By |2019-01-24T14:13:30-04:00January 31st, 2019|

I’m glad when a philanthropist builds an orphanage for homeless children. I’m thrilled when that person gives even more and adopts one of them. Most orphans would be delighted merely to have a patron. But then to learn the sponsor isn’t content merely to help me but also wants me. How must that feel? If you’re a child of God you already know, because it’s happened to you...

Algae and Diatoms

By |2019-01-24T13:56:55-04:00January 30th, 2019|

“What’s a diatom?” I asked my friend. I was leaning over her shoulder looking at pictures on her cell phone she had taken through a microscope. “Oh, it’s like algae, but it’s harder to see. Sometimes you need a drop of oil on the lens or they have to be dead to see them,” she explained. I sat amazed as she scrolled through the pictures. I couldn’t stop thinking about the intricate detail God put into life that we can only see with a microscope...!

Rip the Heavens

By |2019-01-24T13:41:58-04:00January 29th, 2019|

In a recent conversation, where a friend shared with me that she’d abandoned her faith, I heard a familiar complaint: How can I believe in a God who doesn’t ever seem to do anything? This gut-wrenching question appears for most of us at one point or another, as we read of violence in the news and as we carry our own heartbreak. My friend’s distress revealed her intense need for God to act on her behalf, a longing we’ve all likely felt...

The Mood Mender

By |2019-01-24T11:04:21-04:00January 28th, 2019|

As I waited at the train station for my weekly commute, negative thoughts crowded my mind like commuters lining up to board a train—stress over debt, unkind remarks said to me, helplessness in the face of a recent injustice done to a family member. By the time the train arrived, I was in a terrible mood. On the train, another thought came to mind: write a note to God, giving Him my lament...

Righteous Among the Nations

By |2019-01-24T11:03:32-04:00January 27th, 2019|

At Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, my husband and I went to the Righteous Among the Nations garden that honors the men and women who risked their lives to save Jewish people during the Holocaust. While looking at the memorial, we met a group from the Netherlands. One woman was there to see her grandparents’ names listed on the large plaques. Intrigued, we asked about her family’s story...

Free from Frostbite

By |2019-01-24T10:10:21-04:00January 26th, 2019|

On a winter day, my children begged to go sledding. The temperature hovered near zero degrees Fahrenheit. Snowflakes raced by our windows. I thought it over and said yes, but asked them to bundle up, stay together, and come inside after fifteen minutes. Out of love, I created those rules so my children could play freely without suffering frostbite...

The Wide Shot

By |2019-01-24T10:05:20-04:00January 25th, 2019|

During the television coverage of the inauguration of the first African-American president of the US, the camera showed a panoramic view of the enormous crowd of the nearly two million people who had gathered to witness the historic event. CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer remarked, “The star of this show is the wide shot.” Nothing else could capture the multitude stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol...

A Big Deal

By |2019-01-23T15:49:48-04:00January 24th, 2019|

A family member needed help with his December rent. To his family, the request felt like a burden—especially with their own unexpected expenses at year’s end. But they dug into their savings, grateful for God’s provision—and blessed by their relative’s gratitude. He handed them a thank-you card filled with grateful words. “There you go again . . . doing nice things, probably passing it off as no big deal...”

Trying to Impress

By |2019-01-21T17:04:26-04:00January 23rd, 2019|

When a college class went on a cultural field trip, the instructor almost didn’t recognize one of his star pupils. In the classroom she had concealed six-inch heels beneath her pant legs. But in her walking boots she was less than five feet tall. “My heels are how I want to be,” she laughed. “But my boots are how I really am.” Our physical appearance doesn’t define who we are; it’s our heart that matters...

Always a Child of God

By |2019-01-22T10:57:05-04:00January 22nd, 2019|

During a church service I attended with my parents, according to the usual practice we held hands while saying the Lord’s Prayer together. As I stood with one hand clasped to my mother’s and the other to my father’s, I was struck by the thought that I will always be their daughter. Although I’m firmly in my middle age, I can still be called “the child of Leo and Phyllis..."