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
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
When my youngest son, Clark, was in high school, he got a gash in the top of his head from a basketball tournament. Clark shaved part of his head so we could look closer. Butterfly stitches wouldn’t stick, so I pinched the skin together while one of Clark’s friends dripped Super Glue on the cut. Worked well too, a lot better than the first time….
….the first time Clark was 7 years old. I coached his baseball team and was working with the outfielders to catch pop flies. It almost dark and I told the boys no more but Clark begged for one more pop fly. Since he was my son, I went against my better judgment and threw one more pop fly, high, really high. Clark had perfect big leaguer form, stuck up his glove, and the ball hit him squarely in the mouth.
The week before he pulled his first front tooth and had big open gap when he smiled. The ball smashed the open gap and pushed the next tooth through his upper lip.
Another player’s dad, a doctor, took a look. It needed a stitch, maybe two. Off the record, he said if it was his son he would avoid the ER trauma and just super glue it together. Continue reading Super Glue Stitches
I just wanted a smoothie, that’s all! A simple smoothie, in and out, no big deal.
Last week two college girls were working the Smoothie King counter. After staring mindlessly at the order board, I finally asked what the best tasting, healthiest smoothie was.
She immediately said her favorite smoothie was loaded with vitamins, fruit and called the Pre-Mama.
She was right! It was great!
Friday two college guys were working. They were polar opposites. One was huge and tall; the other short and small, leprochaun size really. I wanted to catch the hyper little guy and demand he take me to his hidden a pot of gold!
A lady was ordering in front of me. The big guy taking her order had on a T-shirt at least a size too small, plus he had no, absolutely zero, enthusiasm. Undertakers at funerals have more enthusiasm! Continue reading Mama of King Smoothie
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
Today was Jessica’s last, first day of school. It’s always different for a senior during their last year of high school. It’s the beginning of the end, but also an end of the beginning. It’s a celebration, yet a mourning, and both emotions run a parallel course.
Most seniors. whether high school or even golden age seniors, inherently seem to make more effort to savor the time. A sentimental process of looking back and remembering starts.
At the same time, seniors usually seek out more opportunities to make more meaningful memories with their friends because the looming reality is that it is all about to change.
It’s strange. I’ve noticed that even kids who don’t like each other tend to unite during their last year of high school. Maybe it’s because they share a bond of we’ve done this together and belong together. We belong to this school. We belong to this year. We belong to this graduating class. We, we as a group, we have walked a path together, even if on different trails, and we will end this journey together as a group, so we will enjoy each other on the path because after this year, it is no more. Continue reading Last First Day
I bought a bust on clearance at Hobby Lobby. At 90% off I snatched the last one up like a large mouth bass after a Carolina rig.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized my new purchase was damaged at the shoulder. In fact, it had a really big hole in it. At first I started to leave it like it was because looking straight at it, you couldn’t see anything wrong. But turn it ever so slightly, and there was the gaping hole.
With a little bit of plastic cement and some poor, ragged patchwork, the hole was fixed, even though it’s obvious it’s been repaired. After a couple of coats of spray paint, it was all the same color and not as blaringly obvious.
Now it’s on my desk in our home office. The pleasant, gently smiling woman looks like all is good, but on close examination, there’s “patchwork” hidden in plain sight. Continue reading People Patchwork