Sunday, July 29, 2012

Magician


I had a friend some time ago
And he knew magic tricks
He’d wear a cloak
Of deepest black
And twirl his magic stick


‘Til doves shot out the end of it
And rabbits in his hat
I loved his deck
Of playing cards
Red hearts and spades of black


Until the day he smiled at me
And cocked his tousled head
And told me words
No one had heard
And secrets never said


“Look very close,” he whispered then
“Watch how I move my hands.”
The magic tricks
I loved so much
Were only that— a sham!


He showed me secret doors and traps
And hidden springs and wires
And playing cards
And colored scarves
And powders that made fire


He taught me too to do the tricks
And how to stage a show
He was so pleased
And I just smiled
Like I was glad to know


I wish he hadn’t said it, though
I wish I had it back
That last illusion
Genie’s ghost
That swirling cape of black

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Flatter Myself That Your Refusal Is Merely a Natural Delicacy


     It has come recently to my attention that some of the girls close to me have become the victims of stalkers. Not the dangerously unstable I’m-going-to-knife-you-in-your-sleep kind. The weird, uncomfortable kind, the guy that suddenly starts showing up all the time or texting you a thousand times a day. The guy who won’t take a hint. I’ve never been stalked in this way myself (and I can think of about six hundred reasons why), but I know a reasonable amount about the phenomenon owing to having listened to the experience of my friends and the amount of research that I have done on the subject. I am here, therefore, to share what I have gleaned. No particular reason, I just haven’t written a post in a while and I was thinking about this all day. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Player

You shouldn't have let me see your scorecard.
I know you keep it in your back pocket.
You mark it every time you win a round
Every time someone cries because of you
Or sobs
Or breaks
Or gasps in pain and hopeless confusion
Every time you're on top.
Am I a player in your game too?
I want to see if my name is on your scorecard.
When you make me laugh
Or smile
Or tell you I love you
Is that because then you get more points when you take me down?
I'm done.
I quit.
I'm walking away from this.
Mark your card.
You win by forfeit. 


© Andrea Grace

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Faith and Trust in Pixie Dust (or: Why Magic in Literature is Both Awesome and Necessary)

     I love fiction. I love it so much. Especially magic. My entire childhood, including the parts that were supposed to be spent in school or doing chores or sleeping, were spent inside the world of magic. I read and loved the Chronicles of Narnia, the Magic Treehouse, Redwall, Inkheart, Artemis Fowl, and Harry Potter. Oh, how I loved Harry Potter. Also Disney. I was raised on Disney movies.


     And I thought that one day I would grow out of this. Getting your head out of the clouds is supposed to be part of the whole “adulthood” deal. But I haven’t. I still watch Star Wars, I still read Harry Potter, and I still love stupid children’s shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and not-stupid adult shows like Once Upon a Time. And fairy tales! I am a connoisseur and collector of fairy tales (though I would not recommend this career to anybody else. It appears that almost every fairy tale is the depraved nightmare of a misogynist drug addict). At this very moment I am in the middle of writing a new version of Rumplestiltzkin which stars an ex-witch hunter, a werewolf, and the witch herself. Magic is a part of me. I’ll never lose that.


     I didn’t even come close to losing it in my family’s experience in an abusive church, although I was strongly encouraged to. It was one of the few hills I was willing to die on. You can take my soul, but

Friday, May 4, 2012

Just a Single Lady

     You may have noticed that I write rarely on the subjects of marriage, dating, or courtship. This is because I have never been involved in any of these, and nor do I have the interest to research them. I am ignorant, therefore, and prefer to keep silent. However, I do know one thing very well; the state of being single.

     I think I’ll stay single forever and ever. I have no plans to marry. I fear it and am not willing to take the chance of picking the wrong guy. It’s cowardly, I know, but since when have I been brave? I don’t want to bring any children into this world when so many are already unwanted. I do, however, plan to rock the socks off of Life, and I plan to do it alone.

     And do you know something?

