NOMADLAND (2020)

Nomadland (2020) - Filmaffinity

(a “not Home Sweet Home….yet” film review by Timothy J. Verret)

NOMADLAND can be a real “life game changer” if one is looking to change their life for the better. Can I get an “Amen” if this is you? It’s certainly me and it’s certainly needed, and I certainly thank God this film helped me to see that. Some films just change us like that, and they are usually those quiet films, those lyrical films, those poetic films like this film that are of few words but of massive soul. These films serve us our own grief and loss and what we have lost but what we have found. They are the pinnacles of soul-searching and heart-longing simply because we are “not Home Sweet Home….yet.”

It was the main character, Fern, who delivered the line that started this whole “not Home Sweet Home….yet” film review, when she stated to another character, “I’m not homeless….I’m ‘house’less.” It got me thinking we are ALL homeless and we are ALL ‘house’less because this earth is NOT our Home nor our ‘House.’ We’re down here, no doubt (just look around you), but we’re “not Home Sweet Home….yet.” Fern is “not Home Sweet Home….yet” because she is not at “home sweet home” with her grief and loss over her departed husband (did he depart to “Home Sweet Home?”), a man she clearly loved whether in a sweet home or a sweet house or whether neither in BOTH. Fern speaks (but rarely) of a clarity that is her “nomadness,” which is a clarity of coming to terms through the tears (or lack thereof). Speaking of “tears,” you would not have wanted to be with me for the last 30 minutes or so of this film, wherein I was a blubbering mess and completely inconsolable. Films like this of such spiritual heights and depths and everywhere in between do this to me. They rip my heart out because the characters have had their hearts ripped out. Empaths like myself know all about this. We just don’t shed tears to shed tears; we shed tears because we know EXACTLY how it feels whatever everyone is feeling, especially when it comes to love, pain, beauty and sorrow (look up an empath Enneagram 4, and you’ll see exactly what I mean and who I am and why I am). I don’t necessarily wear all of this as a badge of honor. I simply wear all of this because I simply have no other choice.

Fern made choices when she went out looking for “Home Sweet Home”….or did she? Did she make the choices or did the choices make her? Interesting….and I would love to go into more detail about that one, but I am not looking to write a film review as all-encompassing and all-1,225 words as the novel, WAR AND PEACE. What I am looking to go into more detail about is Frances McDormand’s performance as Fern. There are just some actors who are so authentic in their portrayals that they don’t have to say a word for us to know everything that is going on inside of them. McDormand is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and flat-out “poetry in motion” in her portrayal of Fern. I kid you not that McDormand does something truly spectacular here, i.e., she tells all our stories of what it feels like to have gone through a grief and loss that shatters us everything and relocates us everything, leaving us to live simply “all motion with no motivation.” One can become like a robot in this kind of grief and loss. One can get SOOOO NUMB that there really is nothing else left in life but SOOOO NUMB! I know THAT SOOOO NUMB, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I do wish I could speak to McDormand to tell her how much I appreciated her “fearfully and wonderfully made” bravery and spiritual immersion in her portrayal of Fern, but she doesn’t need to hear that from me. She already heard it this year when she won a well-deserved Oscar as Best Actress. McDormand won not only because it was well-deserved but also because it was well-Divined what she accomplished in this film. That’s right! A Divined performance, the stuff that Divined (and Oscar) dreams are made of! šŸ‘

So, why are we ALL nomads? Why are we ALL “not Home Sweet Home….yet?” Once again, I could go into great detail about why that is, but your “Home Sweet Home” might not look like the one I’m looking for as a nomad down here on earth. Maybe you already ARE “Home Sweet Home….yet?” Who am I of yet to tell you otherwise? I just know I am “not Home Sweet Home….yet” and why I experience such deep pangs of loneliness and grief and loss, same as Fern. And I could come up with one clever reasoning after another why this is all true for me but NOT MY word….the Word of God:

“For this world is NOT our permanent home; we are looking forward to a Home yet to come” (Hebrews 13:14).

