The Long Road Home

Once upon a time, long long ago there lived a young man and his bride in a lovely apartment on Q Street. But they had a roommate who banished them from their home because she wasn’t anyone’s bride and that seemed fair. To her.

So the lovers moved north to a small town where the Greek gave the young man work and a home of his own on Key Circle for the young man and his bride to reside. That is until the Greek’s horns hardened at which time he yanked the work away, and turned off the home’s heat which made the toilet ice-up.

So the lovers returned to the south where Gus, the kind criminal, gave the young man enough money for labor to rent a cottage on Singleton Rd. But when the bride was with child, the landlord refused to repair the cause of the stink that forced her to sit out in the cold all day to keep from vomiting.

So the lovers started to pray to God for a home of their own. And they read the Bible to learn about the God they were praying to Who could give them a home where they could live happily ever after. And they asked for help from a man too and he said “NO!”  

So the lovers escaped the stink when they arrived at a small mansion on Delaware St and first gave birth to a girl. One week later the sheriff knocked on their door to demand that they vacate that house for no reason. Secret was that the hateful owner fled her man and wanted the bride’s home for her own again.

So the lovers prayed more and went to Turner Lane where they begged God to let them stay. They believed He said YES, even when told they had to buy or go and richer buyers peered through their windows at their nakedness. So they tried harder to believe till the Judge gave them three days to flee.

After a few comforting miracles, the lovers arrived in haste at Falls Rd where the landlord guaranteed them three months. Two years later God promised a home of their own and showed them 3 acres with streams. Love birthed a boy but the poor divorced lord needed shelter for his 90yr old father and he.

So, the young man and his bride, his girl and his boy fled to the acres of Glen Mill with highest hopes in their hearts for a home of their own, not just the trailer on landlord’s land. Joyous family till the county demanded they go since the earth failed to perc, and God gave them the seed of a son instead.

Tearful lovers traded God’s green acres of sunshiny days for three years of concrete winter in a Misty Dale row house. The faithful bride and God communed often. So that on the day that she approached her small door to find posted orders to leave, for another landlord divorce, she almost laughed.

So the man and his bride and three children went to Derbyshire Road to continue the Christian race when the owner demanded the business be gone even though they could stay. Now with two rents to pay and three beaks to feed, the young man and his bride worked harder than ever to live.

Seventeen years since the wedding and still without a home of their own for the 10th time the notso young man and his notso young bride had nowhere to go when told to buy or leave. Mother and God came up with the money to make the landlady disappear and they stayed another five years.

When the lord of the office paid them a visit to say it was time to go God whispered that this was the last of those words and continued to hide relief. After a year of tears and searching, a brand new house and office of their own instantly appeared on MacArthur Blvd where they lived through new wars.

Does it help you to know that the man and his wife eventually became landlords to two? But most important of all, God gave them a home of their own far from MacArthur’s wars where there they stay by still waters of Keyes Pond, closing the circle of Key near where this story began.

And does it frighten you too that the name of their own home is Point of the Loon? So here they live happily ever after God’s kingdom within and sun o’rhead, awaiting the home of their own where demon death cannot banish the man nor his bride and Lord-willing their children three.

All the while of this sad epic, the bride asking God-Lord at least for a good story to tell, but here it appears that she only received a hardly believable bad poem with a moral that says to stay fix on the road to your home in the high matter what comes your way .

Be still and know that I am God.” 

Holy Kismet

Our God amazed me once again yesterday. It was quite by surprise which made what I want to tell you especially wonderful! I had planned a forty day memorial prayer-service for my aunt Dot after church. It was to be very informal, perhaps only Richard and me and Father Steve in front of the icons. The family I invited, one by one told me why he or she could not attend. I wanted to invite others, especially Katherine and Zoë but never had a chance to call them. Then on the way to church, I realized that I had only one check left and about three separate reasons to use it. So I combined the amounts and tried to think about how I would get the message across for the long term need and the short term needs simultaneously!

Well, in the fashion of a typical aspiring immortal I entered the church semi-oblivious to the invisible Spirit around me. It was early and so I was greeted by an usher friend to whom I had wanted to deliver a message. Since so few people had arrived by then Chris had plenty of time to listen and consider what I wanted to tell him. Then, when the matter of the single check was about to become a complex issue, the behind the scenes deacon-orchestrator suddenly appeared just in time to take my check and assure me that everything would happen that I needed. I was astonished at how easily that problem was solved.

