All posts tagged: faithfulness

Afternoon with the Trembling Giant

I’m convinced that there is no more beautiful spot on earth on the first of June than Cherry Lane. It runs just south of my back yard. When the afternoon spills its light just before dusk, brilliant and lavish, the field grasses on the hillside seem lit from within, topped with flames of white fire. It’s holy. * There’s a stand of a half dozen aged poplar trees on the west side of the lane growing near a small culvert and behind a low, stone wall. The stones cracked free from some ancient lava flow, and now they rest one atop the other covered in lichen and last year’s moss. The poplar leaves rustle in the slightest breeze and always make the sound of a rushing mountain creek. The wet, pungent scent of poplar and the small watery roar instantly pulls me back to when I was a little girl. Dad would drive the old camper truck off onto random forest service roads in Colorado and while mom cooked lunch on the propane stove, we’d …

The Advent Fulfilled: The Unbelieving Priest and the Promised Prophet

Sometimes I imagine what characters of the Bible may have been feeling, taking in with their senses and experiencing behind the narrative in the scriptures. I do this to understand, to find sight where the details are few, to stretch within the miracle of scripture and find the human-divine connections. I do this to better understand. Every Christmas, I think about old Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, and his unbelief and the unique discipline of silence exacted upon his by Gabriel. In my Christmas devotions today, I write from Zechariah’s voice, or thoughts, not to pretend that I know what he’s thinking, but to search for the deeper story of God’s faithfulness to us, even when we grow older and jaded and overly-familiar with God. He can make life spring up in the barren places (Isaiah 35) and give us joy and delight (Luke 1:14) where there had only been despair and sadness. God is always good on his word. And God is always good, as Zechariah learns here: Long ago, many years ago …

What Clips Your Wings? {or, yelling at God}

What clips your wings? My youngest boy brought home an application to be a class representative in student body government, his first foray into leadership, politics, into submitting himself to the popular vote. The form says: List in this box text that describes why you should be considered for student leadership. His answers are adorable. But more than the cuteness of a nine-year-old stretching his wings in the confidence of his own flight is the profundity of his confidence. He is not tinged by doubt, he is untethered by past failure; his future is abounding in hope and choice and greatness. He lists his achievements  (in his best handwriting) and doesn’t see them as small, but sees them as toeholds and handholds to climbing higher. “I get to be line leader”; “I almost always turn in all my work on time”; “I am kind”. He is putting himself out there, testing the lift and strength of his confidence. The class votes next week on whom they’ll choose to represent them. And he may fail. A …

Night Vision, Halogen Headlights, and a Friend in the Darkness

A rising full moon and crystal sprinkling of stars shone clear as we drove the mountain pass that leads through the Cascade mountains towards home.  We thanked God for dry roads, free of ice and January’s customary snow, for a car that performed and the safety we experienced. But, inside, I felt fear. I felt it nudging along my spine, dispelling any sense of peacefulness; I felt it’s grip tightening on my neck; I felt the arrows of doubt, those thoughts I tried so hard to deflect, piercing my confidence: It could happen again. And, if it does, will your children escape this time? What are the odds of surviving similar life-threatening injuries out here, this far from cities, hospitals and emergency care? Careful breaths brought momentary comfort. I employed my habit of replacing doubts with truth, logic and scripture. The Lord is my Light and my Salvation — whom shall I fear? {Psalm 27:1} I will never leave you or forsake you. {Hebrews 13:5} Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything…present your …

Telling Stories {And a Great Story I Didn’t Write}

Stories are best when shared. That’s the generosity of the writer: to give the best, happiest, most tormenting, effective, persuasive version of a story. We lay our hearts on paper, keyboards and choose to bask in the glow of computer screens when sensible people are sleeping. And we do it for sake of the story. Perpetuating the story is the passion behind the revisions and edits, drafts, posts and submissions. We writers are a vulnerable, crazy breed. And we have big shoes to fill. Who can tell a tragedy like Shakespeare? Who can catapult a plot like Grisham? Who can begin to touch Tolkein or kill off characters like Christie? Who can place a mirror before society to reveal it’s faults with with grace and humor as Austen, Stevenson or C.S. Lewis? But if we relied on the storytellers before us we’d be missing the point: we all have stories to tell and unique voices to share our personal perspectives. And, those of us who’ve entered into the story of redemption–that old, old story that …