A Day of Remembrance

So today is a very special day in my life.  A day of remembrance.  Eleven years ago my new life started.  There wasn't alot of fan fare that day and I certainly didn't plan on it being the "day" that my life changed. But in my mind's eye, in my overactive imagination, I see legions of angels that day preparing for battle.  The battle for my life was about to begin.  There were plenty of people praying for me, and each prayer, each mention of my name before the Lord brought more angel's around.  And then, with a battle cry that froze the enemy, quite literally in their tracks, I was surrounded by more angels than you could count.  My angels had badges.  Don't get me wrong, the enemy was no pushover.  Having had me in their clutches for so long they weren't going to give up without a fight.  But never, ever under estimate the power of prayer, especially a mother's.  Not that a Dad's prayers aren't powerful, most definitely they are, your mother carries you for 9 months in the womb however, there is a special bond, and my mother, well, I've met only one other person who I believe has a special hotline straight to God, and I'm married to her. 

In the days and eventually years to follow, My Mom and Dad were used by God.  Mom was my source of encouragement, my Dad a source of wisdom.  I've had my challenges, I've had victories and I've had setbacks, I've had incredible highs and even a few lows.  But I'm surrounded by people that love me, pray for me, and care for me.  And having gone through the battles I have I find myself with compassion for those who hurt, those who are different, those who have struggles.

When you see someone with pink hair, or someone who is dealing with an addiction what is your first thought?  Freak?  Get away from them?  Weird?  Strange?  My first thought is, there is someone like me.  Sound strange?  "Freaks" come in all shapes and sizes, or what society calls freaks.  If you have an addiction, or you have been "damaged" in some way or you have led a hard life, made mistakes, it seems that society wants to make you an outcast.  You see this in church alot and even in the workplace, and I see alot of Christians, or so called "Christians" who judge people by either a) how they look or b) their past.  Regardless of if that person has changed their life.  And outcasts tend to band together.  That pink hair, is it a statement?  Is it wanting to be different?  Is it rebellion?  There is only one way to find out, you talk to the person without judging, without condemnation.  Or do you make snide comments, take shots about their past, gossip, talk about them behind their back?    

Ginger doesn't like it when I call myself a freak.  Her conception of a freak is much different than mine.  She understands more of what I mean now, of course.  And why one of my favorite songs is still "Freak Like Me" from Halestorm.  Though I love the "rebel" label I've had I have to be careful not to be "rebellious" or in "rebellion".  Yes, I'm an artist and I love to live on the edge, on the fringe of society and not be of the "acceptable norm".  It gives me a unique opportunity to talk to people on the edge and fringe with me.  I find comfort talking to people who've led a life like me, we have something in common, we have a common bond.  I've met a few artist in the area and I've been had the honor of even interpreting some of their art.

People ask me why I'm a painter, a make ready person, when they hear of my experience, of what I know.  Heck, I could probably build my own house (except for the concrete work!).  I mean, one grandfather built houses, the other was a sheet metal worker, and my Dad, well, there is nothing he can't fix (nothing at least that we don't know about!).  The short answer, I'm content.  They say I could do this, and do that, and make this and make that.  Yep, I could do all of that.  I'm content to be the quiet one. 

And as I reflect on the past eleven years, the highs and even the lows, I'm thankful for that spiritual battle that happened eleven years ago.  God, my merciful, wondrous God, has surrounded me with a supporting cast straight from heaven.  My beautiful wife, my wonderful family, her wonderful family, and a few very close friends.  I thank God that I am where I am at today.  So today is a day of remembrance, a special day for me and one I thank God for.


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