Photo by Pepper. All rights reserved. AS THE SUN SETS, SO IT RISES

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Color Blind

Admittedly, when my focus is upon the Lord, unobstructed by the crisis of loss, the greyness of despair is broken by the prism of hope. Albeit of momentary duration, I have even gained a glimpse, an explosion, if you will, of radiant brilliance, with an eternal promise - bringing forth a full kaleidoscope of  resplendence without earthly origin. Nonetheless, for this time at least, the overlay of pain predominates - and like a bleach errantly applied to a colorful garment - achromatizes, and dims.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Comment on the funniest thing Josh did (WDJD)!  Or, tell about something he would do in response to something recent. (WWJD)!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Need You

Did I already say that somewhere on this blog?  Likely. Lesson learned -- I need people .. hugs .. care .. concern.   Going to Holly's class - pointedly - less for exercise (I can and do at home), than to connect ... I hug people more ... maybe a few seconds too long... I visit friends more ... older people, younger people .... God made us that way ... a social people ...we need each other...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Knitting Sack

The angels have taken out their knitting sack to patch up the hole in my heart.  It won't be the same, of course, but enough to hold up until He makes me whole again and BETTER than new!  They are SO busy and just won't leave me alone ... don't leave me alone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What if the Pause Button Won't Work!

The thing of it is you do not usually get a warning message - like in your car when the brakes are getting worn or the fluid levels are low - it just happens!  Like a tsunami the pain rushes in - other times a steady but certain downpour.  Obscuring vision, emotions drowned in sorrow, there seems no respite.  You want out, but you cannot figure out how you got in.You want to stay because leaving seems all the more painful -- to go about the norm when there is none. Worship makes sense - nothing else does - bringing me to where I need to be.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Approaching Sorrow

...and so, for me,  the tears have begun to flow for Christina-Taylor Green.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brother to Brother

The Sealing and Echo of Rhyme

I wish everything could be back to normal
The sounds of the darkness press against my temples
Wishing the stars would fall back into the sky
Time would fall forward to a place ever more simple

Nothing can compare to the moments that we shared
Molded together by a thousand shrieks of laughter
Harnessing the power of infamy and raising the bar
The voice of silence will never be heard forever after

Time will tell how History looks at your life
Choosing instead to view it from a backwards prism
The instability of the virility can be seen ever clearer now
But retelling the story will only increase the growing schism

Nightmares etched into the consciousness of being
Making sure the silent echoes of dread increase with time
But don't forget about the bounties of life everlasting
The stir of echoes that will keep you forever sealed in RHYME

By Pearson J. Liddell, III (PJ)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Unapproachable Sorrow

The shootings in Arizona have left a trail of tears and sorrow I am not able to approach at this time. Separated by the comfortable distance of space and relationship, I can look on but postpone the comprehension of the grief that must be overwhelming the community and families of the 20 persons slain and injured. The life of Congresswoman Giffords at this writing hangs in the balance as doctors are cautiously optimistic. Among those dead - a 9 year old girl whose birthday, 9/11/01, rather oddly reminds me of the day this country shifted from a feeling of relaxed security to a new normal tinged with fear. A quote from the father of Christina-Taylor according to a CNN news article: "There's gonna be a lot of those kind of moments -- just waking up," he said, choking back tears. "She comes up and says, 'Daddy, it's time to get up,' and she didn't do that this morning." Often I have felt overwhelming vicarious pain when there has been a loss - particularly of a young child. I cannot approach that now - my own being too fresh. The enormity of the loss to those parents of this promising child, still so young, stilled so young I can only comment upon. I will grieve with and for them. Love, Pepper