With votives in hand I went to the front of the church ready to commemorate when suddenly it came to my attention that one of the three votives should be for my beloved cousin Mary. It was as if her place on the candelabra beside the icon of Mary and Jesus at Cana was waiting for my candle. I obeyed grateful to have been reminded that her fourth anniversary of passing had only been exactly 3 weeks ago. Then I moved on to my usual candelabra beside the Transfiguration and lit one for Aunt Dot and her mother and sisters. And the other flame represented her father and brothers.

When I walked back out, en route to the balcony and my favorite seat who should I find but Katherine, the woman I had wanted to call all week! The last few minutes had been so perfectly orchestrated that I instantly projected them to my whole life and was overwhelmed by how perfectly God is able to stage our lives when we are in-synch with His Holy Will. All those tears of joy may have seemed pretty strange to Katherine. But my invisible guardian was probably just grinning from ear to ear.

The cherry on top was that elderly and frail Marietta, and good friend of my Aunt Dot, her sisters and parents had made a rare visit to church and was able as well to join our half circle of love during Dot's memorial service. I could not have planned the event more perfectly.


Washing Time

Dear God,

It would be wonderful if You would put all that I have seen and experienced this week in one nice and tidy box where everything is folded neatly, and stacked, and sorted by color. And then You can shoot it up with some of your extra light so it glows in the dark. Please?

We’ll do it together. Here are the things I want in the box. I’ll pick them up and you fold and put them in. 

  1. Looking forward to escaping Washington, DC during the inauguration. Too many people. People who hated Our good and sincere friend with a purple passion and kept stabbing him with pins and daggers and he was so brave about it all. And every time they stabbed him again, it was like they were stabbing me, and it hurt. And now they are so happy, and I am happy that they are happy, but I’m dizzy too because they changed from haters into laughers so fast that it makes me wonder whether it can be true that all that hatred and all those daggers and pins carved something beautiful. How is that possible?
  2. I floated down into my wooden nest surrounded by snow. And all I wanted to do was to talk with You. But We had to wait and love others. So I waited as patiently as possible and loved as devotedly as I could all excited with anticipation for our date.
  3. But You cancelled it!
  4. Since You are never wrong, I figured that You wanted me to show you that I could be flexible. So I bent forward and backward and side to side with a Mona Lisa smile.
  5. But the truth was that You had a job for me to do.
  6. A two bedroom apartment where my beloved aunts lived together for twenty seven years and one lived alone for ten more years. We have two weeks to empty it. You recruited me to pull boxes of treasures out of high dark corners. The bathtub is now a trash bin. My beloved family so neat and tidy, so rich in orderliness and love of shoes and purses. Treasures from the past: a 48 star flag, clay images of mirth. Decades compressed into space with walls. World War II things, Hallmark Christmas ornaments, photos galore of strangers and young aunts and uncles, dads and sisters and cousins, of the dead family when we were alive and before we were alive.
  7. Katherine Hepburn was Scottish last night, young and beautiful in a world very different than the one where deliriously cheering celebrating crowds start fresh to have their way of making the world the place we all want it to be, very different than the snowy town of proud and rugged poor, of World War II red star banners and tidy drawers. I saw a million worlds parade before my eyes. Herodotus and Xenophon stories of war and wisdom. He said in 500 BC that happiness is not found in wealth but in a life that has completed the earthly phase which is devoted to others.

 Okay, do Your magic!

 With love,


My child, small and thoughtful, let Us squeeze the Time out of your pieces first. See the jeering, the disappointments, the muddy things that water helps to wash away. Thank you hydrogen, thank you oxygen. Now, we have the essence of them all: hope, love, beauty, joy. We will keep this part of everything you want to store. Time corrupts; but time corrupts evil. It is My favorite joke. Now let us fold your treasures together. Do you see the glow? Are you happy?


Dear Aspiring Immortal Friend,


It’s been a busy week. Since my last message, I was nicked with a couple of flaming arrows, and a few true immortals gave me the words to say and the hymns to sing to usher my 84 year old aunt to the side of the invisibles. Saints, if you’re reading this, (do you suppose they have internet in heaven?) I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am sure that because of the perfect attitude of your prayers Aunt Dot is safe-and-soundly delivered to her family. When I was in church for Epiphany a strong and vivid sense of joy came to me as from her parents and her brothers and sisters who were looking forward to Dot’s big day. Strangely the joy was accompanied by an equally strong sense of sadness that she was leaving. The machine she was connected to drew a flat line at around two a.m. that night. Although if you ask me, the hugs had already begun.


