DESPERADOES WAITING FOR A TRAIN

So I said to myself

What is this that I am seeing?

No matter where I turn, and no matter where I look,

I see a sadness, I see a loneliness, sometimes hidden, but there. It’s in the silence, it’s in the talk, it’s in the laughter. You have to have eyes and ears to see and hear it, but it is there. They are desperadoes waiting for a train.

Oh laughter too, but fleeting, like a cover for a desperado afraid of the posse, but cannot admit it. A fear of something coming, but knows not what.

I hear the sounds of silence screaming at me. It is getting louder now as the end draws nearer.

I see a busy people, busy doing this, busy doing that, but then I wonder, what are they running from? And what are they busy about really? Is this their way of escaping the ill wind that blows here? Mary and Martha came to mind, What is going on here on Earth, anyhow?

Seems like no one knows how to stop now, get off, stop to smell the roses or watch a butterfly. Like the HOPI said you need to do, those wise old Native American Elders, but we are to busy, I have this I must do. Really? Must you? Really?

Seems like everyone is running against the wind, and when they look down, for all the running, for all the steps, for all the working, tears, hopes and dreams, for all of everything, they are still in the same place – is there any way off this place?

A treadmill, is seems, a corporate world of dog eat dog, of devour and destroy, hopes of gain, hopes of promotion, hopes of an office, hopes of “making it” and then the ladder falls over as you get to the top and end up with your face in the dirt, eating worms. For what? Have any of them ever thought about that? Most likely not, too involved in the world to take notice. They take life for granted. It can be snuffed out in an instant.

“Ye cannot serve two masters, and what have you gained in all of this, except to have lost your soul?” It rang in my ears, I heard it somewhere. As I looked at the wreckage of lives lost, of lives ruined by false hopes, false dreams and shattered lives, I began to weep – what happened here?

Why is this so? Maybe the answer was just ahead. In the mist along the road I walked, I saw a grave yard coming into view, through the gentle blowing fog. Maybe I would find an answer there, I thought. Maybe, I mean it might be possible…

So I walked into the grave yard and a looked at all the headstones, one by one, names, dates of their lives, carved in marble and stone, some kind words here and there, – someone must have loved them, I thought, but where are they now? Would any of them be called forth in the first resurrection? I wondered, I hoped so, but then I knew most did not even believe in anything really, not really.

To all the names,  all the flowers, and I thought to myself – so many loves, so many tears shed, so many hours of labor, so many pains, so many fears that must have gone through their minds – why am I here, what is all of this about? I listened through the drifting fog, the moon beginning to rise. I thought I heard weeping in the distance. Soft. I thought of Rachael and her Children. Maybe it was her, I thought – the hopelessness of it all , but we cannot admit we need help.We cannot admit we need each other. We cannot admit we need a redeemer…

I saw a cross. I heard His mother crying. Then I knew there was an escape. A way out, why so few take it, I wondered. I saw a sign, it read KING OF THE JEWS. Oh my God, what He went through for us. Do we know? Do we even care? I am a Judas, I admitted to Him. I have failed you in every way possible, betrayed everything you stand for at one time or another. Why did you bother? How can you love any of us?

Maybe there really was a redemption from all of this. I looked at all the stones, I wondered again, did any of them journey to the foot of that cross? Did they have their heavy burdens lifted? Did they have all of their fears taken away? Did they ever see what true love, divine love really is? I wondered in silence as I looked at the grave stones. So many….

I hurt tonight, every bone in my body aches. I buried my son today, it was so tough, why? Sons are supposed to bury their dads, not this way. The cries go into the night sky, but the answers never come back. Loved ones gone. We go to the service, we try to comfort the loved ones. No words, there are no words. We go to the grave site, we hear the words, we walk away in silence, but we cry against the darkness, against the night. Are there any answers to any of this? A life now gone. His or her fears, hopes, dreams, loves, pains all gone now.

