Fellowship Battles

It Seems…

Like a lifetime ago.

I look back now

And…

And,

I see you but I still,

I,

I still…

See how I’ve missed your hand

Over and over

Like jumping across a valley as wide as Ohio to L.A.

To the coast and back.

Little faith.

But,

Enough.

You know it’s dark in this well.

I’m the least of the 99.

The riches of your wisdom and knowledge flow deep enough to carry me out.

When the vail was torn,

I saw prayers behind.

Friends and Strangers.

Family.

Birthdays.

Six months and 30.

Traveling the desert was tough,

And long,

But worth it.

Like Bethlehem to Nazareth.

I’ve seen how far your church stretches.

A long way since Jericho.

Who am I kidding?

We still eat fruit like Adam,

Before we grow it like branches.

Thank God for Holy roots.

My praise is not talking to You.

More like,

Talking with you.

I count more than two,

Or,

Three.

In fellowship I leap.

Because you tell mountains to move,

And they fly.

Your presence

Is near.

Is here.

How can water hold me up?

Split for me to cross?

And wash me clean?

Alone,

I was one body.

With others,

I’m a member to the one true Body.

The wilderness is filled with snakes and wolves.

The Devil is persistent.

But flawed.

He tares easier than man versus lion.

The Savior’s sword is sharp.

Jesus,

Feed me like you fed the 5,000.

Gathered in love.

Dine with me,

So I may weep on your feet.

What did you draw in that sand?

Is it what you sketched on my heart?

I know a stone or two I deserve.

You gave me vision with mud in my eyes.

How grateful I am for the ones who lowered my crippled body through the opening in the roof.

The rope burns on their palms,

Imitate the holes in Yours.

I danced out of my grave,

Touched you through the crowd,

And you new my name up in that tree.

I feel alive.

More alive than ever.

I’m on fire,

But do not burn.

I rejoice with those who rejoice.

I weep,

With those who weep.

It takes a group to travel out of Egypt.

Some don’t make it.

The journey is difficult.

Like the eye of a needle.

But I know a way that makes it possible.

The same way 12 disciples fed 12 tribes,

With words outlasting the stars.

It takes a family to make it through a flood.

You asked,

Who is my brother?

Who is my mother?

These are my brothers.

My mothers.

I know you.

I know the Father.

Oh what a day for praise.

Together,

Halleluja.

-THE END-


Written by Sean Reed

Akron, Ohio

Shortcut to Hollywood

One of the hardest parts about moving to Los Angeles was answering everyone’s curiosity of why.  “Why are you moving?”  They’d ask.  “You know it’s crazy expensive out there”,  each would say.  “I heard the traffic is horrible!”  Others would add their own two cents.  I’d often give two different answers to two different types of people, Christians and non.  I’d tread gently with Christians and say I was chasing happiness and give a brief explanation of God pulling me out here.  I’d splash aggressively with non Christians and tell them it’s been my dream to work in the world headquarters of film – Hollywood, California since I can remember.

The truth is it was both.  My wife and I didn’t just pick up and move out here.  It took two years of disappointing trials and tribulations.  In the beginning, I wanted nothing more than a writing career.  An escape from my corporate career of sadness, and God said no over and OVER and OVER again.  He slammed every single window on our fingers.  Leaving me with pain from the bruises.  Bruises I’d received my entire life of never being picked first.  The pains made me want a writing career even more at this point.  I fought, scratched and clawed for any path west.  I wanted a writing career even more than my relationship with Him.  My order was out of whack.  So we gave our dreams to Him and decided to stay in Ohio.  I quit chasing happiness and became still long enough for happiness to catch up.

I fell in love with my relationship with God and was happier than I’d ever been.  I finally felt like I was picked first for the first time in my entire existence by the greatest team Captain in all of existence.

And then it happened.

He opened one single window and said “Go”.  My wife and I were given one opportunity and had to decide within 24 hours to accept or not.  We accepted.  How could we not?  God called us out into the wilderness like a glistening star in the night’s sky.  He gave me everything, even in my fears.  Within one year I had my dream job, a screenwriter in the city of Angels.  It wasn’t because of the risks we took to travel away.  It wasn’t by the hustle and grind we put into the process.  It wasn’t the grit running through my veins.  You see, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people have more grit, more grind and more hustle out here in southern California.  All trying to make it.  But God placed me on a very narrow path with very little footprints to follow, leading to my victorious moment, sipping martinis on a back patio with an L.A. director and producer, pitching me a script for hire.  It’s insane.