I tried my darndest to find my favorite scene in NOMADLAND when a lovely character named Swankie sent Fern a video of many sparrows flying from their nests. It was a beautiful scene with the most tender and yet the most thrilling music played throughout. I found this particular scene to be the heart of this film because we all have to leave our nests eventually to truly fly. Even in the most unbearable grief and loss, we still need to eventually and truly fly. We’ll know we’re ready to fly when it’s time, but it may only be time when it’s finally time to fly “Home Sweet Home.” And don’t think for one second I’m not going to go all Bible on you when it comes to any notion of sparrows:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Fatherā€™s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.Ā So donā€™t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).

And just as a side note, just because we as humans are worth more than many sparrows does NOT mean sparrows are not worth “many” to God. God knows the very hairs (or feathers) on their head, as well. Just ask Swankie!šŸ˜‰

“See you down the road” became an anthem in NOMADLAND about when we get “Home Sweet Home.” This Home would not be Sweet at all if who and what we have lost down here on earth, we were never again to “see you down the road.” I already know I will, although many Christians would not agree with me in the least on who and what I want to see. That is my fur kids! One such Christian comes to mind who was a pastor in a church who told the entire congregation that we would not see our pets when we get “Home Sweet Home.” It took everything out of me not to stand up in that church and start a riot! What I know without a shadow of a doubt is that I WILL see my departed pets and the ones I have now who might leave me before I leave them when I get “Home Sweet Home.” I’ll be “fearfully and wonderfully” looking forward to that day, you can be sure, and I know you will, too, when who and what you have lost down here on earth will “see you down the road.”

But I and Fern (and you?) are “not Home Sweet Home….yet.”

AMEN….BEGIN AGAIN

“Father God, thank You that we can Amen….begin again anytime planned and whenever sought. We seek His Face, the Face of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, before we venture forth. We already know before we Amen….begin again that ‘For I know the plansĀ I have for you,’ declares theĀ Lord, ‘plans to prosperĀ you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11). We can rest assured that it’s never too late to Amen….begin again and it’s never too hopeless when we Amen….begin again. On a more personal note, Father God, as an Enneagram 4, I know You know that I don’t mind being 4th in Your Direction for my Spirit-lived life. Being 4th suits me, oh indeed it does, just oh so very fine! Lol! And on an even more personal note, thank You, Father God, for bringing me to The Least of These Animal Sanctuary this morning. I didn’t even know they existed before this morning, and I hope all will visit their FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/leastofthesesanctuary/) to LIKE their page and donate to assist them in their mission. Their mission statement is ‘a focus on senior and special needs’ animals, to provide a safe, comfortable and secure environment in which the animals can thrive and live out the rest of their days.’ God bless them for taking such good care of the wee, the least of these, that are Your nonhuman animals that You, Father God, desire us to take such good care of, as well. I pray all of this in the Wonderful and Precious and Amen….Begin Again Name of Jesus Christ, and this prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help me, Father God, where my faith and my belief are lacking. Amen….begin again!”

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in having my booth up and running for the wee, the least of these, for the Above, this daily leavened [Jesus Begins Again!] bread.”)

You can begin again anytime planned.

What God has planned is your future and hope.

Amen….begin again your heart in hand.

Give your heart away to who cannot cope.

I can begin again whenever sought.

I seek His Face before I venture forth.

Amen….begin again Light of this thought:

God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and me 4th.

“Amen….begin again and begin ME,”

says Jesus. “Of ME, begin again Love.

Set up a booth to bring to you the wee,

the least of these, that of ME, you Above.”

Men, women, animals, all for Amen.

