Castles

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Photo by Marc Marchal on Unsplash

Over the last several weeks I keep finding castles. It’s one of those things in life where a theme keeps popping up. Usually I don’t notice buildings all that much. Unless I’m sightseeing or someone points out a detail. That is why I don’t think this is a coincidence…

Lately, some of my computer puzzles I enjoyed have been castles. The last two novels I read had castles as prominent backdrops. I keep noticing castles on my picture searches on unsplash.com.

I asked, “So why castles? Why do I keep seeing the same type of images or the word ‘castle’ here and there? I like castles. I think of Milly’s Realm as having a castle. I don’t want to live in a castle in my physical life. I want to live in a mountain log cabin. The castle in Milly’s Realm really is a metaphor. I’ve talked about how my castle protects and hides me.

Just what is a castle? It is a large fortified building or set of buildings. [Ref. Merriam Webster Dictionary (online)]. Word identifies synonyms as: fortress, citadel, stronghold, bastion, palace, turret, and château.

A castle is a fortress. It provides protection. The place to stand in defense and fight for your life and the lives of those you love. Castle walls have the advantage of strength. They act as a strong shield.

The castle in my mind is where I go to protect myself and think. I can take this castle anywhere. If you were to see me in my castle, I am set apart from the crowd. I will have a book, my computer, or my phone (which really is a teeny tiny computer). I look like I am concentrating on the book or device. But I am not. I may gaze off into space or smile suddenly.

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Photo by Cederic X on Unsplash

I wrote a note to myself on Sunday November 4 during mass. I had noticed castles a lot in the previous week. The responsorial Psalm also reminded me of castles. It was sung from Psalms 18:2-4*:

“I love you, Lord, my strength,

Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,

My God, my rock of refuge,

my shield, my saving horn**, my stronghold!

Praised be the Lord, I exclaim!

I have been delivered from my enemies.”

I sat listening to the song and thought, “There’s the castle again. My Stronghold, My God.” The connection was made, It wasn’t about Milly’s Realm. It was about God’s.

The Psalm was written by King David. He praises and thanks God for victory in battle. The beginning of King David’s song caught my attention because he describes God as his place of safety, “my fortress…my rock of refuge…my stronghold…” All are synonyms for castle. Is God calling me back under his protection?

Now on November 30th, I look back and I realize, yes He is. On November 5 dad’s spirit left this earth. God was reminding me to run to Him, my Fortress and my Rock. Not to Milly’s Realm, as much as I enjoy being there. He was calling me to His Realm where I find peace and comfort.

The day of the memorial service was long and exhausting. It was filled with blessings. It was bittersweet. He was gone. The people who came to pay respects. they will miss him. We are sad he is no longer here. This is bitter.

I understand how much dad wanted to be with his Creator. I was there when he expressed his desire to die. He was done here. Now dad is no longer in pain. He is with my sister and his mother. He is with God the King, Jesus the Savior, and the Holy Spirit the Comforter. This is sweet.

{Note: Did you notice that? Again I find earthly feelings bitter. I find God is sweet. I am reminded there is no bitter in God.}

The day after the memorial I was raw. Like a wounded animal I stayed within the walls of my little house. Exhausted I rested and started to heal. I did the same thing over Thanksgiving. I stayed home with my immediate family to rejuvenate. I let God wash over me. I talked to him about my sorrow. He has become my Refuge as the Psalmist sings.

We walk with God. We climb mountains with Him. And when He gives rest he calls us to run to Him. Right now to get through the day I find Him through prayers (call to Him); thinking (turning my thoughts to Him); and praising (thanking Him).

When I am out in the world I cling to the Rock. When I am attacked by doubt and depression, He is my Deliverer. When I am exhausted He is my Shield. Looking back over the last several months, God has been my Castle.

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Photo by Nicola Gadler on Unsplash

The castles were my reminder to not get lost in the details, accusations, pain, and despair. The castles remind me to return to my Stronghold. The Citadel of my Faith, God the Father, Jesus the Savior, and the Holy Spirit the Comforter. One God forever.

Blessings,

Milly

*New American Bible Revised Edition

**My Strong Savior (I just had to look this one up!)

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