When I fill out forgotten password questionnaires on websites, questions I always come across are “What is your mother’s maiden name?”  And “What is your dream job?”  A question they expect strangers not to know.  And here I am, 3,000 miles from home, working my dream job, a dream job for souls around the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I usually stood out from others on every film set I worked.  Just not the way you may be thinking.  My Cross chain, outspoken prayers and “God talk” had me tagged as the “Christian on set”.  I learned strangers would know my ways, but not even know my name.  How glorious!  I enjoyed when a select few people would come up to me in hush and talk spirituality with me like they wanted to keep a secret.

I more often found staring eyes from most, especially people with different values and identities.  I know deep down they categorized me with a church of people who judges and gives them more hate than love.  How disappointing I found it having to constantly break barriers and befriend people who thought my faith represented anything else but love.   I’m saddened when I see people in The Church post shortened scripture from the Bible out of context, with an agenda to enforce their conservative views instead of loving someone despite their difference.  I wouldn’t want to attend those churches either.

The tough part about being Christian is accepting all biblical truth as absolute truth, which I do or at least attempt to in my imperfect ways.  I want to live my life in the business of miracles, which means I believe in the big one, that Jesus died and rose again, breaking the barrier of death in all fashions, physically, spiritually, mentally and metaphorically.  Sounds crazy, but what would be even crazier is to believe this and try to understand the will of God on other people’s lives before I’m able to understand the will of God on my own individual life.  I don’t have the answers for the differences between Christians and non, but I do have the answer that can connect us, love.  For Christians, the answer is Jesus because we believe Jesus is Love, so the answer is universal, love.  Jesus even commanded,

“Everyone will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”

God has given me a love here in the wilderness, but I don’t believe he wants me to keep it to myself.  I believe he has shown me, taught me and is ready to use me in His ways.  I no longer want fame and glory.  I want to bring glory to God and make Him famous.  Therefore, I am giving it to Him again.  I exchange my dreams for His, knowing what he did the last time I did this.  He gave me a cup overflowing with happiness.  An immeasurable love, forgiveness, grace and patience.

He calls us home.  And we will answer the call.  He is saying “Come home, more awaits.”

Therefore, we are coming home.


Written by Sean Reed

Los Angeles, California

Sean Reed standing in the wilderness of southern California.

Standing in wilderness

Just a Story

I have a story for you.  A little bit of fiction.  A tablespoon of friction. 
Just a story.

A story about John.  No one you’ve heard of, just John.  Although you may recognize the reflection within a selection, 
but it’s just a story.

John was a booming boastful business guru living in Texas.  A whole lot of reckless.  Racing the fast life.  No kids.  No wife.  You see, John’s wealth made all women seem alike.  Below him.

As you may have imagined with your Hollywood minds, John was stacked with attractiveness like a cheeseburger eating contest on the restaurant wall.  Luring and mouth watering with the tag line “FREE, If completed in ONE short HOUR”.

John traveled for business with the glamorous pride of a fraud imitating an exotic secret agent.  Stirring nothing, shaking emptiness.  Not even enjoying martinis, but he had no one else to whisper his dirty little secrets to.

The pleasures of business led John to Mexico like the waving finger of a sensual, seductive, sedating… cannibal.  Prized and pampered.  Seasoned with lies and fake love, just to be naively chewed up and spat out.  Like playing blackjack with Lucifer as the dealer.  Just one more deal.  What’s the worst that could happen?

The profit of business was on autopilot for John, so his travels meant he was along for the ride.  A zombie working weekdays and smiling like a model on the weekends.  Hashtag all the filters.
Just a story.

John spent little in meetings and more with white powdered greetings.  He gambled and trampled on his own childhood ambitions.  John didn’t live easy at a young age.  He was once a red headed step child stuck in the body of a Blondie.  As a kid, he saw his own mother take strikes from another.  Too small to do anything but hide.  Curled in the dark, he muffled his cries.  Like a victimized female college student’s fear of the media because he’s the University’s proclaimed student athlete with their deserved punched ticket of Sports Center Coverage.  Paying a zero dollar salary to the ones burning calories.
Just a story.

Hiding in shadows is what drove John to become a man of statue.  Standing strong and proud like Greek art.  Only day dreaming of a bigger, more shameful leaf.  I don’t know, maybe one from the desired garden of Eden’s fashion line.  The Adam collection perhaps.  People may kill for that blog post.
Just a story.

John had his day of business and night of fun.  He called his driver and said, “Be ready at one.”  John’s intoxicated self was bored with the ani-climatic fizzle of his theatrical happiness.  Like a chest trembling finale impostered with duds.

John made his trip short and aimed for the airport.  His ride rolled up slick and smooth, ready to impress.  Black on black on black like American culture that some white men hiding behind confederate flags and blue porch lights hate, can’t relate and miss the southern ways.
Just a story.