Never too late Amen….begin again.

picture found at: https://www.facebook.com/leastofthesesanctuary/

BREAKDOWNS TO BREAKTHROUGHS

“Father God, thank You that you take us from breakdowns to breakthroughs as only You can. We go from confuse to enthuse when we allow Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, to be the One who is our Highest Cheer. We are cheered on by You and Jesus when we can say, ‘I thought I knew,’ when we can be weak and meek, and we can accept the Renew. We need to cry tears of oceans, ‘know emotions,’ and allow Jesus to ‘wipe away every tear from their eyes‘ (Revelation 21:4). On a more personal note, I had a SEVERE breakdown yesterday that became a SEVERE breakthrough. What was this SEVERE breakdown? That I was NOT essential! What was this SEVERE breakthrough? That all of us are ONLY essential through God’s Eyes. Thank you to my therapist, Mark, for helping me see this kind of SEVERITY. Speaking of “meek,” did you know that in the Vietnamese culture, a human and a buffalo have very strong and close bonds because they have the same characteristics? The buffalo is meek, hard-working; and he or she also has to work hard all day like peasants. The buffalo is honest, simple-minded, and usually disadvantaged. The buffalo is also strong, firm, good at fighting, and he or she is not easily bullied. Don’t know about you but given all that, please Father God, let me be a buffalo TODAY!!!! LOL! I pray all of this in the Wonderful and Precious and Highest Cheer Name of Jesus Christ, and this prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help me, Father God, where my faith and my belief are lacking. Amen.”

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in maintaining my breakdown to my breakthrough from yesterday this daily leavened [Jesus Cheers!] bread.”)

It will be your breakdown to your breakthrough.

It will be when you shed tears of oceans.

It will be when you say, “I thought I knew.”

It will be when God says, “Know emotions.”

It will be my breakdown to my breakthrough.

It will be when I confess that I’m weak.

It will be when I say, “I need Renew.”

It will be when God says, “I love My meek.”

“I was there, Timothy, at your breakdown,”

says Jesus. “Yesterday, I was your tears.

I broke you through to Me in your meltdown.

I was the One who was your Highest Cheer!”

Who else but God from confuse to enthuse?

All else is God from breakdowns to breakthroughs.

picture at: https://cdn.vnexplorer.net/img/2021/2/11/4a6a747f8c03fdf0fd7689eba1eba685.jpg

GREAT PAIN? GREAT PEACE!

“Dearest Timothy, there is NOT ANYTHING you are that deserves this Great Pain. It’s because you are in this Great Pain that I give you some Great Peace! I know that when you ‘bleed,’ it hurts! I know this! I know This is because you have My Heart! I know This is because you seek Me out no holds barred! There is not one single piece by piece of Great Pain that I will not ‘Grace’ you to Great Peace! Accept My Peace NOW, Timothy, for I have OVERCOME ALL! My Love Letter to you today, this daily leavened bread, in this Great Pain to This Great Peace is John 16:33! You know This, Timothy! ā€œThese things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.ā€ And you’re right, Timothy! ‘No man of human crew can give you the Great Peace I give to you.’ Accept My Great Peace NOW, for I LOVE YOU always and forever more and to the very end of the age. You NOW have My Great Peace for your Great Pain. My Love and Blessings to you always, Timothy, forever more and to the very end of the age. From BOTH God’s Son AND your Savior for OUR Increase, Jesus.”

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in going from Great Pain to some Great Peace that ONLY Jesus Christ can give me this daily leavened [Jesus Increases!] bread.”)

You got Great Pain? You can “got” some Great Peace!

The world and others cannot give you This.

When you are attached to all things, release

all things that pain you for some God’s Soul Kiss.

I got Great Pain? Indeed I mostly do.

I need Great Peace? Indeed I mostly need.

Will it come from a man of human crew?

It will Come from Jesus when I am “bleed.”

“You’re right, Timothy! I have your Great Peace!”

shouts Jesus. “Yes, I have OVERCOME ALL!

No man but Me can ‘Grace’ you piece by piece.

Only I can ‘Grace’ you from pain to pall.”

In AND of (BOTH) this world, we will decrease.

BOTH Increase God AND He. Great Pain? Great Peace!

“WHAT LOVE NO MATTER WHAT!!!!”

