Curtained Off

By |2020-04-09T16:00:37-04:00April 10th, 2020|

As my flight reached cruising speed, the flight attendant pulled back the curtain that cordoned off first class, and I was given a startling reminder of the stark differences between areas on airplanes. Some travelers get to board first, enjoying premium seating with extra legroom and personalized service. The curtain was a humbling reminder of my separation from those perks...

Stay on the Way

By |2020-04-09T16:12:29-04:00April 8th, 2020|

Dusk fell as I followed Li Bao along the tops of terraced walls cut into the mountains of central China. I had never been this way before, and I couldn’t see more than one step ahead or how steep the ground dropped off to our left. I gulped and stuck close to Li. I didn’t know where we were going or how long it would take, but I trusted my friend...

Rich Toward God

By |2020-02-24T20:16:44-05:00February 25th, 2020|

Growing up during the Great Depression, my parents knew deep hardship as children. As a result, they were hard-working and grateful money stewards. But they were never greedy. They gave time, talent, and treasury to their church, charity groups, and the needy. Indeed, they handled their money wisely and gave cheerfully...

No Line to Love

By |2020-01-24T11:59:58-05:00January 24th, 2020|

Sometimes when my Labrador retriever wants attention, he’ll take something of mine and parade it in front of me. One morning as I was writing at the desk with my back turned, Max snatched my wallet and ran off. But realizing I hadn’t seen him do it, he returned and nudged me with his nose—wallet in mouth, eyes dancing, tail wagging, taunting me to play.

Here for You

By |2019-05-30T22:57:39-04:00May 31st, 2019|

On the outskirts of Paris, as in other cities around the globe, people are coming to the aid of the homeless in their communities. Clothing, covered in waterproof bags, is hung on designated fences for those living on the streets to take according to their needs. The bags are labeled, “I’m not lost; I’m for you if you’re cold...”

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...

Love Won’t Stop

By |2019-04-30T12:15:16-04:00May 12th, 2019|

After I turned nineteen, and years before I owned a pager or a cell phone, I moved more than seven hundred miles away from my mom. One morning, I left early to run errands, forgetting our scheduled call. Later that night, two policemen came to my door. Mom had been worried because I’d never missed one of our chats. After calling repeatedly and getting a busy signal, she reached out to the authorities and insisted they check on me...

Beyond the Neighborhood

By |2019-04-26T16:29:04-04:00May 3rd, 2019|

In the summer of 2017, Hurricane Harvey brought devastating losses of life and property to the Gulf Coast of the US. Many people provided food, water, clothing, and shelter for those in immediate need. The owner of a piano store in Maryland felt prompted to do something more. He considered how music could bring a special kind of healing and sense of normalcy to people who had lost everything...

God’s Retirement Plan

By |2019-04-23T12:14:33-04:00April 28th, 2019|

Archaeologist Dr. Warwick Rodwell was preparing to retire when he made an extraordinary discovery at Lichfield Cathedral in England. As builders carefully excavated part of the floor of the church to make way for a retractable base, they discovered a sculpture of the archangel Gabriel, thought to be 1,200 years old. Dr. Rodwell’s retirement plans were put on hold as his find launched him into an exciting and busy new season...

Enjoying Beauty

By |2019-04-23T12:08:07-04:00April 27th, 2019|

The painting caught my eye like a beacon. Displayed along a long hallway in a big city hospital, its deep pastel hues and Navajo Native American figures were so arresting I stopped to marvel and stare. “Look at that,” I said to my husband, Dan. He was walking ahead but I hesitated, bypassing other paintings on the wall to gaze only at that one. “Beautiful,” I whispered...