John stood waiting for his flashy taxi.  Chewing his gum, smacking and cracking.  The driver hopped out and grabbed his bags, opened the door and John sat in the back.  The quiet orchestrated a vibrant silence.  His eyes went from ready to steady.  Then steady to heavy.  The sound of gravel gave John a rattle!  He woke to a sudden halt.  The doors opened with strangers dragging him out.  He kicked and resisted!  He swung his arms close-fisted!  John was hit and collapsed.  Everything went black.

John woke up to a dirty stray dog licking his face.  “Good boy…  Good boy…”  The sun was up.  Dirt in all directions.  John rose to his feet, wobbling weak thighs and squinty eyes.  He moaned and groaned while he evaluated and calculated, getting his equilibrium straightened.  He frantically checked his pockets, and with a panic he knew he lost it.  They took everything!  No phone.  No money.  No wallet.  No I.D.

John hiked as the heat spiked.  The panic and worry piled higher and higher like the hot sun raining down nothing but sweat.  His belly grew thirsty and his mouth dried up like distant children in foreign lands.  Meanwhile, I’ve grown picky on which water bottle to choose in the grocery store beverage aisle from the same people who prescribe sugar to Diabetic States of America and the United Nations of Litter.

Have you seen our oceans?  Something’s wrong when we have an island of trash floating.  Nearly vanished forest, but we don’t see that from our doorsteps.  The Arctic looks lethargic.  Taxes leave us starving.  No guns discussed.  In shootings we trust.  Oil drills pepper opens fields.  Hunting season for the fracking, just to see who the money stack king  is.  Farmers are on death row.  All we eat is GMO.  We try to fix our mental sickness by buying a fitness clinic we’ll never finish.  We greed during Christmas and give no love to those who’ve made a bad decision.  It’s vicious!  The hate is malicious.  We turned sex into a business!
Just a story.

John managed to sneak up on a truck stop.  He noticed two cowboy hats herding a handful of women into the back of a semi truck.  John took it as a struck of luck.  He saw they were sneaking across the border and this was his chance to ride back home.

The men went inside, forcing John to decide.  There and then, what to do.  John also had grit.  A man of courage.  In a position of conflict, he fiercely flourished!  Kind of like the kid from Akron being more that an athlete.
Just a story.

John’s mind was made.  It’s like he was born for this stage!  He ran and hid in the back of the semi.  He saw glowing eyes and whimpering cries, and boxes.  Brown, cardboard, square boxes.  No one answered him.  He felt more alone in the truck than in the dirt with a dirty stray licking his face.  “Good boy… Good boy…”  John heard men approaching and quickly arranged the boxes to hide behind.  The doors opened, the men spoke few words and shut it again.  The engine started and began to move.  John’s eyes adjusted to the darkness.  He saw eyes piercing with sharpness.  So sharp they were carving.  So carving it was startling!

The women looked like abused pets.  Cuddling each other with stress, and the rest was a mess.  Torn blankets and old buckets.  Pillows without stuffing.  Tough times for the other side.  Greener grass depends on the eye of the beholder.  Seems politics are color blind these days.
Just a story.

The truck came to a stop.  John swallowed the lump in his throat like a scorpion snapping and stinging all the way down.  Slowly dragging down his esophagus to the acidic abyss below.  John peeked between boxes in a crack.  The two cowboy hats opened the doors from the back.  He watched as they pulled and grabbed, forcing like drunk snakes winding up on helpless prey.  Slithering lies with whiskey breath and fat wallets.

John saw truth in the semi.  It filtered through his brain like an avalanche.  Unwelcomed, but cleansing every fruitless branch.  He saw these women were not immigrants.  Not illegal aliens stealing from pumpkin spiced latte advocates.  John realized he was hiding in the back of a semi trafficking sex slaves, going straight through on the red-eye.  Maybe they were taken.  Given promises of a land massacred with empty promises.
Just a story.

John forgot his own circumstance.  How he was robbed and abandoned.  Worst he was stranded and branded, as a nobody.  John’s pupils widened like a late night yawn.  Catching fear and flies alike.  He remained silent, but his hunger was a tyrant.  His stomach grave a growl!  A cowboy raised his brows!  John regretted taking a peek, because now he couldn’t blink!  “Can he see my eye?”  John thought.  “He’s looking right at me!”  A woman pulled the cowboy’s arm, refocused his attention, diffusing the alarm.  John blinked.  The men finished and left, leaving behind their venomous stench.

“She saved me.”  John thought.

John came out from his shelter.  He wanted to help her.  He no longer felt stellar.  Rich, proud and loud to claim.  The King of the Jungle with a beautiful mane.  Now like a rodent, sneaking in trees.  Hiding in fear, with no one to please.