“Father God, thank You that, ‘What Love no matter what!!!!’ What Love You displayed when You sent us Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. They can say, ‘What a nut!!!!’ We can say, ‘What Love no matter what!!!!’ Without Love, what are we? If Your Word is Truth, and we believe it is, ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am becomeĀ asĀ sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.Ā And though I haveĀ the gift ofĀ prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing.Ā And though I bestow all my goods to feedĀ the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing.’ (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). So, without Love, we are NOISE and we have NOTHING!!!! It’s in the NOTHING that we have EVERYTHING that is Your Love, Father God. And, yet, we often think the worldly opposite. OF the world, we think if we have EVERYTHING, we have EVERYTHING. IN the world, what we have of EVERYTHING is NOTHING without Your Love, Father God. On a more personal note, the film, THE DANISH GIRL, is my #4 all-time favorite film, and this line that Lily delivers right before her death breaks me down into ‘panting and ranting’ sobs: ‘How have I ever deserved such love?’ I think it breaks me down into ‘panting and ranting’ sobs because, ‘How have I, Timothy, ever deserved such love?’ Father God, I know I really don’t deserve ‘such love’ that is Your Love, but You give It to me anyway, even when I don’t feel It, ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel It. Help me, Father God, feel ‘such Love’ that is Your Love and feel I deserve It TODAY, this daily leavened bread. I often push ‘such Love’ away from others; let me pull ‘such Love’ toward me from others through Jesus Christ. I pray all of this in the Wonderful and Precious and Fully Name of Jesus Christ, and this prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help me, Father God, where my faith and my belief are lacking. Amen.”

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in no matter what, ‘such love’ that is Father God’s Love through His Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ, this daily leavened [Jesus Lovely!] bread.”)

No matter what, love you to the last breath.

No matter what, hope in a planned rescue.

Even in a panic or sudden death,

no matter what, God will deliver you.

No matter what, I’ll love me when they can’t.

No matter what, I won’t give up on me.

Even if I forever pant and rant,

God is my “Forever Love Rhapsody.”

“You’re right, Timothy! No matter what, ME!”

says Jesus. “No matter them, I’m Lovely.

Don’t push them away for fear of empty.

Pull them toward you through Me for Fully.”

It’s that we’re afraid they’ll say, “What a nut!!!!”

It’s that we say, “What Love no matter what!!!!”

picture at: https://cf-s3.petcoach.co/question_photo_editorial_thumb/uploads/questions/168320/images/1561481325-dog-panting-question.jpg

NOTE: I never like it when I have to give away a film’s ending, but I couldn’t resist posting THE DANISH GIRL ending (get out your handkerchief because there will be some MAJOR “panting and ranting” sobs): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6UuJkB0LgQ

THE LAST PAGE

“Father God, thank You that for our last page, it will read LOVE. Our hearts know this, even if our minds run wild as in a squirrel cage. The Last Page of the Bible reads that Jesus says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly’ (Revelation 22:20). Speaking of ‘quickly,’ let none of us turn quickly to that last page, only to find that we were at our worst with ‘made love.’ Let none of us turn quickly to that last page, only to find that the lives we lived have been masquerade, that we lived self-centered and we lived deceived. ‘Did we give more than we receive?’ Let it be ‘YES!” Yes, Father God, for there was no Better Way to ‘give than to receive’ than You giving us Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We receive Jesus Christ!!!! On a more personal note, as an Enneagram 4, 4’s are often called ‘The Romantic.’ When it comes to romance, this is what I quickly dream about. All my life, I have been waiting for that special someone to meet my every want, need, hope, and dream. Maybe this is why I ‘fled to be dead’ so many times. I did not expect that Jesus would be the special someone I’ve been waiting for all my life (though He did not come quickly). As ‘The Romantic,’ I yearn to be hugged, held and, yes, loved. My special someone is that Special Someone I’ve waited for all my life and met: JESUS! Though He came not quickly, He came better late than never! Your nonhuman animals, Father God, yearn quickly to be hugged, held and, yes, loved, same as Your humans. ‘The Romantic’ and the romance (BOTH) is for BOTH! I pray all of this in the Wonderful and Precious and Quick Name of Jesus Christ, and this prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help me, Father God, where my faith and my belief are lacking. Amen.”