     That idea makes me happy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What He Must Be


     In the interest of hilarity, I’ve decided to go all patriarchal on you guys. By which I mean I have created a List. And Lists, as you are doubtless aware, are sacred. This List is doubly sacred, because I have titled it What He Must Be: Seven Qualities Every Godly Man Must Possess.

     *Note: All that is said here is done purely in the spirit of jest, and is not meant to be taken seriously. Unless you’re insane of have no sense of humor, in which case feel free to go off on me.

     And now, without further ceremony, I present



What He Must Be

Seven Qualities Every Godly Man Must Possess


1. The Godly Man Must Be Tall and Handsome

May every man follow his example.

     And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him who the Lord has chosen?” — 1 Samuel 9:2 & 10: 24

     There were giants on the Earth in those days… the sons of God. Those were the mighty men who were of old. — Genesis 6:4

     Behold, you are handsome my beloved! — Song of Solomon 1: 16


     Saul was specifically chosen, hand-picked, by God, to lead His precious people. The account of the rest of his life makes it clear that this was not due to his intelligence, sanity, or faithfulness, and we can only conclude that looks and height are prized qualities in the Lord’s eyes. His own sons who walked the earth were described as giants. And the famous Beloved was pleasing to look at.

     Men, are you doing all that is in your power to achieve these things? Are you trying with all your heart, soul, mind and strength to please the Lord in these ways? Tallness is within your reach (perhaps) with excellent posture. Handsomeness is easily achieved by being born with regular, symmetrical features. In the interest of Christian liberty, we do allow for large noses




or funny mouths.

      But if the Lord has blessed you with the trial of unfortunate genetics, the effect can be easily simulated by wearing dark pants with a horizontally-striped shirt and a vest. Remember, if you don’t feel it, the next best thing is to fake it!

 
This is what "Your will be done" means!

2. The Godly Man Must Have a Deep Bass Voice

Sing praises to His name… it is pleasant. — Psalm 135:3

I cried out to God with my voice, and He gave ear to me.— Psalm 77:1

My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord. — Psalm 5:3

     God loves music. He loves to hear us talk to him. But are you going to ask that the Lord endure your nasally squeak? This is folly, brothers! He sacrificed so much for you; are you going to keep this one thing from Him? A deep bass voice is universally associated with masculinity, and we all know how the Lord just loves Him some rigid gender roles!

     But again, there is room for Christian liberty here. We will not exclude tenors from the fold; rather, we welcome them as the less-fortunate brothers. But it is still imperative that their voices be pleasant to the ears. If it were not so, would God have written half the Psalms about singing?


 

3. The Godly Man Must Have Vast Muscles

Elisha… was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. — 1 Kings 19: 19

So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson…and the Lord blessed him. … Samson… took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill. — Judges 16: 3

For You have armed me with strength for the battle. — 2 Samuel 22:40

     Strength is a universal theme throughout the Bible. Samson was one of the few men consecrated fully to God from birth, and his strength was legendary! Elijah, another of God’s chosen prophets, also was renowned to be a large man, full of strength. Clearly, this is a quality that is very important to the Lord. His beloved are identified by the strength He gives them.
Oh, yes. The Lord is good to us.

     Are you his beloved? Do you have muscles to show for it? Men, if you are not submitting to God’s will in possessing biceps like Matt Damon’s, you must spend time in prayerful repentance and beseech the Lord to forgive your weakness.



4. The Godly Man Must Rock a Beard

You shall not… disfigure the edges of your beard. — Leviticus 19: 27

It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard. — Psalm 133: 2

In the same day the Lord will shave with a hired razor the head of the hair of the legs, and will also remove the beard. — Isaiah 7:20

     Countless of God’s chosen were the proud possessors of beautiful beards!

Oh, Liev. You're such an inspiration.

     In fact, the distinguishing characteristic was to not have one! David, a man after God’s own heart, wore a beard. The Law also commands that you keep your beard trimmed and groomed attractively. In fact, having one's beard shaved was a disgrace!

