the dime,and the wings of eagles!

1048864839_b4a686cc7d.jpgTwo days ago I began my second year of my own personal therapy-walking the downtown posting handbills on the advert kiosks set up along the streets. That part is a breeze-this also involves going into stores and asking shop owners if they would allow me to tape one to a window by the door,this isn’t so easy. I usually end up sounding like someone who could use an interpreter,my voice flakes whenever I am confronted with needing to talk to a person in charge.

The handbills are the annual ‘call for artists’-the artists,survivors of  domestic violence,family violence,sexual abuse,child abuse-and other forms of interpersonal violence. (May 11-23,2008  ‘the gallery’ of the J.Wayne Reitz Union-University of Florida campus-opening reception May 16, 7-9 pm) (to show art-352.336.8414)

I have already gone to various shops-the ones that clearly looked open to having other forms of advert on their windows-admittedly,the task is fairly self operating,this is a university town and the street I am working is most frequented by the student population and the various shops reflect that traffic. The kiosks are really for me to get the energy up-to build up in my head that I am going to be doing this. It’s worse than this-it begins with me actually driving into the city,around the city and up the street I’m going be walking and then….I quit in fear-and begin the drive home (a long drive) and most of the drive I beat myself up for not going through with it-and the next day I do it again. It’s the first door that gets me going towards the next door-its just getting there that takes some hypnotic advance.

The campus is entirely a greater subject.

I fear large buildings from the moment the compression sound comes from the doors closing behind me. The more crowded the building,the worse-the voices and sounds create that violin sound that the writer clearly knew – who made the tone in the movie ‘Psycho’.

Yesterday I entered ‘Peabody Hall’…my first building on campus-also the easiest,it is where student counseling is located,but yet I still have to go through two sets of doors at the entrance and up two flights of stairs and through another door-one of those big glass ones that make that compression sound again…and usually in the row of chairs in front of the counter I have to approach are students or others,all enough to make me panic. But,in fact-nearly the only building where I have to approach somebody and explain my presence,the majority of campus buildings have open bulletin boards.

It was in this building,yesterday,that I found my dime! Now I know that’s not much to talk about,so it may seem-but a ‘dime’ to me is more than just a reference to a coin. It represents something significant to me…some years ago I was walking in the state forest behind my home and was troubled by something that was about to happen in  my life and the next morning I was supposed to meet a lawyer from Washington DC. We had never met-and I was apprehensive about meeting a stranger (in authority) and I was troubled about this  and was trying to think of a way to ‘break the ice’ with this man and my mind wondered off to my grandparents…they lived in the city (Washington DC) and my youth was pretty much spent there. When ever we got under my grandmothers skin she’d hand us a handful of dimes,the cost of a bus ride then was a dime (well,they had street cars too) and we’d get to spend the day in the museums and monuments…you could do that then,send kids off to the city with no fear.

Just when I was thinking of this meeting and my grandparents came to mind-out there in the wide open middle of nowhere was a dime…a brand new shiny dime. It was so amazing that the dime was there at that moment and at that thought and it connected-I picked up the dime and tossed it for good luck,it was.

Yesterdays dime was not a coin-it was a poster! I had hurriedly gone through my intro that I needed to do and back out the doors and the stairs and the next set of doors and in that foyer was a section where there once were two pay phones-the phones gone,and in their place were some various notes and announcements posted;and I was using the ‘desk’ part of the former phone booth to put my flyer’s and papers in order in my tote….and  looked up and there was a very attracting poster. I began to read what it was about-the photograph made one want too. It was about ‘male rape’ and said that ‘male rape’ was so quietly kept and hidden by the victim-and advised any victim to seek help,if at least by a proper mental health counselor (not that a victim is the reason and mental health the cause-it is to help the victim adjust to the fears to come,I’d hope).

This was my dime? Oh yeah,it was-as I haven’t mentioned that my dual task involved my also providing literature for the ‘Civic Media Center’ ( regarding information of a ‘male support group’ newly started by the ‘Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center’ (1.866.252.5439) in Gainesville Florida.

It was the literature that I was getting organized to head off towards the Civic Media Center when I saw the poster-so there I pinned up a sheet with numbers to call to contact the Rape Crisis Center….but also gained a strength-the sign to ‘mount up with wings as eagles’ ( Isaiah 40:28-31).  As I headed off in the direction towards the Civic Media Center I spotted the Presbyterian Student Center,also in a large building-with doors that compress when you enter…and I went in and there I met David-he calculated our ages as ten years different,he was younger-but he provided this personality that allowed to me to flow the words so easily about the art exhibit,and more so about the ‘male survivors support group’. We spoke in depth for ten or fifteen minutes about the hidden victims-male survivors.

I left empowered by the time spent with this new friend and was charged with an energy that really originated with seeing that poster-and realizing it was very much a true ‘dime’. I walked up across University Avenue and into the Civic Media Center and spent more time speaking with Jim (I had met him the day before when I inquired about posting a handbill for the exhibit) there than I had with David just a few blocks before. I again saw the face of a person that said to me ‘say what ever you need and I will listen’ and he did-and his comments were confidential and yet he knew of someone who needed this very thing,a support group for male survivors of rape and sexual assault….and I HAD mounted up with wings as eagles.

Have you not known,have you not heard…the Everlasting God never faints and is never weary. God gives strength to the weak-and to the meek God gives might,There is no searching what God understands…but to those who place their trust on God shall renew their strength and mount up with wings of eagles! (and find a shining dime sometimes)

Okay,so I am preaching…but one has no idea of the fears I go through in public places and it is a spiritual strength that leads me (except in my human self I am too sorry at times to recieve and to trust) yet am always so amazed at the power in the spiritual leading that I do recieve despite me!

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