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in that Last Page of Revelation that reads Jesus is coming quickly, for how much longer can I hold ‘out and in’ [BOTH] this daily leavened [Jesus Quickly Comes!] bread?”)

It will be the last page you turn to first.

It will read for you that it’s love you made.

Will it read that “made love,” you at your worst?

Pray that the last page not your masquerade.

It will be the last page I’m remembered.

It will read, “Did I give more than receive?”

The last word of my last page? Self-centered?

The first word of my first page? Undeceive!

“You keep it real, Timothy! You keep Me!”

says Jesus. “Your last page will read you stayed.

Even when you ‘fled to be dead,’ I flee

never from first page to last page you prayed.”

Our minds may run wild as in a squirrel cage.

Our hearts always read LOVE on the last page.

picture at: https://www.acdrivesguide.com/images/squirrelcage.jpg

L.R.S.G.

“Father God, thank You that we all got L.R.S.G. We Let go, Relax, be Still, and know that You are God (Psalm 46:10). When we Let go, we got God. When we Relax, we got God. When we be Still, we got God. When we ‘God,’ we got God. But don’t let us ever play God, Father God. That is Your Role in our little lives. We are simply counted as the sheep of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. If we want to know how to be a sheep of Jesus and have Jesus be our Shepherd, all we have to do is open up Your Word, the Bible, and read Psalm 23. There are green pastures to lie down in and Still waters to be led beside when we shall not want for anything but our Shepherd, Jesus! On a more personal note, Father God, thank You that my Shepherd, Jesus, is proud of me and commends me. I know it’s not for anything I’ve done but for everything He has done for me. “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:19-20). I often enough try to get others to be proud of me and commend me, but it’s utterly fruitless to try to get this; I already got it because of what You did, Father God, when you sent me (and all of us) Your Only Son, Jesus Christ. That’s PERFECT LOVE! And let us access Your PERFECT LOVE, Father God, to “perfect” It toward BOTH Your humans AND nonhuman animals (not just sheep but, yes, sheep most definitely included). I pray all of this in the Wonderful and Precious and L.R.S.G. Name of Jesus Christ, and this prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help me, Father God, where my faith and my belief are lacking. Amen.”

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in L.R.S.G. for God’s Glee this daily leavened [Jesus Commends!] bread.”)

Let go: What you got, give it to His Name.

Relax: What you worry, give it recess.

be Still: What you hurry, give it all tame.

GOD: What you control, give it powerless.

Let go: What I hold onto, I detach.

Relax: What I stress, I breathe it all deep.

be Still: What I chaos, I escape hatch.

GOD: What I try to play, I count as sheep.

L.R.S.G. You got It! You got Me!”

says Jesus. “L.R.S.G. from My friend.

There is a sheep I know named Timothy.

Proud of that sheep! I speak of him commend.”

Let go, Relax, be Still, and know GOD‘s Glee.

Be a sheep of Jesus: L.R.S.G.

picture at: https://images.saymedia-content.com/.image/ar_4:3%2Cc_fill%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_auto:good%2Cw_1200/MTc0NDc2MjYyMjMwNzMwMzc0/sheep-names.png

a lot of NOT we got

Thank You, Father God, that a lot of NOT we got is a lot of NOT anything we deserve. ‘Given the sinnin’,’ we deserve death. Because of Your Son and Our Savior, Jesus Christ, we got a lot of ‘NOT Harm’ and a lot of ‘His Disarm.’ If we stone others under the Name of Divine, the same stones are thrown back at us, for ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?(Matthew 7:3). We think we mean well by stoning others but it’s just flat-out mean! On a more personal note, Father God, I get downright speechless, which is not typical for me, when I feel I am being stoned by others. I want to hide out, protect myself, avoid the hurt at all costs! Thank You, Father God, that you give me Psalm 91! ‘Secret places, refuge and fortress, feathers and wings,’ are just what I need when I feel I am being stoned by others. And speaking of ‘feathers and wings,’ Your nonhuman animals, Father God, were never meant to be caged, poked and prodded, misused and abused, for they got a lot of NOT GUILTY! They have done NOThing wrong to deserve this harm. ‘The Spirit of the LordĀ GodĀ is upon Me, because theĀ LordĀ hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Isaiah 61:1). Help me, Father God, open up every prison cage door to free Your nonhuman animal captives! I pray all of this in the Wonderful and Precious and ‘NOT Harm’ Name of Jesus Christ, and this prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help me, Father God, where my faith and my belief are lacking. Amen.’

