Monday, March 30, 2009

Imagine for a minute

"Imagine for a minute" were the words that caught my attention as I sat in the very last pew of our old country church. Above the ruckus of my one and four year olds I somehow caught what Jerry was saying to his congregation. Most times sitting in the way back, wrestling with the two little ones, I seem to miss most of the message. But today I was sucked in, if you will, and I managed to be consumed by his words.

"Imagine for a minute" he started.

"Imagine that next week you will be arrested." What? I haven't done anything wrong, certainly not of the caliber that would require the law to be involved and surely nothing that would require being arrested.

"Imagine that you are given a mock trial" I know for a fact that I haven't done anything wrong but then to have to go through a trial where I have no chance is ridiculous. That doesn't really happen. Or does it? I see it on TV how people are persecuted for things they haven't done but that is just TV, right?

"Now imagine that you are found guilty in this trial and walked through the streets to be humiliated and beaten" Again I tell you, I haven't done anything wrong!! Why are these people so angry? What have I done that was so bad? This is not justice. This is not how we are supposed to treat each other. Why do they want to hurt me and poke fun at me?

"Again imagine that you are put on public display, for all to see" By put on display you mean hang posters up and broadcast it on the news right? No? You mean nailed to a cross through my hands and feet and left there for people to come and spit insults and rage at? But why?

"Imagine calling out to your father for help and asking 'Why have you forsaken me?' and having those present mock you" I just want help. I don't understand why this is happening and why I have to endure all of this. No one should have to go through all of this pain and humiliation. Why are these people so angry?

"Imagine knowing that you will go through great pain. You will die and no one will try to save you" I have friends that will help, right? I have family that will stand up for me right? I hope. I am sure they would, wouldn't they?

I am sure you have already "imagined" who all of this is about. It seems so unfair. So ridiculous and beyond any realm of our reality. It seems almost too inhumane to be true.

But it is true. It is the story of all stories. It is the reason we are here and the reason we celebrate our faith.

Imagine what had to happen for you to be able to live how you do and be who you are! It's a pretty incredible story.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update on Larry P.

A few weeks ago I posted some ramblings about my father Larry Peters. You can scroll down a little bit if you need a refresher.
My dad passed away suddenly when I was eight. It was not until my teens that I finally realized the magnitude of the event and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sitting in my room and it smacked me in the face. At that moment, despite having a great life and wonderful parents, I made the connection of not being able to ever see or hear my dad again.
I mentioned in the post that I don't have any video or him or a recording of his voice. I don't remember at all what he sounds like and other than some pictures I even sometimes forget his face. Which does bother me at times, a lot.
I have heard from people that have lost loved ones in the past that they have been "visited" or had "signs" of their loved one show up. Mostly in dreams and some with rare occurences while awake even. I have been skeptical. I have also been jealous. Since his passing I can't remember a dream like those or a "visit" in which he was present.
That is...until now.
Just a few days after writing the post about my dad I had a dream, visit or whatever you want to call it. I am no more skeptical. I am no more jealous, other than I want another chance.
So here is the skinny on what took place. Sometime between me falling asleep and waking up I was magically whisked back in time to my moms kitchen.
104 N. Main, Inwood, Iowa.
It was a small kitchen. Old wallpaper. Old countertops. And same old kitchen table. There were a whole bunch of people just sitting around chatting, I can't tell you who all of them were. I am not sure they were even family. Everything was just like it was in 1988 when he passed away.
Except for two things. I was just as I appear today and I was holding Isaiah. Mikah didn't seem to be there, or at least I don't remember him being there.
After a little while, as we were all eating and conversing, he arrived. My dad walked and sat down at a folding table. It took me a minute to realize what was happening. But as I looked up and noticed him I could tell that he had been staring at me for quite a while and he had a huge smile on his face. I walked quickly over to him and we embraced. We hugged for what seemed like a long time and I cried. I was happy, sad and everything in between. I couldn't let him go, I wouldn't. But he had something else he wanted to do. He wanted to meet Isaiah. I introduced him to Isaiah and he had the biggest smile I have seen on his face. I could tell he was proud and excited to be there with us.
And that was it. It was over as quickly as it had started.

It was worth it.

I needed it.

It was incredible.

For me, I needed to see my dad. I needed to hold him and I needed to see him smile in approval. In my mind and heart I have always believed that he was proud of me and that he was having a good time watching me grow, but this was a way to justify all of those feelings.
He met my son. The 4 year old that I asked everyday, sometimes hundreds of times a day to watch over and to protect as he was hospitalized this last fall. I can't explain how awesome it felt to have him meet Isaiah and for me to know that he actually was there with us while we fought for Isaiah's life. Wonderful.
It may have been a dream. It may have been real.
All I know is that it was Terrific. It was perfect. It all came at the best possible time.
Believe it!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Take the Plunge!!

For the next month I will be preparing my body and mind for total shut down. On April 18 I will dress in my 1980's apparel and head to a small dock on the side of the Big Sioux River. I will be joined there by thousands, maybe even hundreds of people. (sarcasm noted) I will wait my turn and when my name is called, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Marty McFly", I will walk to the end of the dock and peer into the cold and murky water.

One last big, deep breath will enter my lungs and my body will fling itself into the frigid water. The air will immediately be sucked from my chest. Every nerve in my body will spasm and every muscle will flex. The flowing water will push me downstream where a firefighter will quickly grab onto my frozen, disoriented body and try to guide me up a ramp onto solid ground.

This is not the first time I have taken the "Polar Plunge" and it certainly will not be the last time.

For the past 4 years, a group of teachers and friends of mine have gathered to enjoy this incredible event. It is not the water that draws us. It is not the many adoring fans. It is not the trophy for best costumes, that we have won every year, that brings us to the river.

It is simply the act of giving that keeps us wanting more.

The Polar Plunge is a fundraiser for the South Dakota Special Olympics. A great organization and a great event.

Each jumper is asked to raise at least $100 to be able to participate in the jump. Most people raise much more. $100 is a cake walk once you start asking people with big hearts. All of the money collected goes straight to the Special Olympics. It is incredible.

The act of jumping into the icy cold water is just the icing on the cake.

The real enjoyment is to be able to provide the Special Olympiads with a way to compete and the funding to keep them going. Several of the athletes even join us in our journey to the river.
These athletes are the ones that don't typically get their names on television or a pep rally when they are headed to a big game. They aren't recognized all over that state for being a champion and they most certainly don't get the hype that they deserve.

But on this day they are the "Champions". They are the Winners. They are recognized for their skills, effort and abilities. They are the true "Athletes" in our world. Always willing to help one another. Never worried about the end result or what the score was. Forever happy to be able to participate and be a part of the team. How awesome is that.
Can you imagine just being happy to be a part of the team?

Well you are!!

You can be!!

We are all on the same team!!

So if you aren't busy on April 18, come out and see the Polar Plunge and support the Athletes. If you don't live near our Plunge, find one of your own. Get a full body shock and help out a great group of people.

Take the Plunge!! (anyway you can)