     Now, we serve a forgiving God, so there is obviously some leeway here. But not too much leeway! Brothers, if your job or some unfortunate aspect of your genetic makeup prevents you from growing a rich, luscious face-forest, you must at least display a healthy amount of stubble, if only to show the world that you are set apart to God, and at least trying to obey His commands!




5. The Godly Man Must Be Skilled in Undercover Operations

I have become all things to all men. — 1 Corinthians 9:22

So [David] changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let saliva fall down on his beard. — 1 Samuel 21: 13

     Paul and David. Our Biblical icons. Were any men so loved by God as these? The apostle John, maybe. But still, the fact that both David and Paul were obviously excellent actors and used this skill frequently should give us pause. If you were called upon to assume a different identity or to infiltrate the local drug cartel, would you be able to do it?

     If the answer is no, you must spend time in prayerful repentance and fasting for your sinful rebellion. Remember, you only think you know what your calling is! The Bible will show you that you are really meant for something entirely different — with the help of the church authorities, of course!

 

6. The Godly Man Must Have The Ability to Kick Butt

The women sang as they danced, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” The Lord has sought for himself a man after His own heart. — 1 Samuel 18:7 & 1 Samuel 13:14

A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the trusted stronghold. — Proverbs 21:22

He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it. — Judges 15: 15

This is just like a donkey's jawbone, only more recyclable.

     War is a recurring theme throughout the Psalms— indeed, throughout the entire Old Testament — and can successful war-mongering be achieved by a man who cannot or will not kick a few butts when the need arises? No. It cannot. Triumph in war— in other words, excellent combat skills — was another trademark of God’s beloved. It was a seal He placed upon His chosen. In fact, David, the only man ever described as one after God’s own heart, was a warrior by trade! Obviously the Lord prizes combat skills very highly. Are willing to use yours in His service?

Can I get an amen?

     Men, are you making good use of your God-given gift of butt-kicking? Are you honing and enhancing it as you are able? Brothers, it is folly for you to assume that, just because you will probably never be called to punch somebody out, you don’t need to cultivate that ability! Remember, it’s because you love Him!


7. The Godly Man Must Speak at Least Five Languages

For they heard them speak in tongues and magnify God. — Acts 10: 46

I thank my God I speak with tongues. — 1 Corinthians 14: 18

Question: What was the first sign that the Holy Spirit had come upon the people at last?
Answer: They spoke in tongues!

     Contrary to popular belief, all men have the gift of tongues. We can all learn another language or two if we work hard enough. Will you let your sinful laziness and selfishness get in the way of fulfilling God’s purpose for you and exercising this gift? No! You must lay it all on the alter for Him, and if that means devoting a large chunk of your life to learning Mandarin Chinese, is that really too much to ask? Speaking in tongues is one of the highest ways to embrace your identity as a believer! And the more languages, the godlier you are!

 

     Remember, now, brothers, if you don’t conform to the standards laid out by the holy dictates of Scripture, you’re in danger of hellfire and eternal damnation!

     Wait a minute…

     This is all starting to remind me of…

 
Bam! Detective Robert Goren! Oh, all glory be to heaven, this man is fabulous.


     Oh my goodness! What are the odds that the godly man would actually turn out to be exactly who I wanted him to be before I even started the list? Crazy, right?

     So remember, brothers! If you're not just like Robert Goren all the time, your soul is on the line! Have a nice, God-fearing day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mirrors and Windows

She thought she saw a monster's face
That looked into her eyes
Trapped behind
The mirror's glass
A nightmare born of lies


When she looked out the window, too,
She saw it yet again
And turned away
But still she feared 
That people could see in


She wrapped a blanket 'round herself
And thought that she could hide
But no escape
From curious eyes
No matter how she tried


So she pulled shut the curtains
And she sewed them all up tight
She kept outside
The people's gaze
But also blocked the light


But still she saw that face she feared
When mirrors she did pass
She covered them
With heavy sheets
So couldn't see the glass


She lived out all her days like that
No mirrors, curtains closed
And never knew
     This single truth—


               That she was beautiful.




~© Andrea Grace