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in a lot of NOT I got that I deserve this daily leavened [Jesus Breathes!] bread.”)

You have NOT got a lot of what’s “deserve.”

You are let off the hook when “sin is in.”

A lot of what you got is One subserve.

Jesus helps you when a lot you got “when.”

I have NOT got a lot of what’s my fate.

“Given the sinnin’,” got a lot of death.

One loves me a lot: “NOT you I create.”

One breathes me a lot: “NOT you of My Breath.”

“NOT a lot I wouldn’t do, for you’re Mine,”

says Jesus. “I got a lot of ‘NOT Harm.’

They can stone you in the Name of Divine.

I stone you NOT; you’re a lot ‘My Disarm.'”

When it comes to our sin, a lot we blot.

We’re guilty? It’s a lot of NOT we got.

picture at: https://i.natgeofe.com/n/55f2357e-3042-4392-bbc1-a964099c0f77/59860.jpg?w=636&h=477

NOT TOO HIGHLY, ALWAYS ENOUGH

“Father God, thank You for letting us be not too highly, always enough. Highly belongs to Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Enough belongs to us. Thank You for the inspiration for this sonnet, Father God, when I read Your Word, “For I say,Ā through the Grace given to me, to everyone who is among you,Ā not to thinkĀ of himselfĀ more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealtĀ to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). Interesting the word, “soberly,” in that verse, for I spent a large majority of my life NOT sober. But look what You did, God! I’m sober NOW and I’ll be sober FOREVER for Homestretch by the Grace of God! And a sobering thought is it when we realize it was by Your Grace, Father God, and the measure of faith afforded to each individual by You that saved a wretch like me….and us. And a sobering thought is it when we ditch being right and being tough (ego) and put on The Armor of Jesus (Spirit) by Being Blessed and Being Bright. Shine our Armor, Father God, for the battle is on and the Victory is Yours! That chimp in the picture is doing what BOTH humans AND nonhuman animals do. They BOTH look up and they BOTH praise Your Name, Father God. “Let every creature praise His Holy Name for ever and ever” (Psalm 145:21). EVERY creature, as in BOTH humans AND nonhuman animals, looks up to praise You but not too highly, for BOTH always enough! I pray all of this in the Wonderful and Precious and Homestretch Name of Jesus Christ, and this prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help me, Father God, where my faith and my belief are lacking. Amen.”

(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in me God-given enough and enough my God-given gifts and talents for God’s Too-Highly Glory this daily leavened [Jesus is Right!] bread.”)

The lesson is to not think yourself “too,”

not “too” much of yourself above the rest.

Who you are as enough will have to do.

Enough your gifts and talents for God best.

My lesson is to not think about me,

to think about God’s Grace that saved me, wretch.

I was enough to be one thought worthy.

I am enough to be one for Homestretch.

“You’re right! Not too highly, always enough,”

says Jesus. “But I want you blessed, not right.

Ego always says, ‘be right and be tough.’

Spirit always says, ‘Be Blessed and Be Bright.'”

Puffing ourselves up (ego) is “handcuff.”

“Hands free!” Not too highly, always enough.

picture at: https://c4.wallpaperflare.com/wallpaper/836/925/273/looking-up-face-animals-apes-wallpaper-preview.jpg

AUTHENTIC

(AUTHENTIC, a painting by Timothy J. Verret)

When I was led to do a painting on the word, “authentic,” I knew it would be no problem for me. I thought the painting might be one of much complexity but, as you can see, it turned out to be one of much simplicity. And that is a great notion for how the word, “authentic,” shows up in my life on and off the canvas.

