AFTER READING AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY MY FRIEND, RAFAEL STONEMAN, ABOUT HIS NEIGHBOR, A VIETNAM VET

for Rafe

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The name of Jesus is still powerful, even after 2000 years of depletion by religion and politics. Those who find themselves in the deepest possible need can shelter there and find themselves held in his arms. When we feel we can’t be  any more alone, God may come to us as that Aloneness which answers to the name of Jesus.

I have worked twenty years in a paint store, gotten old there, by the measurement of the young.  Once I found a sparrow dead behind stacked gallons of white semi-gloss. The little thing was dried up, its beak open wide, begging for water or air. When I found it I got angry with God. I looked at that sparrow and imagined it crying out to be saved but its voice was not heard. It died alone behind a rack of paint. Part of my anger was because I had tried and failed to save the bird myself. Found it flying around the store, door left open by a careless customer but I couldn’t catch it without breaking a wing so finally gave up and let it find its own way.

But then I recalled how so many facing death, unable to do more for themselves, just surrender. I saw that with our last cat. He was ready to go. Came in one night in October, said his good-byes, walked into the woods and didn’t come back. Then there was our little squirrel, rescued as a baby and raised back to life. A few times I saw him playing with the dog. He literally climbed into the dog’s mouth and relaxed there, lying down completely across his jaws! You don’t believe that but it’s true.  At that moment I believed he was practicing for his death in the jaws of some cat or coyote. Maybe that sparrow also found himself in the arms of Jesus Christ.

I feel that name always as a blow to my heart  and when I saw it in your article, I was reminded. You did good work, my friend, when you brought that name to life for those with eyes to read.

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https://www.mpacorn.com/articles/overcoming-the-struggles-of-ptsd-and-abuse/

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4 thoughts on “AFTER READING AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY MY FRIEND, RAFAEL STONEMAN, ABOUT HIS NEIGHBOR, A VIETNAM VET

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