I RECENTLY SPENT TIME with a man who facilitated prayer with me.
I needed help.
I was in desperate need of clarity in a season of chaos and this gentle man, rolled up his tattered sleeves, removed his glasses and petitioned God on my behalf. The process was very interesting, and I'm sure he could clearly see my inhibitions as he began, "Close your eyes David", he softly spoke, "and try to relax".
I immediately escaped to a visual of my 8 year old at bedtime with his twitching and heavy sighs, but now, I was the primary school boy. Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I almost forgot where I was. I smiled, beet red with embarrassment, thinking of my squirmy middle son and emitted a faint chuckle which temporarily startled my unnerved prayer warrior to dubiously open his eyes.
As I eventually settled, we proceeded for 3 quarters of an hour, until our patience through the process was rewarded: I felt a huge burden lifted from my weary shoulders.
Leaping from my chaise, and making a bee line towards the exit door, my getaway was interrupted as this man gave me my first homework assignment in years!
The task was to write a story about one of my parents. I was to share my heart while mentioning a distinct event that generated significant emotions. I was instructed to make note of my feelings and share them openly in this collection of words.
Hmm... I immediately had an event come to mind and the following is what I wrote of this especially calamitous memory:
Ahh, my sweet, 5 foot nothing, 120 pound (soaking wet), diminutive mother; though you be wee, you be mighty! I remember you sharply shouting me; "David John D'Silva, if you so much as think about muttering that word EVER again, you will rue the day you were born!".
Challenge accepted, my child's mind thought.
Well, the onslaught that was about to take place sure seemed a lot like a scene in one of the Terminator movies...
Gertie's eyes (yes that was this ominious woman's fear instilling name!) honed in on me waiting to pounce if I were to senselessly discharge that WORD from my sawed-off double barrel like mouth. I can still see an overhead view of us slowly tiptoeing clockwise in a circle as if we were walking through a glass laden floor, our arms extended forward like grappling wrestlers, and then, without regard, my adrenaline filled brain volunteered that derogatory and wrath evoking word: "Bitch".
She lunged forward and chased like a lion as I ran, and ran like a gazelle. She leapt at my lower torso causing me to fall and then tightening her grip on my tiny ankle, she crawled up my body.
But what was that in her hand? It seemed almost oval shaped and milky coloured.
I let out a scream, "Yeeahhh"!
If only the neighbours could hear, then they could surely witness the victim in this situation and save this sweet, gentle, fawn like creature but to no avail, my voice was not to be heard.
Her cyborg like eyes turned a glowing red as she incapacitated me and then, from out of nowhere, her other arm, swung with precision towards my mouth with that foreign object clenched within those indomitable metallic fingers. The taste was unbearable as I felt this object twisting and prying into my mouth.
What was it, and what was she doing with it? Trying to shatter my teeth!
A third arm - it seemed, reached up to fashion a jaw opening grasp on my throat and it was successful. The strength of its clutch caused my jaw to involuntarily open and then, then, the finishing and powerful stroke thrust the object into my mouth.
It was finished.
My chest heaved as I turned, spilling my mum onto the floor. The soft aloe fragrant air pervaded the atmosphere, my face flush, my mouth peppered with the gentle bouquet of an Ivory bar of soap.
I looked at that woman differently that day and I respected her as my mother.
LIFE LESSONS LEARNED as follows;
Lesson 1. Never watch the Terminator with your Mum. You never know what is being programmed into her.
Lesson 2. If you're going to speak out in a taunting situation, think ahead as the power of words can be used to build up or to destroy relationships.
Lesson 3. Although my Mum didn't have 3 hands, sometime your adversary may. Be cautious and prudent in every battle, for it may well be your last.
I FOUND MUCH VALUE in writing this story. I forgave myself for parroting a word I knew little about. I forgave my dad for teaching me the word. And the following week when I met my new found prayer partner for a follow up appointment I was able to articulate feelings and emotions like never before. I reveled in what I had learned from this process:
X - TO GUARD MY MIND AND HEART.
How am I influenced? Why do I say what I say. Do what I do. Feel what I feel. The answer lies in my history, my journey and my perspective of it. And perspective is very subjective!
I want to be mindful going forward as to what I allow into my mind and be certain of healthy perspectives in life.
Y - TO MIND MY TONGUE AND MOUTH.
I commonly speak loosely, sometimes because I'm lazy, other times because I'm tired and the result is typical that by omitting words that could add clarity to what I mean, I end up saying things that do not correctly represent my heart. I share from raw undigested emotion, not truly understanding what feelings are actually being generated. And then I project my hurt or pain.
My best council was to wait 36 hours before making a decision and then it would be less brazen and more valiant.
Z - TO CHOOSE WHAT I SAY AND DO.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. An age old saying applicable even today in common, ordinary, everyday situations.
I am a powerful person. I am able to choose what to say, when to say it and how to say it. That's what powerful people do.
MUM, I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU and your hugely disproportionate strength.
Thank you for your resolve.