Sunday, March 22, 2015

Walking the Valley of the Shadow of Death



It was one of those moments in life when everything seemed surreal and time stood still for a while.


 I was standing in a hospital room and watched my elder brother take his final journey. I couldn't believe he was gone and I felt remorse for how our lives drifted apart for all those years. Sometimes the path takes you to faraway places and the desire to expand supersedes the desire for what is safe and familiar. 

So when thinking of my brother I go back to my rebel years...from the age of 12 to 18...a place in my soul that is familiar. 

During my stint as a teenage hooligan he was my mentor....he taught me the ways of the street...how to protect myself....and introduced me to his crew. My big brother was a god in my eyes and his propensity for violence was scary yet fascinating. His first fight in Jr. High at age 13 granted his opponent a free ambulance ride and gave him a lasting impression for other challengers to consider. Before that time I had seen his in countless neighbor brawls....it was really just a sport for him...the unlucky kid in Jr. High just happen to piss him off a little extra that night at the Jr. High dance. 

You know what you said to a kid in my neighbor with two black eyes? Nothing my brother already told him twice. That's the kind of guy he was and it was my way or the high way. If you disagreed with him he explained his case by jumping on your case in a bad way. I learned to agree with him quickly.

The fact that I was his brother no one really messed with me. I remember when I first hit Jr. High and my brother was in High School. I walked to the designated smoking area at our school called the smoke hole. Can you believe we were allowed to smoke on school campus back then? Well the smoke hole had a new resident bad ass and he decided that every new rookie had to be thrown in the trash can. He approached me with his goons and said, "Hey Rookie, all new punks at the smoke hole got to go in the can." I was shaken and heard the stories of other rookies taking the forced can plunge. I looked at the leader of the group that had me circled and played the only card I knew. "If you throw me in that can I will tell my big brother." The ring leader chuckled at my threat and said, "Who is your brother mother fucker?" I said, "Allen Dunbar" and the mood of the group changed in an instant. He said, "Oh" and they walked away. I was the only rookie who wasn't initiated into the can. 

Once in a meditation I had a vision of my past and though I remember the shocking event this detail slipped my mind. I was five years old and was always in trouble for playing outside barefoot. I’ve always hated wearing shoes. So I rebelled and was playing outside with my brother pretty far from our house. I stepped on a broken coke bottle and cut my foot in a bad way. Allen was eight and he picked me up as the blood flowed and my screams flowed, running me home. I could hear him say, “Its okay little buddy I got ya.” I could see him in my vision run all the way back to our house screaming, “Mom hurry! David cut his foot real bad.” I was rushed to the hospital and the doc sewed up my foot. I was so hysterical they had to put me in a strait jacket to hold me down. 

The vision of him carrying me, running me home covered in my blood struck me deeply. Even though I was injured I felt safe in his arms and it was the doctors that scared me.

The memory of him saving and protecting me was somehow forgotten until that vision. I called my Mother because I was so shaken and she confirmed the event did took place…the details were exactly as she described it.

I always felt secure around him.

Protected.

Safeguarded.

Benign to any harm. 

My Spirit Dude spoke to me recently in a very gentle way. “Allen was your Holy Guardian during a dark time in your life….he was more than your brother…he was a soul mate…part of his life mission was to keep you safe…keep you from being hurt.”

Well what about all the times he kicked my ass in a non-protective manner?

“He was teaching how to fight….he was showing you how to be a Warrior…how to stand strong in being you…preparing you to walk through the Valley of the shadow of death” 

The Valley of the Shadow of Death is a place where you encounter darkness….where you dance with your own mortality…a place designed to destroy the ego….a place where you die so you can be born again.

Once you process your shadow you come to a place where you fear no evil.

A place where you understand God is with you.

The rod and staff that struck you so hard during your darkest hour brought you comfort....it guided you in the right direction.

Many people never make it through the Valley of the Shadow of Death…their souls die on the inside…they walk through life transporting just an empty shell…something in them died….they never fought for their freedom…the darkness blinded them to the beauty of the experience life has to offer. They never find peace.

Dead souls never live…live souls never die.

You escape the Valley of the Shadow of death once you find the safe haven under the Shadow of God.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the Shadow of the Almighty.”  Psalms 91:1

The shadow of God’s grace will keep you safe. Within that Divine Shadow is your soul mates, your Angels, your guides and all the grace you need to complete the journey.

The Shadow of the Almighty speaks to me as I’m covered in the blood of life’s battles. Like my big brother said to me as he carried me home covered in blood:

“It’s okay little buddy I got ya”

That’s God word to you as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

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