Then I went and gazed at the ocean for a couple of days. I didn’t think enough about water. About how it cleans by killing badness. Someday I want to think more about that.


But today, I want my favorite immortal to tell you my favorite passage of his, and here it is:


“Christ left us on earth in order that we should become like beacons of light and teachers unto others; that we might act like leaven, move among men like angels, be like men unto children, and like spiritual men unto animal men, in order to win them over, and that we may be like seed, and bear abundant fruit. There would be no need for words, if we bore witness with our deeds, there would be no pagans if we were true Christians.” Chrysostom.


I think that sums it all up. I hope the words make you feel stronger and more light-filled today. Remember to dodge those arrows and trust that the Creator of the timeless universe is not phased a bit by current events.


Your friend,


When Bodies Matter

My father is invisible. Some of us aspiring immortals don’t like to use the “D” word when referring to people we love. Of course, he wasn’t always invisible. The worst part about his invisibility is that I rarely hear from him since he disappeared. Fortunately, once in a while, say every five or ten years I do hear from him. On these occasions I’m relieved to see that he is still alive.

The first time I heard from Dad was at Clyde’s restaurant ten years after he disappeared. My children and I were having dinner with my mother in the ground floor dining room with its elevated red leather booths that encircled a big round bar. We liked the slick paintings of cars on the walls but, except for my cigarette-happy mom, we didn’t like the air quality. The food was tasty though and mom could easily make the two-mile drive to meet us there. On the evening I want to tell you about I was going to ask her to come to live with us so I could watch over her better.

After I popped the question, to my great surprise, I heard Dad in my heart tell me real clearly how happy he was. It shocked me to hear him and to learn that he was right there, at Clyde’s, at that moment! I gave him a quick non-verbal hug and kiss then went back to hear what mom thought about the idea.

There were a few other times that my invisible father let me know that he was still alive, but not enough for me. Dad became invisible before he could do one thing that he wanted to do for about ten years before he disappeared. He wanted to go to Panama, the country. It’s not that he couldn’t go now; it’s just that he really wanted to be seen, so he sent me.

I remember once before I was honored to represent an invisible aspiring immortal. My cousin Nicky, who was eleven and a year younger than me fell from a balcony right before my very eyes. I ran to tell his mother that he fell. I didn’t know that he had left his body right then and there, on the sidewalk below, in front of all the playing cousins. Almost thirty years later, I stood at his mother’s hospital bedside with her two remaining children at the moment she left her body. I didn’t know I was going to represent Nicky when I went to visit his mom on August 13th.

August 13th must be my day for representing people since that was the day Dad wanted me to represent him at his friend’s 60th birthday party in Panama.

In Panama, I met a big happy family who knew my father when he was visible, and who still to this day, twenty years later ask God to keep him happy. I suppose Dad’s friend’s 60th birthday was special because that was his age when he celebrated his very last year of healthiness so now that his friend was sixty it was like they could be the same age finally! In Panama, the family talked to me about Dad as if they just ran into him at the barber shop; like time stopped. It was most interesting.

For the most part representing my father was fun since I saw places and people that I would have never experienced without him. I saw mountains in clouds and an eyeful pale blue sky hovering over a broad light-filled blue ocean. The two looked like they had been married forever. I saw yellow beaked toucans flying through the air and sloths sleeping in trees and an iridescent blue butterfly. I ate oranges and limes minutes away from being plucked. The best part was that I met lots of sisters whose hearts were as big as that ocean: Lelly and Ida, Marty, Ada, Carmen, Alicia, Angela and Cholita and their two brothers Ottavio and Tommy. All of the sisters had this in common. They had lost the men they once loved deeply, and like their brothers, they lost their mother only two years ago. The next generations of sons and daughters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren filled the holes in their hearts so well that I wished that all communities and all countries could behave as this big family by talking to each other and caring for each other almost every day. They even prayed together on Thursday evenings. I suppose I have to wait for the new planet to see that kind of love world-wide. This family absorbed me into them like air greets aroma, like I really was my father.

