Monday, August 31, 2009

A common site among the Kuna Indians

I am one who seems to wear my feelings, not on my sleeve, but on my face.

I have never been able to hide the emotion I was experiencing. I suppose it's a good thing that in this day where poker has become so popular it's almost always on cable, that I don't play. When one looks at my face, they can generally tell what is going on beneath the surface.

I confess that I have never learned to try to conceal my emotions. Those who know me or have spent time around me, know that tears often come easily... so does joy.

When my children were growing up, I didn't always have to use words for correction. I could simply "look" at them, and change the playing field.

Deanna and others have often asked, "What?"

My reply has been, "Why are you asking me, what?"

The response is, "What does that 'look' mean?"

Everyone from family to co-workers have found themselves on the receiving end of my unintentional glances.

I am a processor. I have to think things through. This takes time. While I am doing so, it is not uncommon for me to watch what is happening around me. The result is that those in my line of sight, often feel more like they have been caught in the line of fire.

Just because I looked at you in that tone of voice, does not mean that I am angry, frustrated or disappointed in you. It usually just means I am processing, deeply... and haven't resolved the issue, yet.

Still, there are those who are particularly sensitive and responsive to my facial expressions. No amount of explanation seems to bring them peace. I am sorry for this. I mean no harm. If I knew how to process without my face expressing angst, I would do it. I need to be a better student of such things.

This summer, a young woman who was in leadership on my Peru team was particularly sensitive to my expressions. She learned quickly (and better than most) how to deal with them. She would play upon them, and regardless of the fact that I was seldom intending to reveal anything, she would fire off, a comical yet sarcastic, "what does that look mean, Brently?"

Not only do I emote too easily, but I also sense quickly the same thing in others.

This past weekend, I think I drove Deanna crazy asking her, "Are you okay?"

It's that time of year. We both know it. We don't try to hide it. It's far too easy to find ourselves in full blown retrospection or reflection.

Since he passed, I think I have only dreamed of him two times. I have shared each one here.

One morning last week, I had a third.

While out of the country, I awoke each morning before my alarm. While on vacation, I did the same.

Since being back at work, my body clock is apparently in need of repair. Suddenly, I don't wake up anymore.

The other morning, Deanna arose early. I noticed it, rolled over and went back to sleep. This is when the dream happened.

I stood atop a high, outdoor staircase, filled with people. My hands clung in this crowd, to my nephew and two nieces. The four of us spotted BJ on a landing below, and immediately began to make our way down to him.

The 'push' of people made this a slow, deliberate journey. It literally seemed to take forever! No one was in a hurry but me, it seemed. I could not wait to touch him, to hold him!

When we finally neared him, my sisters children got to embrace him first. They were thrilled to engage this young man they missed so dearly. Each one, in turn, reconnected with him, and received his full attention.

The wait was excruciating!

When my turn came, I caught his expression before I hugged him. Scrawled all over his face was disappointment. The general disdain he carried was not for this moment. It reflected into the recent past or near future, I could not tell which. I only knew that while his scent was permeating my olfactory senses and they were screaming with delight, my heart was heavy and burdened for whatever disappointment I had caused.

If this is how others feel upon receiving my glances, I clearly need to work on my poker face.

I awoke amid the despair I felt.

The thrill of being able to embrace my son with all of my five senses is not supposed to be reduced by such failures.

I cannot know what happened. It was a dream, after all.

I only know, that I am keeping my eyes affixed to Jesus. I do not want to disappoint. I only want to bring the one and only Son, glory!

That includes, working on my expressions.



At 9:29 AM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...


You are loved.

And that is what makes (and has always made) all the difference. Don't go for the poker face. As you keep encouraging the rest of us: go for Jesus. Only Jesus!

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect[a] the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:17-18).

with tender love
and prayers in pink.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent I stopped to write what Marti has already written. You ARE loved. Jesus laid down His life for you, is how MUCH you are loved. Then there are many of us in cyberspace who think you're the berries too!

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man," Rom 8:1-3
Mark \0/

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, if the Lord is sending you a message with this, I pray that He will reveal it to you in His way. The not "knowing" precisely what it may mean I know is hard as I have been there (actually still am).

I am still mystified by how He communicates with us sometimes. I've told Him I like the straight forward loud booming voice, you know, the one accompanied by lightening... and best if He could fax the detailed instructional manual with it... something like "Communicating with God for Dummies." Maybe you can handle the intermediate or advanced manual. I'm not there yet. Does it get easier?

Just praying that my relationship with Him can continue to grow so that I can better hear and understand His messages.

Ps 86 was my prayer this morning. May it bring some comfort for you too. God Bless.

Santa Cruz, CA

At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, IN

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this on of my first times on this site and i just wanted to tell you that is is such a blessing to me! your family is amazing and have such an influential role in my life. i greatly enjoyed serving with you this past summer and hearing about bj's life. please know you are in my prayers and that your son's life has deeply changed my own.

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus is the only way to live and to live fully. This time of the year isn't the easiest for us as well. Thanks for your candidness and humility.

At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Brittany Allen said...

Miss you Brent

-Brittany Allen


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