern commands, then slowly demonstrates each one perfectly. Watching their moves, I thought  wrong stance, wrong arm, wrong turn, wrong, wrong and more wrong.  My focus is on judging them. Never mind that I did not even know their patterns.  Occasionally I glanced at Mr. Howard.  Gee, he can’t even see their mess ups.

 HIS VOICE, patiently asked: “Why aren’t you watching Mr. Howard?  Only Mr. Howard knows his students abilities.  Only Mr. Howard is the instructor.”  

 Right!  Totally refocused, I move to get a better view of Mr. Howard.   His moves are  beautifully precise, his timing is perfect, his leadership obvious in his stance and his voice is steady knowing exactly when to call the next move.  Look at him!  Such power under control, such concentration of thought directing his body movements and such sheer passion in every step.  Instantly, I go from judging the learners to being in awe of the leader.  He has my undivided attention. 

 HIS VOICE, firmly: “I am your Instructor.  Keep your eyes on Me.  Give Me your undivided attention.”

Suddenly, my view of Mr. Howard is blocked but I can still hear his voice.  Most of his words are clear, but some are muffled and undistinguishable.  I struggle to understand them. 

 HIS VOICE, peacefully: “Yes there will be times when you cannot see Me.  But I will make My Words clear to you. ”

 After a brief lunch break, we begin four hours of self-defense.  Mr. Howard assigns two black belts to teach me hands on self-defense.  First, I am taught a defense concept; then I am attacked.  I hear Mr. Howard say: “Remember, Ms. Beck, your life may depend on your knowing the concept and your ability to apply it.”   Over and over, I block, I punch, I bend fingers back, I twist arms, I fake eye gouges, throat hits and groin kicks. I yell and I run.  Defense after defense is drilled into me.  My strength ebbs.  Determined, Mr. Howard and his black belts demand my total attention.  I am pushed to the limit in my body, mind and spirit.  ” Lord, help me,” I breathed quietly.

HIS VOICE, faithfully: “I am your Shield.  Put on My armor.  Use My Word as a sword like I did. Defend yourself when you are attacked by the Enemy.”

Five o’clock.  I turn. I stand. I bow with respect toward Mr. Howard.

 Home.  Taking off my DoBok I wondered, “How did I just spend eight hours in constant motion?  What will my 72-year-old body have to say about this tomorrow?  Where’s the Aleve?”

HIS VOICE, kindly: “I AM your Strength.  I AM  the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

My voice, thankfully: “Yes, You are!  Thank you for Your Presence today.  I love you.”

God’s Confetti

January 22, 2011 - One Response


New Years Eve found me lying on the couch, TV remote in hand, watching the year 2000 birth a new millennium in New York City.  I longed to be standing in Times Square as the big ball dropped and to feel the confetti on my face.  As tons of colored paper swirled earthward I noticed that most of the millions of jubilant people completely ignored the waterfall of colors.  They were yelling and dancing and kissing and hugging.   

The next day, feeling the need to stretch my legs, I stepped out my front door into the warm Texas sunshine.  Walking along focused on what I desired to accomplish in the coming year, a sudden  strong breeze caused me to glance up.   The tall oak trees lining the street began to shower me with colored leaves.  Confetti!  God’s confetti!!  I laughed, reached up and caught a falling leaf.  The Lord, knowing He had my undivided attention, spoke softly to my spirit, “Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart.”*  I understood.  If I delighted in or focused on Him daily, He would shower me with His confetti, or the desires of my heart.

Tucking the new millennium leaf into my pocket, I turned for home and headed into the new century, refocused on HIM!

                                                2011  —  A New Decade

                                       Look up, listen and focus on Jesus!

                 The colorful leaves of His blessing are floating down on you!

*Psalm 37:4


August 22, 2010 - One Response

It is a quiet Saturday afternoon.  For 35 years most of my nights and weekends are spent alone.  My husband, a highly respected and dedicated attorney, is a workaholic.  A very quiet, introverted yet brilliant thinker who found himself  in love and married to this outgoing, never meets a stranger, “swing from the trees’ type woman.  We love each other dearly but the intimacy of communication is nonexistent.  Only on rare occasions when pressed by urgent family needs would we discuss anything other than “do you have to work this week-end?”  My emotional pain of loneliness is getting deeper every day.

For years our children and our church with all their activities and needs have filled this void for me.  But now, the nest is empty; the church, well, it is still down the street.

Time hangs over me like a thick fog.

Does he even know I exist or even think of me? 

Does  this marriage have any love in it besides mine? 

Is it time to move on? 

For some reason, this Saturday afternoon I realize I must know if I ever crossed his mind. I speak  aloud to the only Person who knows.

“Lord,  I plead,  I  must know if he ever thinks about me.  I must know if he loves me.  If he does, please have him bring me some flowers when he comes home.”  Following my prayer, this thought leaped into my mind.  “Yea, right. Fat chance.  He’s never been the flower kind of guy.”   Refocusing on my book, I promptly dismiss my prayer as being one of those prayers that doesn’t having a prayer of a chance of being answered.

