Reflections – Through a Glass Darkly by Paula Rose Michelson

We have begun a great journey together you and me! Along the way, we might learn from each other and in that learning become aware of a greater landscape than the one we know. During that time, we may reflect and wonder why some make the choices they do. Whether we reflect on something, we or someone else has done or not done, personal reflection moves us from darkness to light. From where we are to where we are going. Since all of us are on a journey, sharing our experiences can enrich the lives of those who pay attention and maybe help some stay the course they have chosen.


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When I opened Casa de Naomi Reflections, I invited everyone I knew on Face Book, and Twitter to visit and join. Therefore, I was surprised that none of my friends had sent me any comments. Taking matters into my own hands, I emailed some of my mishpukah (extended family) asking for their assistance. One lady told me the questions I had posted were to superficial. Another felt that answering the quires would be to revealing. Yet four stalwart friends responded. Their cherished answers appear below.


Before you read them, I believe I owe you an apology for I assumed that those following this blog knew each other and me. However, after reviewing each person following this blog, I discovered that only three of you know me. When I realized that I had not created a Safe Haven in which we could share, I decided that next week I will tell you something about me and I hope that you will let everyone get to know you the following week by sharing something about you as well. Also, just to finish the tidying up – as it were, since I now write two blogs, I will be posting to my Casa de Naomi Reflections Blog on Wednesdays.


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Before you read the responses, I need to mention that they are grouped by question rather than respondent and since some seemed to be concerned with keeping private things private, I will share the initials of everyone who sent a response before you read their comments, thus preserving anonymity for all.


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I want to thank T.C., A.O., K.F., and N.U. for their thoughtful comments. Since this is an interactive blog, I invite you to send me your thoughts, which I will post, after you have perused this article.


Text: Naomi knew she was in trouble the moment the immigration official had told her, he was taking her to Ellis Island.


Question: When have you been in trouble?

Answers:

• I can get into trouble by just opening my mouth at the wrong time.

• I have gotten in trouble at work, at school, in social or religious settings.



Question: Did you create the problem or was it foisted upon you?

Answers:

• Most of the time I get myself into messes, but sometimes I did follow the wrong crowd.

• Sometimes I helped create the problem without realizing it because I did not understand the personality conflicts or the situation (I did not have all the data). Sometimes they were foisted upon me; this is why I do not believe the Human Race is truly “good” but in need of the Messiach (Christ) because I have learned about the hearts of people and my own.


Question: Did someone help you?

Answers:

• Yes, the Lord has always sent me the wisdom to know whom I should trust, and given me the ability to trust them. I was blessed to have a faith that would give me wisdom to also stay out of trouble, but growing up I always had to test the waters.

• Most of the time no one helped me, except for the one rare occasion when I was homeless and my “second mother” helped me.


Question: If you received help, did the person expect something in return?

Answers:

• Upon occasion the help offered from others had a price or expectation, but not from my “second mother.” She told me to “pay it forward” so to speak.

• No, I only had to get back on the path and do my best to stay on the path. I would also try to help others by sharing my experiences and maybe helping someone to stay out of trouble.


Text: She remembered leaving her family in the middle of the night without an explanation or a good-bye and tears threatened to fall.


Question: Have you ever left family or friends without telling them why?

Answers:

• Yes, they did not care where I was or what I was doing, even when a car hit me.

• I ran away from home, which lasted only a few hours because as a mother I had too many responsibilities, and believed that no one would make a meal or tuck my kids in at night.


Question: Have you ever felt trapped?

Answers:

• Many, many, many, times.

• Don’t all children feel trapped at times?


Question: Did you find yourself wishing for the problem to disappear?

Answers:

• You betcha!

• Prayed that the problem would disappear, or I would.


Question: Were you able to handle the situation as it unfolded?

Answers:

• Sometimes: I had to learn how to survive, sometimes that was not a job done well. I have learned a lot in adversity.

• It is hard to handle a situation when blame for anything bad is laid at your feet.



Text: Naomi gasped. Maybe God is watching out for me after all!


Question: When troubles come your way, do you engage in wishful thinking?

Answers:

• All the time, but I soon realized there was no hope and no change (in the past).

• Sometimes wishful thinking helps me let go and allow God to take His rightful position in my life. Unless I can acknowledge what my heart wishes for I cannot lay those wishes at the throne of grace.



Question: Do you believe that behavior is neither good nor bad?

Answers:

• Nope, behavior matters, it must be as per scripture.

• I never have considered behavior as good or bad. This is a very intriguing question. I will have to consider and get back with you.


Question: If you had to face a horrid situation, would someone help you?

Answer:

I have been in situations where I have had help and other times when I have not had any help. What these situations have done for me is to realize that help comes from many directions. God always provides a refuge and even if family or friends are not there for me He always brings someone to my side. Just this year I was blessed with a friend I only knew as an acquaintance came to my side when family turned away from me. Our God is faithful if we lay down at His throne of grace and mercy.


Question: Do you believe that consequences are just or random?

Answers:

• I believe they are just, although they may appear random.

• I cannot believe this and believe that God holds my future. Either I believe God or my feelings or I choose to believe in a faithful God.


Question: Are you safe because someone makes you feel or says you are safe?

Answers:

• Both.

• Neither because it comes down to me, I have to chose to believe in something outside myself.


Question: What might you have to give up or become to feel safe?

Answers:

• I need to have more faith in the 'Audience of One.'

• At one time I gave up everything to feel safe. Now I’m reclaiming my life.


Question: When you are in danger, can you make yourself believe you are safe?

Answers:

• I try to remember to pray, and then make a decision. Hopefully, it’s a safe one, it depends. I have betrayed others twice by making myself safe, an act of omission.

• Danger for me means I’ve lost control so no I can’t make myself feel anything at the time cause my energy is feeding the problem.


Question: Is life more important than the way you live it?

Answers:

• Life is a roller coaster ride. My life is only important if it is fulfilling the plans He has for me. This is of the utmost importance. I do not know if I would give my life for someone else or for His witness yet. Someday I may know if I can or, like Peter, flee. Right now, I do not know.

• The way I live is my life so the question is backwards. If my life didn’t matter then I wouldn’t be here. It’s that simple and that complicated!


Summary Question: When Tía helped Naomi enter America illegally, was she thinking of herself or the girl?


Answers:

• Seldom does anyone do anything for someone else’s good without there being strings attached.

• I believe that whenever we do anything, we have our own personal motives. Even when we help others, it can be for personal benefit. I do not believe that Tia was helping Naomi to benefit herself only. Somehow, it seems to me like a calling she has. Whether or not she is going about it in the right way could be something to think about. I think Tia is a unique person, with a unique calling; it will take awhile to truly understand her and see her calling come to fruition!

2 Response to "Reflections – Through a Glass Darkly by Paula Rose Michelson"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    This touched my heart.

  2. Anonymous Says:
    September 12, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Glad I stumbled upin this blog cause I've never seen anything like it before. Hope i'm able to catch the next one.

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