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  • 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...

  • the one word that fixes a broken heart, this broken world

    On Tuesday, September 14 th, 2010

    Water runs down the middle of the alley, a silver tear in the shadows, and I can hear a baby crying. I’m walking a narrow Guatemalan City street, a street without house numbers, mailboxes, doorbells — more like a path through tin dominoes rusted right through. Brown eyes lurk in doorways, peer out between barred gates. A girl in a grimy pink t-shirt keeps clanking at an...

  • home and hurting and healed

    On Monday, September 13 th, 2010

    (Thank you for the prayers that winged me home and back to the farm in the very dark, early morning hours today. I am exhausted and broken and healed and groping for words for what has happened in my heart these last few days. I will never be the same and I don’t know what any of it means and I am asking God, “How can you use me?” I have seen. Now how do I res...

  • if you like your dreams and miracles explained

    On Saturday, September 11 th, 2010

    Posting live from Guatemala City: When he stood up to speak, his hands stuffed nervous in his pockets, his right shoe tapping anxious, I had no idea that the whole ugly mask was going to fall straight off this thing. I guess I should have seen it coming in his eyes, in that flicker, the way he held his head. “I am in business management in college,” Daniel says, his black w...

  • the one question you’ve got to look in the mirror & really ask

    On Friday, September 10 th, 2010

    I don’t know her name. Don’t know the names of any of the women whose homes I walked into where the earth gives away, them living in tin shacks clinging like bare barnacles up the side of sheer ravine, them hanging on at the end of the world. I wait at the edge. From behind the shacks at the rim of the gorge, a dog barks. His hollowed flank’s this gully, his ribs protr...

  • how to make your life an endless celebration

    On Thursday, September 09 th, 2010

    She asks to speak at the pulpit, to say a few words, her apron still on, her eyes love worn and lined with gentle strokes. Her name is Ruth. She’s a woman who makes her pots a holy thing (Zech. 14:21), who stirs eternity at the end of her spoon. The translator serves us Ruth’s first words: “My mission is the kitchen.” Many saints  have dishpan hands an...

  • what’s really muffling out the music of our lives

    On Wednesday, September 08 th, 2010

    It’s late Tuesday night and the plane’s supposed to have turned its steel beak to the sky hours ago but we’re still at the gate waiting, waiting and making big talk about small things. “You always carry your guitar with you on trips like this?” Dustin, he’s a West Texas man moved up to Colorado to work with Compassion. And he’s asking Shaun, a Texan transplan...

  • How They’ve Found the Real Missing Link

    On Tuesday, September 07 th, 2010

    Love that acts, that doesn’t shrink back, that sacrifices and stretches itself right out, fingertips reaching, this is the link that form the chain that pulls the poor from the bondage of poverty. Six farm kids are links in the love chain this morning. “I don’t want you to go, Mama….” Shalom had run to the door sobbing, her nightie flying, found...

  • what to do in case of a heavenslide of blessings

    On Monday, September 06 th, 2010

    With little less than twenty-four hours before boarding a plane for Guatemala with Compassion Bloggers, I crawl in between Hope and Shalom to whisper prayers, feel us all breathe close together. Shalom whispers, “One more night and you go. I think I might cry.” By the hall light, I can see her chin silhouetted. See her tremble. We cling. I can feel it too, the heart...

  • how you might really be pregnant and not know it yet

    On Wednesday, September 01 st, 2010

    I’m checking out sizes of socks in an aisle at Walmart when the feeling hits, a wave, and I’m washed away. I have felt this before. It’s only a fleeting moment, but I lay my hand low, where a child begins to grow on the inner walls of a woman and I feel it. I feel pregnant. I feel full of hope, heavy with child, swollen with love. The child’s name is Xiomara M...

  • one thing you can do for your sore heart

    On Tuesday, July 06 th, 2010

    The mercury in the thermometer rockets and tomatoes droop sad and I water the magenta geraniums in the window boxes hanging out on the picket fence. Sometimes a heart grows sore. Mine has. I weed rows of onions and pound on heaven’s door because I have got to figure out how to best spend this one life. This is all I have got to figure out. I walk to the woods and kids blur ...

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