But there was also a disconcerting aspect to representing my father that I would not, in a million years have expected to experience so vividly.

By coincidence this mission fell during the last week of the two-week feast that commemorates the time when the Virgin Mary fell asleep and then left this old earth body and all. I have grown to love Jesus’ mother since she first introduced herself to me personally many years ago. The first time she spoke to me she was acting like a regular mother telling me that I expected too much too fast and I should stop being a brat. I took it pretty well. Well enough to ask her later to help me take care of my own mother Mary who was going to be very hard to live with. I have to tell you that I didn’t really expect an answer from her. It came through slowly but surely. I think it was she who turned my mother into a spoon of honey and gave me some of her own patience. It was a miracle I’ll never forget.

To honor the Virgin Mary I left my Dad’s favorite family to visit a church in Panama City full of Greeks who loved Jesus’ mother too. Every square inch of this church’s walls were covered with paintings of aspiring immortals and scenes of Jesus’ special earthly moments. At the church I met many friendly visible aspiring immortals who chatted away in Greek like a pod of Greekness floating in a Latin pond.

I think my dad went to church with me the second time I went because it was there during the big celebration liturgy on August 15th that for a few unusual moments I could feel my father’s love for my mother and his burden from her long and unusual illness that twisted him up.

Since Dad became invisible, he talked to me about mom only once. It was in March 2001 when I was driving down a highway towards San Francisco. I was in the car alone saying my prayers out loud when out of the clear blue sky my dad told me that he forgave my mother for being so difficult in her sickness because he could see how she was like honey deep inside. He told me that it would be good to bury mom next to him when she didn’t need her body anymore. I was incredibly surprised to hear him say that, actually to hear him at all. I didn’t even obey his request for reasons we can both talk about when we see each other again, if anyone still cares. Maybe that will be at my trial; yikes!

So on August 15, 2008 when my father let me feel his old earthly burden for a moment I cried in public. I think Dad and I both thought that God was being His same brilliant self by orchestrating the Mary day with the Panama trip. Frankly, Dad’s heart was a little too much for me to handle so I was glad that I didn’t have to represent him much longer. I just wanted to honor him and his friends and my mother and of course Jesus’ mother all at the same time. I supposed that if God could invent multi-various calculus then why shouldn’t I be able to honor a few different kinds of people simultaneously?

I learned on this trip to Panama that when being visible matters, it is always helpful to have an aspiring immortal around who can hear the holy invisibles and will help out when they need a favor. I just hope that when I become invisible I will know someone who can hear me too.


The deal I have with my Boss is that I have to write what He wants me to. If I do what He wants, and not what I want then He will learn to trust me and He will keep using me. Because I like this job so much, I do what I’m told. In fact, that seems to be the way our relationship works. I know He’s around when He asks me to do things, lots of different things I would never do on my own like giving people money I can’t afford, or being nice to someone I really don’t like when I’d much rather get even.

He knows me well enough to know two things about me. 1) I don’t like to be scared, and 2) I just want to write pleasantries. So He scares me and tells me to write this message. Thanks, Boss! Some kids like to be thrown into the deep end of a pool or they think it is fun to have their heads held below water. They actually come up laughing. Then they dry off and go to a scary movie. Geesh! Not me!

My name is Evangeline and that means “bearer of good news” only today I have bad news to tell you. I know I have to tell you this bad news because two things just happened to show me that. Maybe three. I think it started with going from place to worldly place which showed me to tell you how swiftly we can wake up to a completely different reality. Every minute in time is brand new. Time helps us get used to change. Then, there was the death of my dog that showed me how empty a future can be without a connection to God.

After Pepper died I tried to get used to life without her and settle into a new comfort zone when one morning, around 6:30 am I found myself at an airport literally being torn away from my loved ones. Off I went into the clear blue sky while they were left penniless and abandoned below. Is that what it will be like if I am lucky enough to meet Jesus in the air? Yikes! Ouch!

This event made me think that I was supposed to tell aspiring immortals that without notice (…. oh I really don’t want to write this) the end of the world will happen. Okay, there I’ve said it and now I feel like an old man with a long white beard wearing a filthy tunic and walking down Fifth Avenue shouting to anyone who would listen to repent because the end is near.

