Category Archives: Hope

A Rocking Chair of Life

She remembered an incident that happened years before and burst into laughter.  Instinctively, her hand went to the rocking chair beside her.  The blade of reality cut as she returned to the present.

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes to regain her composure, and settled quietly back into the rhythmic rocking of her chair.

For years she sat each evening with her husband rocking at sunset.  Sometimes they talked non-stop; sometimes they sat quietly.  Sometimes they even bickered back and forth like two school children, but there was never a doubt that they were on each other’s team.  In fact, they were each other’s biggest fan.

The years since he retired were some of the best and enjoyable evenings of all. Each knew, however, that the sunsets they watched from their front porch rockers were similar to themselves.

Even so, when he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer six months earlier, it seemed like a short time was cut shorter, for it was all too quick, too sudden, too complete.  Continue reading A Rocking Chair of Life

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At The Foot Of The Cross

At the foot of the cross,

Where dirt gives way and rugged wood is revealed,

Where sweat, blood and tears drop from above,

Where laughter, jeers and taunts are heard,

Where only a faithful few remain, overcome in pain as they look on…

At the foot of the cross,

Where the blood mud puddles,

Where evil raises its hands in victory unaware it just lost the war,

Where one death births life for all… Continue reading At The Foot Of The Cross

The Dove’s Flight

Through the air, gliding the winds in silent solace seeking a place that may, or may not yet, be there.  Peace and hope comfort my spirit as I wing along seeking a land that only the meek shall enter.

All I see is water, waves upon waves, moving and massaging, yet erasing.  Somewhere is a promise, and to find it is my goal.  For this, my boarded, protected wings were set free to fly in search of the promise which will release the confined, and set free humbled souls.

It feels good to fly freely.  Yet on the other hand, a journey’s labor is rarely worth it during flight.  The fun, the pleasure comes in the landing, where the destination is safely enjoyed.

So on I fly through daylight, then the dark night, searching, seeking, straining to see by moonlight that virtuous destination where I may land, yet all that’s there  is water. Continue reading The Dove’s Flight

Today’s Firefly Moments

It’s not about lifetimes. It’s about moments.

No one intends to forget the taste of life known during their early years. Yet as the earth rotates and circles the sun, life gets busy, rushed, stressful.  We tend to brush aside today for what seems more important, making it to the next paycheck, planning for retirement or just getting through today.

It’s easy to lose sight of the road we’re rolling over now and focus on the mile marker of the next destination.  In hindsight, it’s a tragedy to bypass today for tomorrow, assuming tomorrow actually comes.

When life’s sun begins to set in the Western sky, human nature ponders more moments of the day. Moments tend to become more precious.  The mind begins to wander, wondering what was forgotten, downplayed or just missed altogether in the past.  Life goes so fast.

No one on their deathbed asks for their 401(k) statement, primps in the mirror, or looks just one more time at a problematic carpet stain in the hallway.  We want people. People we share life with. People we love. Continue reading Today’s Firefly Moments

The Bride’s Dance

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

Smiling Eyes

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

Supper Lord’s Backwards

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

They Said

No doubt her hands were shaking when she wrote her suicide note.  Her heart was in a million pieces, pieces that apparently no one noticed, or maybe, cared to notice.

She tried to write her last words, words that would explain, words that will tell all and clarify her actions. She wanted to describe her feelings, and try to explain why she did what she was about to do.

Her heart spilled out of the pen onto the paper as she wrote her last words.  She tied a rope to a ceiling beam in her apartment, stood in a chair, tied the other end around her neck and kicked the chair aside.

They Said story

The police found her several days later when a neighbor became concerned.  Her suicide note explained nothing, yet said it all.  Her note contained two words…….“They said”.

Tragically, this true story happened in California and no one ever discovered who, how or what they said.  One thing, however, was certain, they said it.

The tongue, and the pen, can wield amazing power to make people laugh or be encouraged. Words can cause one to believe and hope, yet words can bring devastation, heartache and despair.

Words can be of instruction, construction or destruction.

There’s the power of life and death in words.  They can heal, or they can kill.

Look for opportunities to shut up. Converse wisely.  Talk gently. Speak life.

Too bad that’s not what “they said”.

They Said story

Dirt Road Drive

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

To Who Knows Where

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.

To Who Knows Where

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