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Singing with Reba

Yesterday was a day of possibilities. Pillowy clouds against a blue sky. Then a storm shoved its way through, snapping arms off maples, birches, cottonwoods, slamming red cannas face-down on the ground. On looking at the aftermath, my husband and I stared long at the yard. This morning, we are traveling to a family reunion. Life must go on. What about the yard debris? Neither of us speaks of it. Hearts heavy, we head down a gravel drive with chicken-and-dressing, hot dogs, cookies. An act of love. An act of duty. Stress. It can steal the good out of everything. Once the car climbs the mountain road, I insert Reba’s disc. I want to somehow lighten our load. My husband asks if we might start w

Friends

Pancakes. My husband and I sit at the table while grandchildren serve our waiting plates. It’s sprinkling rain outside. Hospitality from God. I am presently relieved about the willow tree. Will she make it or not? She is losing leaves. Today I’ll sauté yellow squash and onions. Squash, given to us by a friend. She had abundance, and gave it away, living out her belief. Generous. She is known by her fruits. The Bible says all of us will be known by our fruits. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, New King James Version). There’s nothing mentioned about inte

What's Ahead?

Oh my! I think I was handed what I did not ask for, but maybe what I needed. Most of us are aware of tragedy and comedy in Shakespearean plays, but it’s all over our lives. My family has been blessed this week with a son and granddaughter visiting, a house full of laughter, love, and more laughter. Mixed-in with that goodness and comedy was a gout attack, a son’s wonderful wedding, followed by teen grandchildren bickering with one another. Up and down, like a roller-coaster. . . . Maybe I needed all of it back-to-back to see the breaking and falling apart, the forgiveness, and the new start. John, our son, points out, “It’s been there throughout history. . .” But, we agree, it can take hundr

Outside the Gate

If we only knew the load each person bears, we’d likely become more loving, giving, caring. I wonder if God is bringing more and more needy people my way or if I am growing more sensitive. Some are strangers, some not. What do I do with all this? They seem outside the gate. Not just any gate, but my gate. Somehow, I need to offer help—a smile, a note, an email, a prayer, a visit, money, time, flowers from my yard. There’s very little risk there. What seems risky is offering a room to lay one’s head, a meal. Really listening and getting to know their circumstances, who they are, how they live. This is risk. This is compassion. Christians, isn’t this our calling? It takes our time, energy, ris

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