His frail fingers trembled as he took the nickel from the missionary’s hand. The starving Haitian boy was wearing a pair of ragged shorts, threadbare t-shirt, and shoes that had worn out months before.
During the peak of the famine, homeless children and orphans looked for any way they could to survive. If they could get a nickel, they could get enough scraps of food to live another day.
So when the missionary was walking on a road in Haiti and came across the sickly orphan boy sitting listlessly on the roadside, he gave the boy a nickel. Continue reading When Did I See You Hungry?
At church, a boy about seven years old was baptized. As is custom before a baptism at our church, the media team shows a video of each person talking about their life, why they chose to believe, and why they want to be baptized.
In the boy’s video, he spoke sincerely, and his contagious smile was memorable because he had lost both front teeth. He said several times in the video that he wanted to be “babatized” and talked about how he wanted someone special from out-of-town to “babatize” him.
Turns out, the special person was the boy’s godfather, a young man in his late twenties who could easily pass for a military soldier. Where we go to church, immersion is the mode of baptism, which means going completely under water from head to toe, or maybe if you’re seven years old, getting dunked. Continue reading The Best Babatism Ever
A cool front came in and all the windows in the house are open. Ahh! Fresh air from a cool, refreshing breeze! On days like today, forget Montana, Italy and every other place on the bucket list to visit. Sitting in the backyard with a hot cup of coffee and the tree leaves rustling is as good as it gets!
Even the puppy dogs are energized with more bounce in their pounce and bite in their bark. Maybe it’s just the wind’s relief after a frigid cold winter. Maybe it’s just a change to something new. Maybe it’s just enjoying the moment. I don’t know, but sitting here watching invisible air rustle visible leaves makes me envious of the wind.
Somewhere right now the wind is blowing through an early spring potato field and elsewhere, over the top of a sky scraper, an anemometer is turning in circles to measure the wind’s speed. Continue reading What Wind Sees
The seller dropped the keys in my youngest daughter’s hand, and with a smile, told her he had just filled up the gas tank for her too!
I’ve bought eight, yes eight used cars for each of my eight kids as their first vehicle. Don’t be impressed. There is a set amount that has been the same for all of them. They can spend more if they want with money they have saved, or they can spend less and take the extra cash and run.
Continue reading Car Deal Gone Good
The alarm goes off at 5:05 AM. It made enough noise and took the perfect amount of time to rouse from a deep sleep. A pull of the blanket over the head won’t make sleep return. Besides, a nagging conscience says get up and exercise.
By 5:25 AM I’m hitting the road. At the same time the day before, I walked with my daughter, Jessica, while she walked the neighbor’s dog.
Today though, the dog will be walked in the afternoon. And besides, today Jessica wouldn’t wake except for a five-alarm fire and Janet’s allergies would go ballistic in the midst of the pine pollen blizzard.
The first steps are always the hardest, especially walking by yourself. It’s a battle of wills as the body objects to the mind’s intentions. After a quarter-mile, the body submits. After a mile, body and mind are in harmony.
Continue reading It’s All Good
We had a financial audit at work. Ronnie must have been worried. He dressed up. He even wore a tie for the auditor. That’s how it started. In a business where Sunday best is casual Friday attire to most, a tie is an anomaly.
He picked up on my sarcasm, grinned, and ignored me carrying on about how good he looked and how he brought up the class of the whole joint! He dismissed me with an amused smile and talked about how he used to wear a tie every day to work, 25 years ago, in another job. And after all, he was the company Accountant!
I droned on and on about how professional and competent he looked wearing a tie while the rest of us, the other 194 ragged, wretched employees, wore boots, old jeans and Carhart shirts. When I suggested he wear a tie the next Tuesday also, he pursed his lips and looked away, like he was deeply considering it. And why shouldn’t he? He was the Accountant and had garnered more attention from co-workers while wearing a tie for a day than he had the whole last year. Continue reading Tie Tuesday
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
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
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
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