Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Dear Christa—

It was a small family baby shower—women and young girls related by marriage and blood, Christ and womanhood. As we nibbled on quiche and pastries and sipping tea, the conversations drifted from birthing stories, recent and long ago.

Petite Kate leaned forward, wide-eyed, taking it all in. Finally, my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law set her gaze on Kate and said:

“Giving birth is a miracle—a miracle you get to participate in, and soon you’ll have your own story to tell.”

It’s true—every baby that catches breath in our tumbling, broken world is a miracle—a miracle of hope. 

This Good Friday as we reflect on Jesus’ death amidst a broken world, tumbling out of control—we do so with the knowledge of His resurrection and hope for mankind.

Does it seem strange that God would come first as a baby? Maybe not—maybe every infant’s coo should remind us there is great hope. And, even in the midst of sorrow unbearable, there is resurrection and hope beyond the now.

A few days later Kate gave birth. It wasn’t easy, and on a cold, snowy Saturday—a mere week from her shower—I stared into early morning darkness, praying for Kate, praying for a miracle.

Now this Good Friday, Kate does have her own story to tell—a story of miracles and life. All life is a reflection of the True Life in Jesus.

Christa, I hope you see it. I hope I see it—this Easter morning.

Looking forward to Sunday—

Happy Easter, Christa— 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Color My World

I remember when we—the first on our street—blatantly and purposefully broke the 1970s outdated and expired covenants for house color. The painter slapped on the off white over the dark brown trim. Then went on the country blue—my favorite color—over the faded dark forest green. It never occurred to us that anyone would think anything other than how pretty it looked.
Then it rained—only lightly. And, our friend, the painter, tilted his head as he pondered the small bubbles and said, “I think it’ll smooth back in as it dries,” and it did.
Later Renee, across the street, said, “It looked awful, but then when it dried, I told George, ‘It looks pretty good. I think I can look at it.’” The thought to consult the neighbor—who’d look at the house far more than I would—never ever crossed my mind. I never thought how important color could be.
Then, as years passed and houses were painted lighter, more updated colors that washed away the 70s’ idea of beauty, we added a front porch, and Renee became sick. There was an experimental treatment; and unknown to all, she was on the placebo. Then, one day George was out painting his trim a bright, sunshine yellow. And, we—all of us neighbors who knew them—we all knew why. And Jay and I looked at that yellow and we said, “It sure is yellow”—all winter long—and when the college kids came home, they all said, “It sure is yellow.” And when spring came, the vibrant forsythia in their front yard burst into bloom, and the whole house seemed to sing of happiness—but it was not so.
After Renee died, George sold his house and moved out East close to his daughter.
In moved a man who’d never seen our ugly green—never watched our children young and grow up. And the first thing he did was paint over all that yellow.
Often we color our world—we color it the way we want it to be. Sometimes it looks good; sometimes it doesn’t. Some days it rains, and then later the bubbles dry out smooth. Sometimes they don’t.
I used to not know how important color can be—but it is.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


  We shouldn’t be such complainers about waiting—yet we are. Just think back to the last time you were put on hold on the phone…

Jay dragged himself to the truck and fell into the passenger side. “This is the worst sore throat,” he said. “Did you call the doctor?” “Yeah, I can’t get in until 4:30 on Monday. Being Thursday afternoon, my response was “That’s ridiculous!”

As soon as we got home, I called. Maybe at least he could get a strep test.

Our doctor of 20 years just switched offices and has only been back in business this week. I’m sure there was more than the normal backlog. When someone finally picked up my call, her immediate response was “You’ll need to hold. There are several others before you.” Then came the long wait.

Jay was waiting to take off his shoes to see if we were going or staying. I was feverishly searching for the volume button on the phone, thinking, “They’ve obviously not done any research on the effects of music on one’s attitude or this is a subtle way to get people off the line.”

Jay coined the term “ignore” several years ago for phone situations like these. So, I stated—several times—“I’m on ignore,” as my impatience grew.

Finally, a voice came on the line. After briefly explaining Jay’s condition and asking if another doctor was available sooner, she politely responded, “Oh, while you were on hold, I had a cancellation for 9:15 tomorrow that I’ve not put back into the system yet. Would that work?”

“Yes, yes, that will work great. Thank you so much.” And as she made the computer updates for the appointments, I said, “It must have been Providential” to which she agreed.

Waiting is frustrating. Waiting on God can be down right grueling. Waiting when in dire need is beyond description. But often, good things come from waiting. Waiting on God is usually when God is working where we can’t see it, and there is always purpose. I know that; I don’t often live that.

I should be more patient.

…now there is this Amazon issue of little William’s birthday gift being “out for delivery” for four days that I need to deal with…