Boss, can’t we write about the joys of answered prayer or even about the subliminal language of music instead?

I tried hard to forget that message when the next day I opened the Good Book to where I left off and It said, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other one left.” Geesh!! How did He time this so well? When did He figure out that I was going to be thinking about this and then read that page in the Book that writes about it! And It said: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heavens with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with the great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another.” Then the Book goes on to advise aspiring immortals about what to expect with warnings to be ready. You can read more in Matthew Chapter 24.

Aspiring immortals and other mortals spend a lot of time trying to make a good future. We fantasize about how happy potential lovers could make us, or about beautifying homes, and when we want to get really serious we think about how one person would make a better president than the other. Some politicos actually fear and hate the opponent team because they imagine that the opponent will lead the world into destruction. Where do they think we’re going anyway, no matter which team wins? It is all about a future that we may not be preparing for at all. When I pack my bags, I want to make sure I know what season I am going to. I would hate to wake up in winter when I am really only prepared for summer.

Well, that’s about as scary as I can get. I said what I don’t at all want to say and that is that I think we must be reminded to be ready to flee from people we love, places we are adorning, and from the politics of our old countries. Be ready to be different. The good news is that we are going to something so much better… once we get used to it! The more we make ourselves aware of the reality of the moment we’re training for, the easier it will be, and the more likely we will make it through the catastrophe before the triumph.

Now, let’s talk about music, eh?

Peppermint and Praying

Peppermint Moon is dead. We stood around her as she lay with great dignity her black head held high, her eyes bright and calm. She didn’t even flinch when the man lifted her paw high and injected the lethal serum into her armpit. Her head simply descended slowly in Gabrielle’s cupped hand onto the pillow. I shut her eyes for the first time. We all cried.

By the high standards of an inspiring immortal: humility, forgiveness, trust, loyalty, absence of pride or arrogance Peppermint Moon may have been the holiest being I have ever known. I think she and her kind were put on this old earth to show us that it is possible to be good. If a being were only judged by these traits and nothing more then surely Peppermint would be an immortal. Because she lived at my feet whether I was sitting at my desk or walking from room to room. I often called her Miss Pepperrina Underfoot… right after tripping over her. I have often wondered if she lived in the moment so thoroughly that she forgot when I lost my temper with her, or did she want to be near me so much that it didn’t matter?

Since dogs seem naturally to make perfect companions why does God bother to try to tame humans? What more does one need than the character of a Labrador Retriever to be welcomed into the real world?

Dogs don’t pray.

I wonder if CS Lewis is right about meeting our favorite pets in heaven. But if they make it to heaven then what will become of them during the Great Judgment? Will they receive new bodies too and fly over to the new planet? No, I think precious Peppermint Moon and Fido and Sparky show us the difference between a very good mortal life and immortality.

The quality of our relationships to others shows God whether or not we are fit to live in a community where life never ends. To have a place with no war, one must populate it with peacemakers. That’s why personality and character matter so much. Yet, even good mortals can enjoy happy relationships. God wants even more from an immortal. He wants to be seen.

The difference between a perfect mortal, like Pepper, and an immortal is the vertical relationship. So many mortals are skeptical, critical and judgmental of God. It must be hard for Him to be pinned back to back with doubt. The vertical relationship between an aspiring immortal and the Creator is a key to the Kingdom. Immortals know that they are made in the image and likeness of a life that is much bigger, smarter, wiser, and more tolerant than anyone we could ever know.

That the aspiring immortal can communicate with the Father of mankind is the biggest honor in the world. Every successful aspiring immortal takes full advantage of this honor and speaks with Him frequently, and listens carefully for the response. When I want most to hear a response to a question, I have learned that I must know how to listen with my eyes too. Sometimes the answer comes in events and not in words.

It is too easy to make God in our image and likeness. That’s why He gave us the Good Book that starts with the Creation and ends with the Revelation and why He gave us the Law and why He gave us Houses of Worship where we can go to have our eyesight challenged and sharpened. God wants friends who love Him for Who He is, not for whom they want Him to be. Sometimes there’s a big difference. It is the job of all good aspiring immortals to find out if there is a difference in their own hearts between the real God and their fabrication of Him. It takes a lifetime on this old earth for an aspiring immortal to develop the perfect relationship with the King of Life.

Good bye Pepper; you are missed. Hello Boss, what do you want me to do today?