She’s doing it again. She’s supposed to be outside playing, but she snuck in through the dog door and pushed one of her little chairs up to my desk, watching what I’m doing. In a moment, I know she’s going to start trying to stretch a foot over my lap so she can actually sit with me. Being next to me isn’t enough. SheRead More
The room is silent
Like the hearts of those
Who saw Him hung
And the stone rolled overRead More
Two hammers rang out
with dull metallic thud,
first one, then another,
Sweat dripped, running into the holes,
soiling their work,
wetting rough spikes,Read More
The first time I experienced the Grand Canyon, I stood back from its precipice in child-like awe stunned by its vast beauty. Reds, golds, grays, blacks, chalk whites mingled in impossible hues. Vertigo swirled. My toes clung to the rock path through my boot bottoms. I was fearful the Canyon’s profoundness might reach up and snatch me away.
Mystery hung over the miles-long canyon in a haze. I breathed it in. I had reached the edge of the earth, where knowledge and imagination falter. Crows glided overRead More
On March 27th, a group of people gathered in Wellspring's sanctuary for a lament service. As people arrived, they found the space completely transformed. Instead of the usual arrangement of chairs facing the front, the chairs were set in the round, a cross on a table in the middle, the band off to one side, the lights low. Around the circle of chairs were a number of sitting areas, armchairs and end tables and rugs pulled from every corner of the church. The whole room was designed to invite in,Read More
Growing up in Georgia, hot muggy July summers invited us to leave Atlanta’s smothering heat and journey to St. Simons Island. The window unit in each bedroom barely dented the thickness of humidity. We ached for a breath of wind and an escape into cool waters. Beachside, it was easy to catch cool ocean breezes.
As a child, sandcastles and jumping waves created a playful experience at the ocean. It refreshed me to frolic in the waves as the humidity slathered me with sweat.
On Georgia’s Golden Isles, the Atlantic Ocean looks murky, opaque, and cloudy. Those impenetrable shades of water housed life below the surface, yet I couldn’tRead More
Sometimes the unexpected occurs.
. . . Maybe more often than we’d like to admit.
As a planner, I tend to have a difficult time when the unexpected occurs. It makes me feel out of control (and I like control).
However, I am learning—and ever re-learning—that it is precisely in such times that it is imperative to be open to receive whatever the Lord has in store. In addition to a widening scope of beauty, such experiences serve to expand my understanding ofRead More
This past year, the idea of seasons moved from an analogy for life, into my everyday, lived out story. It was no longer this distant parallel, but one I was living and breathing.
Each year, as if it's the first time, I am completely marveled by the little sprouts that emerge from the early seeds I sow in trays indoors. I'm awestruck at how, year after year, these seedlings rest, in the dark, quiet depths of the soil--and then as if on command, make their appearance. From one day to the next, small hints of bright, green stems peer from beneath the soil's surface. I imagine that if I lingerRead More
One of my orchids is blooming. It’s a big deal because this is the first time in six (maybe seven?) years that it has been healthy enough to grow a stem. There will be flowers soon, beautiful pink flowers with red stripes.
But six years is a long time to wait, especially when I could have purchased a new orchid plant already in bloom at the grocery store. I didn’t think the poor, old orchid would make it for a while, there always seemed to be problems: not enough water, not enough light, finding a different container and bark for it to grow in,Read More
Several years ago, I found myself at the crossroads of knowing the right thing to do while trying to convince myself that if I could pretend I didn’t know, I wouldn’t have to do it. God had been dialoguing with me about extricating myself from an unhealthy relationship and I had gradually begun to insinuate myself out of the conversation. I clung to this relationship, my manipulated mind and emotions all conspiring to convince me it was my duty—certainly not my joy—to remain. I went along in this mannerRead More
Last week, I broke my own rule…
As a matter of principle, I avoid offering motel vouchers to our friends in the Compassion Ministry. It simply is not a financially sustainable service to provide. We offer a wide variety of resources -- meals, a food bank, safety, hospitality, mentorship, medical care -- but notRead More
Leaves rustle behind me. I listen. The minute intermittent scratch—barely audible, but amplified by the silence around me—is the only sound for miles. Besides my own breathing.
It’s a field mouse burrowing under the long, golden grass that is my seat. Now a crow croaks above. His wings send a windy squeak into the stillness. If clouds made noise as they scraped over the snow-dusted mountain peaks, today I would hear it.
It’s that quiet.
This day my world consists of the shifting sounds and changing colors of wilderness. The aspens stand on their milky trunks with their gray branches reaching for eternity. A doe and fawn skitter through the meadow, never realizing my hunting partner andRead More
I’d venture to guess that, like most people, you listen to lots of different things. Whether we’re at home, in the car, at work, or in the grocery store, most of us are constantly listening to something—music, podcasts, audio books, radio, and the like.
But have you ever considered how the things you listen to affect you?
Specifically, (and probably not surprisingly) I think of music. Athletes listen to music to get themselves “pumped up” before the game; after a stressfulRead More
A muffler of heavy snow shrouds my world. Only a few inches, but enough. Fallen snow can create a cavernous silence. Sound catches in it and rolls up like a huge snow ball to sit and wait for a thaw. Then it breaks loose again, noisy, intrusive, grating. Until then, a snowy nightRead More
Last year's Hosanna's have gone. Palm branches have been burned and what is left resides in a small container no larger than my hand. The ashes, the dark, smudgy ashes are ready for marking. But what do they mark, really? What do they remind us of? Why do so many in the world chose to have this mark imposed on them?
These sooty ashes are applied with the words "You are dust and to dust you will return", and so they remind us of our earthiness. They speak of our mortality, forRead More
Although you hear often from parents about the exhaustion and lack of sleep in the first year of your little one’s life, you can’t really know how you will feel until you are in the midst of it. And when you finally have a good sleeper and you are lulled into the false sense of security that your baby will sleep through the night and then they regress and wake up many times in the night, it is like the world is ending and you think you will never be able to function again! A couple of weeks ago, our 6 month old son, Micah, got hit with the plague that has been going around. He had an entire night of a fever and chills and wouldn’t let us put him down, so Jeff and I took hour-long shifts all night longRead More
Noisy Oklahoma rain pounded against my office window. Being a good Colorado boy, I didn’t own an umbrella. It was a good day to hunker down. Besides, I had a Bible study to prepare.
Except I couldn’t get Kalista off my mind. Kalista was a member of my congregation in Tulsa. She was irrepressible, dimple-cheeked, funnyRead More