My father and I had stopped at his office so he could pick up a few things before his flight for his business trip. We were in no rush—his flight didn’t leave until after 1pm. We planned to get some breakfast in town before leaving for the airport. He stood looking at some papers while […]
The Tree Near the Side of the Road
I am learning about perspective in my oil painting class. Usually I rush into a painting, excited to get it started. But in this particular photograph of a tree near the side of road, my teacher encouraged me to keep proper perspective in the underpainting. To project accurate perspective, the elements must line up correctly […]
Disturb Us, O Lord
Despite the gentle sound of the waves and the cool evening breeze descending over the lake, I couldn’t help but feel disturbed. The sunset over the Sea of Galilee should have soothed my soul, but my mind wouldn’t stop turning the story over and over. I sat there on the eastern shore recalling the day […]
Do You Want to Get Well?
Regardless of our personalities, faith, politics, demographics, race, or social standing, one thing we do have in common is that we all need healing. Over the course of our lives, every one of us will need physical or psychological healing at some point. Healing has been a constant theme in my own life beginning in […]
When Will Then be Now?
Light in the Darkness Here we are—mid-December: a season of celebration that in at least one uber-educated, moderately liberal, American college town (mine), people seem confused by the juxtaposition of culture and tradition; tradition and church. Mid-December and there is more darkness than light, so we spend more time in fluorescent spaces sprinkled with glittering […]
Looking for the Perfect Fit
No matter what anyone says, no matter what I even believe about myself—Jesus’s furious longing for me will not change. I haven’t quite found it yet—that custom-made place he created for me in the Body of Christ. Maybe you haven’t either. Maybe you still feel like a kid playing dress up or like you’re still trying to squeeze into last winter’s jeans.
Peering Through Fog
Fog rolled in last summer, hovering outside my window above the Puget Sound for weeks. It obscured what is familiar, the landscape of the everyday. I could not see two feet beyond its heavy curtain. In the distance a foghorn bellowed, “I am here” to boats, creatures, people displaced by limited vision. From the shoreline […]
The Space Between Darkness and Dawn
The space in between darkness and dawn….. the space where the morning star hovers and the sun’s rays have not yet touched the sky where the wash of a rising canopy warms the earth this space is where God restores our stories. Yes, there was pain in the darkness in places concealed: the […]
One Game. One Throne.
Thoughts on Misplacing Life’s Instruction Manual. Yesterday I organized a closet that needed cleaning years ago. A cluttered cabinet was repurposed to stack boxes of games hoarded over the decades when I raised four children in a now empty nest. It’s difficult to let go of these treasures: Scattergories, Stratego, Don’t Wake Up […]
I stand on a dirt path in the Philippines. It has been raining for weeks. The path is muddy and rocky where rivulets of water have washed away the dirt. Above me a young mama looks out the window. The frame of an open window. There is no glass pane on the […]
Releasing All But the Main Thing
“In every circumstance, regardless of the outcome, the main thing Jesus has asked me to do is to love God and my neighbor as religiously as I love myself. The minute I have that handled, I will ask for my next assignment. For now, my hands are full.” The Main Thing is Seeing All […]
Recently I began the practice of handwriting verses in calligraphy. Fingers grasped around a pen, slow movement forms each letter, each word, each phrase. This intentional placement on a vellum page brings me peace and focus. Ink outlines the meaning of each line, causing me to ponder….why did the author choose this word? What meaning […]
Learning to Linger
He peered at me from under his unruly bangs of brown fur, hidden in part by the grate of the cage. I commented on how much he looked like my own Yorkie, Junior, though this dog was much smaller and where Junior’s fur was a silvery grey, his was a black that accentuated his small […]
Push me, if you dare, but my stability does not originate from within me. Rather, my roots reach deep, delivering stability, not easily shaken.
The Secret World Within
“To wonder is to stand in the towering shadow of God however frightened we are of our own smallness. Like Moses, let us pause at the bushes that burn. Like Tomas, let us bend for a closer look at Christ—even if, paradoxically, it’s doubt that reaches to touch his side. Let us have certainty when […]
Of Blistered and Beautiful Feet
Her intense gaze met mine, or so I believed. When she turned toward the audience the feathers of her tail responded in a dance of their own, winding around her slender form. She wasn’t a ballet dancer on a stage; she was the exotic bird, emerging from her cage to capture my imagination. Time ceased […]
Another Thorn, Another Rose (Mental Illness as a Blessing)
I fight against harm perpetrated both by the myth of the Strong Black Woman and the stigma my culture attaches to mental illness every day. Since 1619, America nurtures me to mute my emotions, my pain, and my fear.