Late in the day, the back door opens. I glance up and partially smiled. Extending his hand toward me,  he said,  “Here”,  holding out a beautiful bouquet.   I hear but I don’t hear.  I see but I don’t see. Taking the flowers from him, I  walk  toward the pantry to get a vase.  The reality of what has just happened rockets through my mind and emotions. Turning back to him, I asked, ” Why did you get these for me?”  My soft-spoken man gently said,

“I was riding along.  

I saw a flower stand.

I thought about you.

So, I stopped.”

A double portion of love is instantly mine.

HIS and his.


August 2, 2010 - One Response

Etched into my subconscious mind are two vivid scenes. One, of small boxes on thin cables dropping hopelessly through dark shafts, doomed to the pits from which they came. The other, of a dark cubicle suspended between floors quickly filling with thick black smoke as screaming people pound on the doors to escape. Those hair-raising black and white movie images from my childhood prevented me from appreciating Mr. Otis’ ingenious invention. His “lifts” as the British call them, was a matter of earnest prayer wherever I encountered them.

A legal seminar, a large hotel and a lovely room on the fifteenth floor began my healing … from anxiety to awe, from fear to freedom. Timing it just right the first morning, I rode down with my husband.  But as I returned alone that afternoon, the elevator fear “hit” me. Walking along the Galleria concourse, I asked my inner Friend, “Please let there be someone to ride up with me.”  I did not voice to Him my desperate hope to please let them go, at least, one floor higher than mine.

The massive lobby stood strangely empty. As I approached the elevators, He whispered in my spirit softly, “Stand and wait.”  A minute or two later a woman rounded the corner with two children in tow and came toward me.  Reaching out, I pushed the “up” button.  Bing. The elevator doors slid open, and as we entered, the boy child collapsed on the floor in a tired heap, denouncing shopping forever. Turning to the lady leaning heavily against the back wall, I asked her what floor she wanted.  Sighing, she said, “Fifteen.” As button number fifteen lit up under my touch, I lit up under His touch.

Like the slowly ascending elevator, my mind rose trying to grasp the reality of His love for me, His compassion for my fear and His awesome knowledge of perfect timing.  Then as the elevator accelerated, my spirit race to embrace those revealed truths.

A bell rang. The elevator slowed to a stop.  Stepping off first, I turned left into an empty hallway.  My peripheral vision suddenly revealed the boy child skipping past me.  He stopped abruptly at a door near mine.  Amazed laughter flooded my whole being as He “lifted” me into the wonder of Himself, doing more for me that I could ever have asked or imagined.  Among the hundreds of guests in that enormous hotel, my three “Otis riders” were not only on my floor but they were practically my next door neighbors. 

Today when Mr. Otis and I meet, those once scary scenes have been replaced with His reassuring words: “Remember the 15th floor’.  I know He is lovingly reminding me that He is the same one who lifts me up Today that He was Yesterday and He will be the same One who will lift me up Tomorrow.

Bing. Going up!!


June 28, 2010 - Leave a Response


“Going for a jog”, I said heading out the door.  Grinning, my sweet husband told me that what I was doing could not be considered jogging.  “You walk with a hop”.  Wrinkling up my nose at him, I thought,  “Well, ‘wa-ho’  it is.” 

Starting slowly down the street, words of encouragement that my coach, a lady marathoner, had said slipped into my mind.  “Mamie, it’s not about how fast you go, your tape time or even if you have to walk some of the way.  Your goal is to finish.” 

Suddenly I heard feet  pounding the pavement behind me.  A quick glance over my shoulder revealed two real joggers gaining on me.   A tsunami of adrenalin hit me with a super speed urge.  My mind and body screamed “Move it.  Don’t let them pass you.”  

Memory Flash Card:  Three years before my fast paced life style had crashed.  Unbelievable stress from a blindsided temptation left me physically, mentally and emotionally very sick.  After several months in the hospital, test results revealed that  due to my severely weakened immune system from that horrendous stress, my body had been invaded by an unknown slow-moving virus.  The doctors said there is no medication available nor did they know how long it might last.  Next, came the neurological hospital.  After several months,  I was told by a dedicated psychiatrist, “Go home and live by your faith.”  Laying in bed day after day struggling to breathe, an army of prayer warriors petitioned God day and night for my  healing.  I begged Him for life.  His Word came: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.  The righteous run into it and are safe.”  (Proverbs 18:10)  Constantly, in my mind and spirit, I ran into my Jesus tower and rested there.  Soon, these words followed:  “Move very slowly”.   As He directed, one slow prop up, a sit up, then a stand up. I began to trust His truth that obedience brings healing.  It was enabling me to be jogging that morning.   

Calmed, I stayed in my “wa-ho” pace as the two real joggers passed me, smiling.   Words of  peace flooded me as He breathed on me  and whispered, “They don’t know how far you have come, and they don’t know how far you are going.”

A year later our church planned  a 5K Run for the homeless.  I signed up for the 1 K and a free tee-shirt.  Money paid, free tee-shirt on, I jogged, really jogged, for one mile.   

I finished    …..  second to last, but I finished.  

I still wear my 25-year-old tee-shirt at TaeKwonDo testing time to remind me:  They don’t know how far I’ve come, and only He knows how far I’m going.