Divine Escape

By | 2019-05-15T11:38:45+00:00 May 20th, 2019|

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mystery The Clocks features antagonists who commit a series of murders. Although their initial plot targeted a single victim, they began taking more lives in order to cover up the original crime. When confronted by Poirot, a conspirator confessed, “It was only supposed to be the one murder.” Like the schemers in the story, the religious authorities formed a conspiracy of their own.

The Crooked Steeple

By | 2019-05-15T11:18:41+00:00 May 19th, 2019|

Turns out that crooked church steeples make people nervous. When we visited some friends, they shared how, after a fierce windstorm, their church’s proud steeple was crooked, causing some alarm. Of course, the church quickly repaired the flagging spire, but the humorous image got me thinking. Often church is seen as a place where everything is expected to look perfect; it’s not seen as a place where we can show up crooked...

A Kind Critique

By | 2019-05-03T12:13:48+00:00 May 14th, 2019|

During a landscape painting class, the teacher, a highly experienced professional artist, assessed my first assignment. He stood silently in front of my painting, one hand cupping his chin. Here we go, I thought. He’s going to say it’s terrible. But he didn’t. He said he liked the color scheme and the feeling of openness. Then he mentioned that the trees in the distance could be lightened...

Walking in the Light

By | 2018-12-31T11:15:11+00:00 January 4th, 2019|

Darkness descended on our forest village when the moon disappeared. Lightning slashed the skies, followed by a rainstorm and crackling thunder. Awake and afraid, as a child I imagined all kinds of grisly monsters about to pounce on me! By daybreak, however, the sounds vanished, the sun rose, and calm returned as birds jubilated in the sunshine...

Good Riddance Day

By | 2018-12-19T15:40:39+00:00 December 28th, 2018|

Since 2006 a group of people have celebrated an unusual event around the New Year. It’s called Good Riddance Day. Based on a Latin American tradition, individuals write down unpleasant, embarrassing memories and bad issues from the past year and throw them into an industrial-strength shredder. Or some take a sledgehammer to their good riddance item...

Putting Up Hay

By | 2018-11-23T14:11:30+00:00 November 27th, 2018|

When I was in college, I worked a summer on a ranch in Colorado. One evening, tired and hungry after a long day of mowing hay, I drove the tractor into the yard. Acting like the hot shot I thought I was, I cranked the steering wheel hard left, stamped on the left brake, and spun the tractor around. The sickle was down and swept the legs out from under a 500-gallon gasoline tank standing nearby...

My Real Face

By | 2018-10-10T16:05:27+00:00 October 21st, 2018|

For years, feelings of unworthiness and shame over my less-than-godly past had an adverse impact on every aspect of my life. What if others discovered the extent of my blemished reputation? Though God helped me muster up courage to invite a ministry leader to lunch, I strived to seem perfect. I scrubbed my house spotless, whipped up a three-course meal, and donned my best jeans and blouse...

Better Than Ever

By | 2018-10-04T16:52:21+00:00 October 5th, 2018|

The story is told of a group of salmon fishermen who gathered in a Scottish inn after a long day of fishing. As one was describing a catch to his friends, his arm swept across the table and knocked a glass against the wall, shattering it and leaving a stain on the white plaster surface. The man apologized to the innkeeper and offered to pay for the damage, but there was nothing he could do; the wall was ruined...

God’s Care for Us

By | 2018-07-20T14:29:17+00:00 August 22nd, 2018|

My young grandsons enjoy dressing themselves. Sometimes they pull their shirts on backwards and often the younger one puts his shoes on the wrong feet. I usually don’t have the heart to tell them; besides, I find their innocence endearing. I love seeing the world through their eyes. To them, everything is an adventure, whether walking the length of a fallen tree, spying a turtle sunning itself on a log, or excitedly watching a fire truck roar by...

Unlocked

By | 2018-06-18T16:28:28+00:00 June 27th, 2018|

A boy born with cerebral palsy was unable to speak or communicate. But his mother, Chantal Bryan, never gave up, and when he was ten years old she figured out how to communicate with him through his eyes and a letter board. After this breakthrough, she said, “He was unlocked and we could ask him anything.” Now Jonathan reads and writes, including poetry, by communicating through his eyes...