It might have a lot to do with being an Enneagram 4 that being authentic is so important to me. I want to be as authentic as possible with others, and I only ask for the same from them. What does that look like? It’s me telling you exactly what I am feeling and exactly what I am struggling with and hoping for. It’s you telling me exactly the same things. Why is this so hard for most of us? We don’t really want people to know what we are really going through. We think they will judge us accordingly. We think they won’t understand. We think what we are going through is something they haven’t gone through or are currently going through. And all of that is, of course, a lie! They probably won’t judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves (and if they do judge us, then that’s on them!). They probably will understand (and if they don’t understand, that’s on them!). They probably are going through the same thing or, at the very least, have gone through the same thing we are going through (and if they have or haven’t, that’s on them!). And, yes, that they and us probably won’t, will, or go, is all ego!

The painting, AUTHENTIC, for me, is the light at the end of the tunnel. So many of my paintings have this circular style to them where it’s apparent that I’m walking through a current journey where there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Since being authentic is so important to me, I do not think this journey is going to be very long to get to the light at the end of this tunnel. It will be my authenticity that I’m already aware of and accepting that IS the light ALREADY of the tunnel. And I love tunnels because there is usually, not always, a way out. There is a light that shines when we are in our tunnels that will require us “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We can see the light but, more importantly, we can feel the light by our faith. It’s our faith that we indeed will come out the other end of each tunnel we journey through, and it will be Light and it will be Bright!

I invite you to join me today in being authentic. I know that viscous inner critic in you will tell you to hide instead of being authentic, but please know that it is a lie being told to all of us. The lie is NOT Light and Bright but rather dark and dull. There is nothing wrong at all with being authentic. There is nothing wrong with knowing that when we are authentic, we are Home in our very selves. And we have kissed the ego “goodbye” and kissed and embraced the Spirit at “hello.” If you think they will judge you for being authentic, they won’t (and if they do, that’s on them!). If you think they won’t understand, they will (and if they don’t, that’s on them!). And if you think they have not gone through what you are walking through, they have gone through and/or currently going through (and if they’re not, that’s on them!). Without the Grace of God, there is no authenticity to be had. There is only judgement, misunderstanding, and loneliness. But with God’s Grace, there is freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of togetherness in the face of loneliness. There might even be a shared-tunnel journey if that is called for. I know I walk each and every tunnel alone, but is that my choosing? Given the huge introvert I am, probably so. But I can choose to not go it alone. Might you join me today?

As I sit here typing this blog post, I am struggling with my always strongest desire to always be authentic. My eyes are looking straight ahead, and I see trees and leaves swaying and straying in the quiet wind, I see Groucho my cat sleeping, I see my neighbor’s dog, Frankie, munching on a peanut butter bone treat, but I do not see my dog, Blue, or my other cat, Conrad. I’m authentic enough to know that what I cannot see does not mean it’s not there. Oops! Blue just came walking in through the open porch door. See! Just because I couldn’t see Blue when I was typing didn’t mean he wouldn’t show up out of the blue, out of the Light and the Bright. Conrad hasn’t shown up yet but if I know Conrad like I think I know Conrad, he keeps everything in simplicity rather than complexity. Conrad is around, waiting to show up out of the blue, into the Light and the Bright, when he is darn ready! That cat has taught me so much about the simplicity in authenticity. When Conrad wants something, he lets me know and when he doesn’t want something, he lets me know that, too. He’s not like me, 24/7 love and attention (note to Blue, too), but rather he’s here when I need him and not here when he doesn’t need anything from me or anyone. Conrad is who I hope to be one day, i.e., BOTH introvert AND extrovert but ALWAYS simplicity AND authenticity (BOTH)!

What Conrad and I are together (BOTH) and what you and I are together (BOTH), BOTH are ALWAYS “for we walk by AUTHENTIC and Light and Bright (BOTH) faith, not by dark and dull (BOTH) sight.”

Love and blessings and authenticity ALWAYS,

Timothy J. Verret