Friday, December 24, 2010

Angel Collection

I have an angel collection.  I didn’t used to.  It was started many years ago by Lopez, my boss, who asked someone else if I collected anything.  She figured I collected angels.  So, for Christmas and birthday and Secretary’s Day and for sundry other times when gift giving was an appropriate part of our work relationship, he bought me angels: figurines, ornaments, candles, bookends and more.  Finally, I asked him why he always bought me angels. 

“Because Judy said you collect them,” he answered plainly.

“I guess I do now!”  We laughed and that increased the angel giving. 

We worked together for ten years.  I have a lot of angels from him.  That kind of thing is contagious and so I also have a number of angels from other people, too.  It’s easy to give gifts when one has a theme.

This year when the angelbabies were decorating my little Christmas tree I was caught by the beauty of it.  They kept asking me, “Who gave you this angel?  Where did this angel come from?”

The angelbabies had never, and likely would never, meet the angelgivers.  They are collected along the rainbows of my past.   Those rays of promise, peace and plenty who gave what they could to smooth the way.  We shared laughter – so much laughter  – as we walked and some tears.  Although, the tears I tried to keep to myself.  My angels always seem to have enough sorrow of their own without borrowing mine. 

I always felt I took more from my angels than I gave.  Like the Little Drummer Boy, I always seem to be the poor one with nothing to offer but my love.  Many times I have sat with my Lord and talked about my angels and all of their needs.  “Please, God, can’t you just…..”   The blank would be filled with “make them better, bring some cash, heal the hurt, do something about the anger, bring peace to their lives?” 

I wished a thousand times for unlimited supplies to fix all that was wrong. 

In the meantime, these angels kept doing good things for me.  Compassion and grace and books and clothes and dinners and coffees and calendars and time they gave.  Filling my empty cup again and again with memories.    How could I ever repay them their generosity?  How could I ever give back?

I am not a very good friend.  I forget birthdays, important events and details.  I don’t mean to.  My days move quickly and I lose track of time.  I try to do better by adding things to the calendar, and then I forget where the calendar is.  I try to listen better and take mental notes, but then the notes in my mind get misfiled and I forget if it was her or him with that particular problem.  Sigh. 

And then, there I am again, back in my prayer closet asking God to help all these precious angels.  Hoping I have enough faith and He has enough grace to overcome my forgetfulness.

I also thank Him, often, for the angels He has given me.  If you hear me say, “Thanks, God!” it’s not a cliché.  I am often caught off-guard by the gifts He gives me and can’t help but thank Him.  Most often, though, the thanks I give Him for the angels cannot be heard by others.  It’s mingled with tears flowing from a grateful heart.

I pray today you see the angels He has given you.  Forget looking for signs and wonders inexplicable.  Notice the everyday, amazing, stunning miracles that He has littered your path with.  Drown yourself in His blessings.
I thank my God for you, my readers.  You give courage to my voice. 
I thank my God for you, my lifetime friends.  You give purpose to my laugh lines.
I thank my God for you, my angels.  You give ever much more than you receive.

Thanks, God, for so many gifts. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Readers and Writer

I have to apologize to my readers, wherever you are. I haven’t been in the mood to write much lately. Maybe it’s the way people have reacted to the book that’s made me reticent. I feel almost third-person-ish talking about this Author Kris Newman who spills her guts to the world.

I know the transparency of my words give honesty and purpose to my experiences. That’s why I write about them.

Some have been angry with me. Misunderstanding my need to express, they think perhaps I’m trying to justify myself, my actions, my life. I’m not. Some of my writing is, indeed, cathartic. Most is the result of prayer, contemplation and reader reaction.

On one level, my writing is a ministry. It’s a way of helping others to deal with the difficulties of life that I have dealt with. Not because I have become some perfect specimen of grace and forgiveness; but, in my human reactions to the events of my life I have found Someone to give me grace and forgiveness. The answer to my life’s complications doesn’t come from within my own strength, but in the strength I get from God.

Say what you may, but that’s how I see it.

I see my writing as an expression of that, a way to connect others to God who has helped me so He can help them.

Some readers of the book are surprised to learn how similar we all are. At least, that’s how I perceive their response. Perhaps it is I who is surprised to learn how similar they are to me. Some pieces I expect people to like and they don’t. Some pieces I expect them to find shallow or foolish, and they love them.

Readers, I have decided, are an unpredictable lot.

The one piece which seems to garner the strongest reaction is the one I enjoyed writing the most: A Night at the Theater. Some readers have begged to know who is the mysterious woman, what is the relationship between the two, and is there a sequel! All are unanswered questions which make my heart smile to no end.

I’m a little afraid to see my words in print because I know I can’t take them back and hide them anymore. I think that’s why I haven’t written.

But don’t think for a minute that the words have left me. They push me along on the whims of their way. As long as I’m alive, I’m sure, I’ll be writing something.

And as long as I know you’re reading, I’ll keep writing. Please forgive the time between when I simply must catch my breath and determine if I really am strong enough to throw my heart out there.

I know not everyone will like everything that I write. I know not everyone will understand everything. Writing isn’t a popularity contest or a test of my ability. It’s only expression.

And so, my readers, please forgive my reticence. And thank you, so very much, for stopping by to chat with me.

If you would like more information about The Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges, please visit my website at:   Grab a cuppa java and visit awhile!