The bride was beautiful. It wasn’t just her dress, makeup or natural beauty. It was the radiance of her heart from the inside to out. To top it off, she wears beauty, both the inside and out, with a genuine, sincere grace and humility. Her face glows. Her heart shines.
It was the day she’d always dreamed about, and it was glorious. The groom is a top of the line guy, and soon after they met, their spirits danced. They fell in love and quickly grew into soulmates.
Any time you’ve lost a close family member though, there’s always a certain yearning that rustles the memory of those who won’t be there. The bride’s father was a good man, and marked her life profoundly well. He passed away unexpectedly after her 5th grade year, and making it even harder, she and the rest of her family were with him on vacation.
It’s hard for children who can’t touch, hear or talk to their hero. Some children respond negatively and grow up cold, hard and calloused. On the other hand, some choose otherwise. Continue reading The Bride’s Dance
It was a short run into the grocery store before work for a few apples and coffee creamer, but the only checkout line was long, too long.
The lady at the front of the line was an elderly lady and the bagger said something I couldn’t understand, then walked out with her to put her groceries in her car. The next person checked out and was on the way out when the bagger returned.
The man bagging was probably 65 years old and had a round face with sharp features and a big pleasant smile. The lady in front of me checked out ten or twelve items and the man’s face seemed locked into a smile. He’d grab a couple of items, glance at the checker and customer, as if searching for something in their faces, and then bag the next items.
After the lady paid, the man handed her grocery bags to her and said something, but again, I didn’t understand him. She smiled, spoke back to him and he laughed out loud beaming a huge smile.
I wasn’t paying attention when the checker checked me out. I swiped my card, spoke to the checker and turned to grab the plastic sack from the bagger. I caught a glimpse of his hearing aids just as he said in garbled words like someone severely deaf….at least I think he said, “I love eat apples! And coffee!” Continue reading Smiling Eyes
Things were different with communion last week! Normally they pass around a tray with little cups full of grape juice followed by a plate with crunchy, unleavened bread.
To save time, someone had a great idea…..wait for it….how about two clear little pew cups? Put juice in the top cup and the little unleavened, wannabe a big Saltine cracker when I grow up, in the bottom cup. Brilliant! Cuts the distribution time in half!
Houston, we have a problem. Mainly, I wasn’t paying attention.
It came time to partake, (partake is a much more spiritual word than drink or eat, yes?) so I chugged (not a spiritual word) the juice in the top cup. Janet looked at me, started laughing and said in a semi loud whisper, “You did it backwards”.
Confused, I looked at my little communion cup and there were still a couple of drops of juice. I figured she meant I left some, so I took another swig, even stuck my tongue up in it to get the last taste of grape paradise out of the cup. Continue reading Supper Lord’s Backwards
It’ll be dark in an hour. I jump in the pickup and start driving aimlessly in the country. After a sweltering hot day, it’s cool. With both windows rolled down, it feels like heaven on earth air conditioning.
Smells of a freshly cut grass, honey suckle patches on fence rows and the scent of distant rain clouds permeate the air. Red dust flies up behind the truck. It envelops the branches of the trees looking like a Picasso painting in the rearview mirror.
A little further down a pickup pulling a trailer is in a field being loaded with hay bales from last week’s cutting. Just past that is a house where a boy rides his bike in a big circle over and over. He finally gathers his courage to take another shot to go airborne off the ramp he made from two 5-gallon buckets and a stiff piece of plywood.
It’s the South. It’s the country. It’s rural living. It’s a culture where most folks like a slower pace of life, and not being crowded in at the gills by neighbors. Continue reading Dirt Road Drive
I used to work in the mental health field as a Licensed Professional Counselor. With that said, I’ve talked to a lot of people who suffer from depression and, in fact, have been depressed before myself. To say it is difficult is a vast understatement. Statistics show that 10.4% of all physician office visits have depression indicated on the medical record. With that in mind, here’s my best shot to describe depression –
Depression is having cold feet in the summer, and sweating under your coat in winter.
You used to raise your hands to praise to God, but now, getting them high enough to scratch your ear is hard.
You smile, shine your package, wrap your heart under brightly colored wrapping paper, but the contents are broken, crushed, spilling out.
You don’t know why. Not really.
Hope despairs. Continue reading The Talons of Depression
A few weeks back I was leaning on the rail of a cruise ship sailing the inside straits of Alaska. Miles away were large, looming mountains on the Alaska coast.
It wasn’t the land that was intriguing though, it was the hundreds of birds on both sides of the ship. They were a species of seagull and they were everywhere! Some sat on the water riding out the waves.
Most, however, flew about a foot above the water and didn’t miss a flap of the wing. Occasionally, one would scoop down to pick up some tasty morsel of food flying at break neck speed.
There were so many over the water, yet it seemed they flew with organization, almost marching band style. They were like a symphony of different instruments playing different notes that make no sense alone, but all together play beautiful music. The birds darted and dodged, skillfully avoiding mid-air collisions, moving in groups in their beautiful, living maze of feathered music. Continue reading To Who Knows Where
I hope this letter finds you doing well. In your last letter, you asked me to describe more about Jesus to you. I’ll do my best:
As you know, I am his father, at least in name. His existence has literally nothing to do with me. He would have been here, one way or the other. I know that. Really, I’m just lucky, blessed that I get to be where I am.
The angel told me what happened, and part of what would be. I knew then my part in His life was an honor and privilege.
Some people frown at me, particularly some of the high and mighty people around here. They look down their noses at Mary and I and sometimes say cruel things. We just keep going.
I want to react, to fight back and tell them how the camel eats the grapevine. Instead, Mary quietly reminds me to relish today. After all, the end is the prize, not the present.
Continue reading I’m Kind of HIS Father
A cold, internal stone wall held him prisoner, but somehow, he was held captive at the same time he was set free.
Like everyone who grew up there, he loved the beach, so when it was darkest inside, that’s where he drove outside.
It’s an isolated stretch of beach where few venture, especially at night. No one was around for miles. Inside he felt in 360 degree direction, yet outside, the full moon was shining nature’s night bulb so bright you could see your shadow.
He sat on the bumper in the warm, humid, salty air. The sea, rich in smell and wet sand gave off its familiar odor. Roaring waves crashed upon breaking waves which eventually slid gently in a thin glass sheet to where land starts and ocean stops. Continue reading Beach Fix