The truck stopped close to the border.  John didn’t know what was in order.  The women began to whimper, as if it was a hint for, another visit from the cowboy hats.  John hid and peeked through his favorite crack like a little boy wandering into the dressing room.

The cowboys approached for actions we loath.  Something was different.  Like an empowering whisper.

The cowboys’ physical mentality snagged an alternate reality.  No one planned for the women to retaliate.  Resisting together, each followed suit.  Side by side, they screamed, “Me Too!”
Just a story.

One of the cowboys pulled a gun, upset he was denied his fun.  John leaped out from behind the boxes, without blinking he cocked him.  The gun went flying as John fought from dying.  A woman grabbed the gun and ordered them off the truck.  She pointed and yelled as both cowboys ran.  Her first felt strength in front of a man.
Just a story.

They all sat in the truck, but this time up front.  John drove to the border and explained the whole story.  He made it back home, and the women the same.  His life grew new meaning.  His heart had been changed.

Years passing by, with John doing much.  He shared his money with the women in that truck.

John gave his visits to all but one.  He did not visit who picked up the gun.  John was unchained from the baggage he carried.  John and this woman were peacefully married.

Love can be found in the oddest places.  Racist faces don’t need slavery to make a case for.  The economy needs apologies.  The poverty’s astonishing.  Pharmacies gain on the chronically!  Gave plagues to the poppy seed!  Our political dishonesty bailed out the monopolies.  We stampede on religious needs.  Enemies will never please.  We need to find a love agreed!
Just a story.

-THE END-


Written by Sean Reed

Los Angeles, California

CHEERS

♦♦♦

To the ones we lost,
and the ones we gained.
To the beasts that beat us,
and the lions we tamed.
To the ghosts we let go,
and new passions made our own.
To the debates,
flood gates
and special dates.
To each who lost a fight or two.
I hope most of all,
this year is for you.


Written by Sean Reed

Los Angeles, California

A Year In Hollywood

It has been one whole year since my first film industry set in Hollywood, California.  A dream from the midwest.  We drove our lives across the country gripping white knuckles, dogs in the back and bags on the roof.Roadtri   I knew nothing about how to enter the film industry besides what I learned from a few books.  A long shot for a kid from Akron.

Looking for a way in, I worked for free until I was hired.  And hired again, and hired again.  I didn’t believe I’d ever be where I am today.  I’m not only talking about being a full time screenwriter in the city of Angels.  I’m talking about being happy.  Straight up, non drugged, non social media filtered, honest happiness…  Like every single person on earth, I still have my moments in the valley.

I’ve learned it’s not the job or the location.  It’s feeling worth in this world.

The Devil says, “You’re DIFFERENT, be ASHAMED.”

But God says, “You ARE different, and it’s BEAUTIFUL.”

My wife and I have experienced our own little novel of life this year.  It’s not supposed to happen this way.  But all things are possible through Jesus.  I know, I went there… but the thing is, how can I not believe?  My life is BETTER NOW.

I didn’t believe at 19 years old, when I wrote a suicide letter with a shotgun resting on the table.  I didn’t believe while bunked up in jail, shaming myself for all the mistakes I made.  I didn’t believe Sunday nights, crying depressed because a soul sucking job came Monday morning.  I didn’t believe even on the way to my childhood church on a random evening, desperate for answers.  I didn’t believe when the church doors were locked, even when a man inside unlocked and invited me inside.  I had already pulled in my driveway earlier after work and for some reason, I reversed and went to a place I never planned.  In a quiet and still sanctuary, I found myself hoping to believe.  A seedling of faith.

FAST FORWARD YEARS LATER:

I recently filled out an online security question in case I forget my password.  One of the options they expect no one else to know is – “What is your dream job?”  I smiled because I’m currently working my dream job.  I now know a rare gift.  If it ends tomorrow, I know God gave it and I’m forever grateful.  He planted the desire in our hearts and we shot for the moon.  A mustard seed of faith moved a mountain in my soul.

It’s not the location.  IT IS NOT THE JOB.  It’s that I put every ounce of trust in God and waited with the most fragile vulnerability I’ve ever felt.IMG_3161  With fear and evil closing in, He called my name and I experienced peace.  My Hero.

If you find yourself in a difficult season of life, clench down and be still.  You are not alone.  Search for God’s Presence wherever you are in life and He will meet you.  He can carry you through your exact struggles.  It’s difficult to be weak so God can be strong for us.  The gateway leading to life is narrow and difficult.  Only a few find it.

You are so unique in this life.  You are the few.


Written by Sean Reed

Los Angeles, California