But I have to get up and work, no choice, no choice at all. I hurt so much now, getting old. Nothing works well –  where are my glasses, I know I put them down somewhere – boy my foot hurts today, and my fingers don’t do what I want them to do, wish I was 18 again – well maybe…Getting hard to tie my shoes, better get something else. Can’t put on my socks anymore, so I go without…

My car keys, where did I put them, I got to get to town, I am so tired. My eyes don’t see like they use to, my night vision is almost gone – God I am so alone now – will it ever end? I saw this really pretty woman at the store, I wondered if she knew about the Lord.

Memories, they fade in the mists of time now, I remember Mary, sweet Mary, she had such a smile and the most beautiful deep eyes, my anchor in the storms that came – buried her 15 years ago now, I think it was. Miss her so much now – still think I may see her in the kitchen cooking. I hope so, so lonely now, so tired. I’m just waiting to die now, neighbor of mine said the other day as he slowly walked by – all bent over with a cane. “Just waitin to die”. Maybe he’s right, maybe that is all there is. Does he really know what he is sayin’? I wondered. I don’t think so. As I watched him vanish down the dirt road a tear came to my eye. Should I tell him what I know?

And I said to myself looking at the grave stones,

Did any of them find what they were looking for?

Did they think life was going to go on, did they realize how fragile they were, that it would all come to an end, sometimes over a long and agonizing time, sometimes in an instant – you never know you know, never. Maybe it is good we don’t, I thought to myself.

I bent over a grave stone, my glasses had misted over, so I had trouble reading what it said – so I wiped the foggy mist from them and slowly put them back on, and bent over again to see the name – I stood there in total  shock – it was my name. But there was no date on it yet –

So I knew then that I too was mortal, and that I too was scheduled to be taken away – and would anyone stand over my grave and wonder who was he anyway? Would they look up at the night sky and wonder? Or did it matter anyhow?

Did these others ever hear the answer blowing in the soft gentle winds of twilight? Had they asked, had they searched out the answers with all of their heart, mind and soul? Or had the cares and pleasures of this life got in the way?

Did they realize that that report they had to finish would never be finished? Did they realize that their boss would get a call saying “Betty will not be in today, Betty died last night”. Do you hear me? I plead with you, through my tears, do you hear me? Not just listen, but actually hear me?

Did they ever get a glimpse of true love? Did they ever find it? Did they look, search it out, get through all the opposition of the world, get past the strongholds, get past the battle lines of the enemy, wage a war as though their lives depended upon it? Or did they just settle for whatever because they did not know what else to do? I wondered as the fog of the past rolled by and through me. I thought how short the time, how but a glimpse of eternity we are given even if we lived hundreds of years.

Did they have any glimpses of what lay ahead of them? Or did they know not where they were going?

So then I drifted out of the grave yard and walked up this little dirt road, the moon coming out now, casting a ghostly shadow. I came across this old farm house, falling down – windows shattered, door ajar. I walked inside and looked around.

I wondered who had put all their blood, sweat and tears into this place? I wondered how their dreams must have inspired them, kept them going through many a hard year. What dreams were hidden in here?

If I listened could I hear the laughter of children? Could I hear a couple speaking of their undying love for each other? Could I hear the soft gentle fire burning in the old wood burning cook stove? I cocked my head to listen – I thought I could smell fired potatoes and eggs cooking. Soft footsteps – yes, yes… there it was, two little girls and a son. Laughter, coming down the stairs, ready for the school bus – yes, I could hear it now.

Oh what dreams they must have had I thought. What a future they must have had – but it was all gone now. It all faded away from me. I turned to leave and I sat down on the steps of that old farmhouse and bawled like a baby. It is all so fleeting, all so fleeting. The minutes slip through our hands so fast. So many things we should have done. So many loved ones we failed somehow.

The loves, the holding of ones so dear. The kisses, the promises. The years they all go by so fast. All so fleeting, all over so quickly. Do you know that? Do you know what I am saying here? Are you hearing me? Eternity is forever, there is no such thing here.

Someone, maybe, will stop by your house when it is all fallen in, and they will wonder what your life was like. Will they wonder what happened here? What dreams there were here, and what hopes, what loves, what fears, what sicknesses, what promises were made and broken here. Do you suppose?

Do you hear me now? Can you hear me now?

 

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