In church I was probably the least prepared person there, and most likely, the one who needed to be there the most. The preacher started talking about togetherness, belonging, unity, community.
Somehow, someway, sometimes something will hit you right between the eyes and just smack across the brow. Today it smacked me. Community.
I looked around. A few rows over sat a young couple who are privately grieving a miscarriage and wondering when, if ever, will they have a child. They hurt. Only those who’ve been there know how hard it is to say goodbye before you say hello. Community.
Continue reading Heart of Community
A car skid to a stand-still on the dirt road in front of my house some years back. Through the woods, I could see and hear three young men.
It wasn’t ordinary, and they were interested in something on the edge of my land. I armed myself, told my oldest three sons to wait where they were, fired up the truck and drove to where they were.
There were three college guys looking up a tree on the edge of the barbed wire fence on the property line. Way up at the top of a large pine tree was a huge mama raccoon looking down at the guys. About ten feet up, four baby coons were sitting on a tree limb. Continue reading Baby Coon Precious
My dad, Daniel Rab, was best friends in high school with Jimmie Jones, who lived right across the street. Dad was the fifth of 9 Rab children and Jimmie was the oldest of 8 Jones kids. Needless to say, under those circumstances, they were always at each other’s house and there was always something to do.
Dad got to where he would go over to Jimmie’s house, but not so much to see his best friend, but rather Jimmie’s younger sister, Jo Ann, my Mom.
And so it was over time Mom became a Rab.
Continue reading I See Daniel
A retired elderly couple, probably in their late 70’s, was making their way into Wal-Mart as I pulled into a parking spot. They were dressed like they had just come from church and were in no hurry to get anywhere fast.
By the time I got in the front door, the elderly woman was bent over a display table just inside the door admiring a red heart flower pot with miniature red roses growing in it. She was short, well dressed and had her blue-gray hair fixed up for her Sunday best.
He was a tall man with a relaxed, easy-going expression. He was quite dignified and had an air about him that he was a thoughtful, well-educated man.
Still looking at the flowers, she said to him, “Aren’t these pretty! They never had anything like this until the last few years.” Continue reading Miniature Rose Surprise
In my junior year of college, Aubrey came to the Gulf Coast from Mississippi State for a college internship. He was in every way a young, southern gentleman, a kindhearted fellow with a charisma that shined when he spoke in his slow, southern drawl. On top of it, he was mature beyond his years.
We met at church and Aubrey immediately became a part of our college group. In fact, not knowing a soul from Texas, we became his local social network. He became a friend.
Even under the best of circumstances, things can go bad. For Aubrey, it did. Continue reading Hayride of a Lifetime
I’m not even sure how it started, but once it did, it became a friendly free for all. It was insults, from the Bible, no less.
I got to work one morning and found a yellow sticky note stuck on my computer screen from a co-worker which had both an insult, and a Bible verse that went with it. It said – They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard… Leviticus 21:5 “You shave the sides of your beard having your little goatee AND you’re bald! You’re a double sinner!!”
I laughed. Then plotted.
The next day I left a post it note on his desk, and was quite pleased with my response — Continue reading Bible Battle
The rumble of a Harley pulled up on the other side of me at the gas station pump. I was watching the money side spin a lot faster than the gallons, and glanced across the gas pump at the biker. He wore overalls, which were unbuttoned on the sides, boots, a black sleeveless Harley t-shirt, sunglasses and a skull cap.
For whatever reason, a gallon or so later I looked back at his motorcycle and noticed the trailer he was pulling. It was literally a LOL moment!
His motorcycle trailer was made out of a full-sized casket! It was meticulously welded to a trailer frame, and both the casket trailer and his motorcycle were color coordinated in matching blue paint!
I complimented the uniqueness of his trailer and he beamed a satisfied smile. When I asked if I could take a picture though, he came alive! (No pun intended.) Continue reading You Can’t Take It With You
Some things you never forget, like the day the sky cried in our neck of the woods. Fifteen years ago today, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated above the skies of East Texas. That Saturday started like every other normal day, but sometimes, normal days become extraordinary, memorable or catastrophic.
I had a group of employees in a First Aid/CPR class that started at 6:00 AM at the local hospital. After everything settled in, I went to the office to catch up on paperwork.
At 9:00 AM, the entire office began to shake violently and there was a steady roar outside.
Continue reading The Sky Cried
Then Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. Genesis 8:8
A dove feathers through the wind,
In solace quest to seek,
For peace and hope that claims a chair,
At the table of the meek.
For somewhere in the midst of waves,
A promise is her goal,
To loose the boarded spirit,
And free the humbled soul.
The pleasure in a journey,
Comes seldom while in flight,
But wings that rest in virtue,
Soar gentle through the night. Continue reading A Dove’s Search
It takes someone with a golden heart and an iron will to work at Hospice. My friend, Linda, is one of those people.
Hospice workers try to guard their emotions so they don’t burn out and can help the next person, the next day. Some people still get through the protective wall though and profoundly touch the heart.
For Linda, one such person was an older lady who was quite lucid at the time, but only had a couple of months to live. Every day she went to see her. They would sit and visit, and Linda did all the things she could to help care for her new, dying friend.
No one should feel alone when they die, and the lady’s family was scattered across the country and not able to be with her. Linda was, however, and she began preparing her for the final goodbye. Continue reading Baby Girl