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Doing Thanks

  • When You Are In Desperate Need of Hope

    On Thursday, November 10 th, 2011

    It can come straight out of an empty sky – Hope like a cloud — only the size of a man’s fist. When I meet Lidia, when I cup her face and pull her near, and her mother stands right next to here, there in her white shirt. Her mother named Blanca and smiling. Blanca, Lidia’s mother come looking like an Elijah, looking for so long into that blank, white empty sk...

  • When Thanksgiving Becomes Thanksliving …

    On Tuesday, November 08 th, 2011

    The Farmer and I traveling with Compassion to Ecuador, slipped into our beds here in Quito this morning at 2 am after a day of travelling… us carrying this story from home and all the preparing to go, carrying it out now into the Ecuador streets… Thank you for traveling with us in these posts this week and taking the time to pray over the children… When she pu...

  • {Video Concert on the Farm}How the Poor & Rich Might find Release: The Release of a Third World Symphony

    On Tuesday, August 30 th, 2011

    So it rains the day after he leaves. The day after he walks out of the wheat field, packs his guitar into that beat up, duct-taped case and heads south again, music on his mind. But Shaun Grove’s music, his songs stay behind. Playing loud on the stereo here the next morning, the washing machine spinning and the kids all singing words by heart. Can you listen to one disk ...

  • The problem of evil? The Greater Problem of Good?

    On Monday, August 08 th, 2011

    So after dinner, she picks coneflowers in the garden. Cradles the long stems in her apron skirt, carries them up through the picket gate. And she turns to me on the top step of the porch, holds her apron out to me, all those purple petals — art in an apron. “Why is there all this loveliness?” She wants to know. I almost tell her — The World is full of loveliness bec...

  • when food’s a hallowed thing

    On Friday, July 29 th, 2011

    Weeds keep coming up and we can’t keep up. But July, all carefree, just shrugs its shoulders and the zucchinis bloom happily anyways into these steaming plates, lettuce frilling the edge of sultry days. So I take that basket brought back from Africa, the one with the name of the woman who wove it, written right there on the tag in her own hand — I take that basket t...

  • when you’re praying to live more like Jesus

    On Wednesday, June 15 th, 2011

    When I first read her story on the screen, I want to drive a for sale sign into the front lawn and sell all the pigs. Mainly because I don’t think I can shoe horn a few hundred hogs into a suitcase — and there’s now way around it: my heart’s already left on a jet plane for Africa. Because here I am with the clean and the climbing in North America, and Katie is ...

  • weekends are for the wide open fields

    On Saturday, June 04 th, 2011

    For the whole earth to stretch like an invitation, for the wind to move you, run through you, for the fields white and ripe for the harvest, for making your life a seed of sacrifice that falls to the ground to reap bountiful joy.   May your weekend be about the fields, kindest friends, the wide open, waiting expanse of the fields. All is grace, :: Weekend Wanderings:...

  • To Set Up a Complete Nativity Scene:

    On Wednesday, December 15 th, 2010

    It’s Day 85 of my life-after Guatemala that I set out the nativity; it’s only now that I remember that the baby would be about 85 days old too. It’s my only souvenir from Guatemala — a red soil formed Mary, three clay-combed wise men, a Babe the size of a thimble. Headbands for the girls, a thin woven bracelet for each of the boys, a weaving made into bookmark for ...

  • The Great Giveaway

    On Wednesday, December 01 st, 2010

    When they ask for a story I pull up blankets and cover them with words. That is what made them. And that is what sustains them and they need this before they can sleep, words to lay down on. So I pluck from thin air, the only way any story comes. Something from nothing, a gift handed down. “Once upon a time…” This will be one of those, a possibility. “Once upon a tim...

  • Christmas: Thinking about Whose Birthday It Is

    On Wednesday, November 17 th, 2010

    I t’s been over ten years of nothing under the Christmas tree here. Strange, the way children teach men. :: It was dark, I do remember that. Bedtime. Smoothing back hair, kissing foreheads. On round moon hanging large outside the window, an ornament dangling off stars, decorating the night. I had gifts to wrap. So, pull up the blankets. Prayers. And then, when I’m...

  • when you’re called to The Insignificant Significant

    On Wednesday, November 10 th, 2010

    The child who lifted up a corner of my life and upended me was born on Remembrance Day and I am now three thousand miles away and two time zones to the east and how can I forget? It was her eyes. Bright, like dawn breaking, a light flooding over me living in the land of the shadow of death. How many times just this week do I flip through the photos of those twenty minutes that ...

  • when you want the first step in fixing a broken world

    On Wednesday, September 15 th, 2010

    I don’t know really how to come back to this space. What to write about, what to say, what doesn’t sound flippant, indifferent… negligent. When our Compassion team debriefed on our last night in Guatemala, each of us were asked to share the one image we would take home, share one word picture that encapsulated our experience. I couldn’t speak. I had no words. Just this...

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