Thursday, January 6, 2011

From Josh's Father

I am Pepper's husband and Josh's father. I am thankful that the Lord has given her the strength to start this blog. The moment I found out about Josh from another son was surreal. I knew it had happened but my mind failed to fully wrap itself around that idea. It was though it was a foreign concept in an undefined and undefinable category. As my mind began to actually process the unthinkable as reality it felt as if someone had reached into my gut and pulled out my bowels. Yet I had to reserve enough resolve to tell my wife, who was in the next room. Then I had to try to hold it together for the both of us while it seemed as if the whole world was disintegrating before my very eyes. Thank God for God because I had no strength. Jesus was with me then and He is with me now and forever. He continues to take me from pain to worship.
(originally written as a comment on December 23, 2010)

Message from Pastor Johnny Buckner

Here is some scripture that has helped me ...
Isaiah 49:14-16 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me" "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." Nahum 1:7 "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him."
Pearson and Pepper, Please know that Debbie and I are praying for you. May you really know the grace and peace of God. We pray that you sense His loving presence and embrace.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pass or Fail?

When God tests does he give grades? I'm just asking cuz I'm not sure I'd make it. My youngest son Jonathan left today to train to return to Afghanistan. This time for a civilian contractor. Looking at the picture of him kissing his little girl goodbye was, well, disturbing, unsettling. and ... sad. I can't process this. I need help, prayer. Please pray for me.

Numbering our Days

My son in Cuba sent me Psalm 90.  Verse 12 impressed me.  I want you to have it.

Teach us to number our days,
   that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Message from Holly

Pepper, your tolerance of this can only be explained by faith. Christian faith gives such hope...the belief we will all be together again carries us through the deepest valleys, yes? I thank God everyday that I haven't experienced great loss in my life. He is showing me through others (you) how to deal with it one day...for we will all suffer grief, though I pray never to your degree.
 I have shed tears for you today. I am soaking in your heartache in hopes to take some of your pain away. We love you and God is with you as always. He is so proud that you still see him. Teachers give tests to prove a students knowledge. God has given you this grief so you can prove that you know and trust Him....and He is smiling on you with Josh by His side. You are amazing. We love you and all think and hurt for you often!
I pray for you when it is quiet, I pray for you when others around you laugh, I pray for you when you don't want to forget, I pray for you when you don't let others see you cry, I pray for you when you ask "why?". You are prayed for and loved very much.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Journey - Not a Destination

Someone put the link on my desktop.  A video of Josh getting his ear pierced at WalMart, narrated by his brother PJ.   Josh's comedic expressiveness and PJ's deadpan commentary allowed for simultaneous laughter and painful crying - a phenomena heretofore I had not known existed.  Life keeps coming - and I have to respond.  I'm moving along but not always forward - and that's ok.  My sensitivity to the pain of others has heightened and deepened - a friend's brother lost to brain cancer at the age of 41.  Scotty, like Josh, so brilliant, so young, so loved.  A neighbor's son, age 24, killed in a car crash during the Christmas holiday.  The wound seems never to heal - made fresh by these events, though noncontiguous, touching nonetheless.

Friday, December 31, 2010


As I move into a new year without my son Joshua, it hurts.  I know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.  Yet, my vision is obscured by the thickening clouds of tears that have threatened a downpour for most of this day.  But I know that my joy comes in the morning and I am not afraid.  I even move forward boldly into an increasing recognition of the shallowness of the temporal and the glory of forever.  For the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory to be revealed in Him!  Hallelujah!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Joy

It almost seems like I just realized for the first time this year how wonderful it is to celebrate Christmas!  Jesus came so that we can have eternal life.  That means all of God's children will be together for eternity!  I thank God that all of my children are saved and we will be together forever!  Isn't that good news?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Deafening Pain

Heart wrenching, destabilizing, blinding, and seemingly unendurable pain are just a few of the more approachable feelings sufficient to encompass that unimaginable moment - that moment when my life irrevocably turned inside out.  I cannot go further here at this time.  To have done this, for me, requires a reserved resolve, with boundaries, I dare not trespass.  Not now, but hopefully soon.  Are you able to describe that moment? If so, do so, and from you perhaps my courage will gather.  Love, Pepper