Stains on My Soul

Somewhere between Kobe, Covid and Killings, we lost our ability to play. Sitting outside of a makeshift emergency room, I asked God,” Is this what we have been reduced to?” Question after question, and no answer came.

An elderly man sits underneath a tent confused as to why he doesn’t need a prescription or a follow up appointment. ¿Seguro que no necesito cita?” Are you SURE that I don’t need to see a doctor?

After being told no more than once, he lifted his frail body from the outdoor waiting room-alone. “Who left him here alone?” Bartimeus. Jesus. Gethsemane. Sometimes there is a blessing in being left alone. As I walked around outside worried about what was taking place inside, I did something different: I exhaled, walked from under the make-shift terrace and stood flat-footed in the pouring down rain.

As if Heaven’s tears held a cleansing formula to mysteriously wash off hundreds of years of collective trauma and the stains on my soul.

“I’ll try this earthing and grounding thing that everyone has been raving about.” As I walked, a sense of adventure to discover what I had missed during quarantine offered me “open blooms” reaching out towards me. A truck bed of hibiscus waved in the wind at me, prophetically!” Oh, happy they must be. Plants have no fear of this dis-ease. They are neutral. Nature is neutral and healing when left alone.

“Should I be? Is this a sign from God?” From seedling to blooming to gracing guests at homes, their purpose, sure but still unknown. “Nothing to stunt their growth,” I quipped under my breath. I’m sure God wasn’t pleased with my lack of patience and seeming defeat. And I remembered Job. All of his well meaning friends had his “prognosis,” but only God had his prescription!”

Dear World: Maybe we messed up and are reaping what we have sown. Maybe we failed the “all together in the sandbox children, and be sure you play fair!” Perhaps we are also reaping what we did not sow when fully in our capacity to “lend a hand” and an “I understand.”

I walked back to finish translating for the man left alone. I wonder what stories his wrinkled hands had written for the years he’s been in the field making sure that we have enough quality food while he and his family only get the scraps….  “Oh but Master, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from your table.” Let them fall again like fresh manna on wearied souls on their 40 year trek back home: I hear the back side of the desert is pruning and preparation ground. May we not come out the same.

I hope that you’ve found an environment which gives you the courage and the freedom to explore your questions, and the patience to wait for the answers without being pulled on to perform like everyone else, simply because it looks like the right thing to do. I hope you’ve found a frequency whereby you can be free. Free from distractions, free from divisions, free to breathe, and free to be.

This place of Holy Silence is not new to me. I don’t like titles but today, I was Chief Coordinator of Chaos. One of the things that I’m going to do differently will be to become so indifferent that I can no longer feel, respond or lead. I have no answers. I have no solutions. I’m tired. Someone else take this activist life. Please? Thank you. Just remember that if you lose the breath, you lose the pose. At least that’s what yoga and the monk taught me.

It’s time to stop playing and it’s time to start posing. But who am I to render any suggestions? That’s my question. I’ll pass on the chicken soup. Does anyone have anything else for the soul?

I wonder if this wonder will lead me back to the places I’ve traveled, the things I’ve seen, the beauty I’ve encountered in what we deem mundane. A simpler existence, with a smile on my face? I’m not sure, but I just took the first step…. Jesus Left. Do me a favor, let the KING rule the city. Anything else is uncivilized. Call on Him. Apply pressure to His name. When Jesus is all we have left, we discover that He is all we need. The tricky part is our willingness to embrace that wisdom, power, grace, truth and unconditional love is resident within you and within me. “When my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Wonder is fulfilled in the willingness to surrender. Surrendering takes childlike faith. I do it often. What looked like apathy was just behind the scenes and on the front line activism taking an escape.

It’s raining again…. time to make mud pies for my Pinterest Account. Have fun adulting…. Natasha, Out!


Natasha Stevens is passionate about humanitarian efforts ranging from empowering girls and women through education, writing, counseling, and speaking engagements, to hands on mission work in various places, including the eradication of forced child labor and early marriage through human trafficking. She loves a hearty laugh in summer gardens as much as a healthy bowl of oats in winter. She enjoys interacting with people from all walks of life, giving back where needed, and ministering the love and grace of Jesus without a title.