Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Snare 
by Susie Blair

 This past Mother’s Day I was reminiscing about my mother and the wonderful person she was.  Not only did she write two children’s books that were simultaneously published in Canada and the United States (she received letters from children in Ontario, Iceland and England) but she also wrote articles in McCall’s, Good Housekeeping and probably other magazines (under a nom de plume…the name not ever revealed to us either). Mama was well known around Alexandria and Baton Rouge.  She was a frequent guest speaker at Garden Clubs, Matinee Music clubs, and Junior Leagues.  She was known for her wit and unusual insights into every day living.  She was also a Bible scholar and was known for her vast knowledge of the history of the Bible.  Her Sunday school classes were well attended at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria. 

Mama was well known in other circles as well.    She was known by several Governors and people all over Louisiana, yet she never put on “airs”. Ms. Susie was Ms. Susie.   It was nothing for her to jump in a swimming pool, in her evening gown, on a dare in front of lots of important people from Louisiana.  It was nothing for her to answer the front door barefoot and in shorts for a visiting governor.  It was nothing for her to call a representative or senator in Washington, D.C., about business that wasn’t something Daddy, a state senator, should handle on the state level.  If something wasn’t handled correctly, Mama went right to the source, or the manager, or the head of the company.  She even had warehouses shut down because of some illegal underhanded business.   

Yet, Mama seemed to meet everyone as if they had been friends forever.  This is probably because she was a Methodist minister’s daughter and grew up all over Louisiana.  One of her favorite quotes was, “My whole life has been in a fishbowl.  I was one as a minister’s child and another one as a politician’s wife.    One day I’m gonna’ write a book.”  I wish she had. 

Mama loved to write, but then she did come by it naturally.  Her Aunt Dolly played the piano and wrote songs.  Her mother wrote poetry.  Her brother wrote textbooks and her sister wrote poetry and painted.   She came from a family of creative people. 
 There is so much more I could tell about Susie Blair,  but today I want to share a poem she wrote years ago, the date unknown – I discovered it when in college and have kept it with me all my life.


By Susie Blair

Psalm 25:15 “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”
Psalm 31:4 “Pull me out of the net, for thou art my strength.”

It looked like a cobweb.  Lacy, pretty, not very strong.
Something I could touch, brush aside if it bothered me.
So, I reached out, I touched it.  Things began to happen that surprised me plenty!
It looked like a cobweb, not very strong,
Only it seemed to have a strange quality,
Holding tight, tight.
I couldn’t let go.

I couldn’t get out.
Either I got smaller to be held by a cobweb, or it got bigger to hold me. 
I couldn’t tell which.
The bands of silk were rawhide strips.  Green rawhide digging into my flesh every time I moved.
I looked at myself, Helpless there,

Wanting to get out.
I looked again.  I was smaller,
Quite little,
The web was the same.  It was I so changed.
 The web had changed me from big to little the moment I touched it.

Now it was too late,
Now I was too little, too helpless to ever escape.
I just had to sit and wait,
Hopelessly to be consumed piece by piece.
Till I became nothing, nothing, nothing at all.
This was the Web of Sin.
No escape?

I felt so small, incapable of trying.
Weaker, every minute.
I cried over and over, Help!
Please help me!  Someone, please!
In a frenzy of fear, I turned, twisted, fought with all my strength.
My strength was nothing, nothing at all.
The web!

The terrible sticky web!
How I wished I never touched it.
Too late!  I cried.
But I was wrong.
I had become small, almost nothing.

Suddenly a big strong hand reached, tore away the sticky web.
Effortlessly, easily, picked me up.  Held me high.
I leaned over, I looked down, afraid of falling.
Then…I looked up.
I saw a face
Gentle, patient, kind.

A voice that said, “I won’t let you fall.  Not ever, not ever.
You may jump off if you like, but you only get tangled up again.
Why not stay.  Stay here in my hand.
Don’t look down.  You’ll feel frightened.  Look up!
Look up, little one.
I did.

I felt stronger almost at once.
Daily I grew again.  Regained my stature, my smallness disappeared.
I got bigger,
Less afraid.
As I got stronger, He let me help Him going about picking up others caught in the web.
I could tear the web away from others myself….
With Him helping me, of course!
Never by myself.

Note: I recently discovered two magazine articles that were published and am looking forward to reading them soon.  Still no sign of her nom de plume.

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