The Last Word

By |2019-09-11T13:56:18-04:00September 5th, 2019|

Her name was Saralyn, and I sort of had a crush on her back in our school days. She had the most wonderful laugh. I’m not sure whether she knew about my crush, but I suspect she did. After graduation I lost track of her. Our lives went in different directions as lives often do. I keep up with my graduating class in some online forums, and I was intensely sad when I heard that Saralyn died...

Starting Now

By |2019-07-03T16:38:42-04:00July 6th, 2019|

When my oldest sister’s biopsy revealed cancer in late February 2017, I remarked to friends, “I need to spend as much time with Carolyn as possible—starting now.” Some told me my feelings were an overreaction to the news. But she died within ten months. And even though I had spent hours with her, when we love someone there’s never enough time for our hearts to love enough...

When All Seems Lost

By |2019-05-03T13:16:23-04:00May 15th, 2019|

In just six months, Gerald’s life fell apart. An economic crisis destroyed his business and wealth, while a tragic accident took his son’s life. Overcome by shock, his mother had a heart attack and died, his wife went into depression, and his two young daughters remained inconsolable. All he could do was echo the words of the psalmist, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1)...

A Longing in Stone

By |2019-04-30T12:17:16-04:00May 13th, 2019|

“Ah, every pier is a longing in stone!” says a line in Fernando Pessoa’s Portuguese poem “Ode Marítima.” Pessoa’s pier represents the emotions we feel as a ship moves slowly away from us. The vessel departs but the pier remains, an enduring monument to hopes and dreams, partings and yearnings. We ache for what’s lost, and for what we can’t quite reach...

Bowl of Tears

By |2019-04-29T13:52:02-04:00May 8th, 2019|

In Boston, Massachusetts, a plaque titled “Crossing the Bowl of Tears” remembers those who braved the Atlantic to escape death during the catastrophic Irish potato famine of the late 1840s. More than a million people died in that disaster, while another million or more abandoned home to cross the ocean, which John Boyle O’Reilly poetically called “a bowl of tears.” Driven by hunger and heartache, these travelers sought some measure of hope during desperate times...

A Fitting Time

By |2018-09-17T10:40:30-04:00September 19th, 2018|

Yesterday I purchased an airline ticket to send my firstborn child to college. I’m surprised the keyboard on my computer still functions, given the waterworks my eyes unleashed on it during the flight selection process. I have so enjoyed my eighteen years of daily life with her that I am saddened by the prospect of her departure. Yet I wouldn’t rob her of the opportunity that lies ahead simply because I’ll miss her...

Hope in Grief

By |2018-06-22T16:17:06-04:00July 29th, 2018|

When I was nineteen, one of my close friends was killed in a car accident. In the following weeks and months, I walked each day in a tunnel of grief. The pain of losing someone so young and wonderful clouded my vision, and at times I even felt unaware of what was going on around me. I felt so blinded by pain and grief that I simply could not see God...

Hope Anyway

By |2018-06-22T14:48:07-04:00July 22nd, 2018|

Among the hundreds of articles I’ve written for Our Daily Bread since 1988, a few stick in my mind. One such article is from the mid-1990s when I told of a time our three girls were away at camp or on mission trips, so six-year-old Steve and I had some guy time...

Everywhere and Nowhere

By |2018-02-05T16:11:03-04:00February 10th, 2018|

A family friend who, like us, lost a teenager in a car accident wrote a tribute to her daughter, Lindsay, in the local paper. One of the most powerful images in her essay was this: After mentioning the many pictures and remembrances of Lindsay she had put around their house, she wrote, “She is everywhere, but nowhere...”