The Room With No Windows

The room had no windows. Easier to keep little eyes focused. When the door closed, a smiling face greeted me. Inside, I felt the weight of pending failure. I could not hide my frown. For as long as I remember, I have found it hard to bring words out of my mind into the open….

The Day I Lost My Son

“I can’t see KJ!” Moments before, we had arrived at the beach and gotten settled. I remember Ginnette saying, “the water looks rough today.” I grunted, not actually listening to her words, only the sound of her voice. I was already on my second page. But now her words lifted my head. She was standing,…

How the Mundane Works to Our Favor

It was a mundane run for groceries. Just a few essentials; Pasta, bananas, raspberry dark chocolate bar… The clerk seemed efficient, quiet and attentive. “How are you? she asked, grabbing the candy bar to scan. “Good.” I rifled through my wallet to find my card. Then I remembered, ‘practice the presence of people.’ I had…

PaPa Had the Best Laugh!

PaPa had the best laugh. Strong. Chesty. A roar of joy, which widened eyes, and turned heads. Filled a room. As family lore goes, PaPa had suffered a terrible loss, but never talked about it. He was fond of saying, however,  ‘one laughs well, who has wept long.’ This is a story of laughter. PaPa’s farm…

Seven Runners…a true story

I want to invite your imagination to picture how God can unify the body of Christ to be the face of God. Seven runners lace up, and stretch out under a morning sun, talking easily, and laughing as they often do when getting ready to punish one another. Each has run close to, or under,…

Forty Days, Eighty prayers, One God, At a burning Bush

Discipline in the Christian life is tricky, because the fuel for it can fall on the side of either legalism, or infatuation. Legalism doesn’t end well, because the gas for the journey is our own determination. Infatuation is short lived, too, because it depends on bursts of inspiration, which hardly ever come long enough, or…

Those Hands…

By any standard, my father has large hands. Growing up, I watched him use those hands in construction. Whenever I shook them, which was rare, my own would be engulfed entirely by callous and scar. His mason hands never saw the inside of a glove. They are a memory to me, those large hands, because…

Hope…an allegory for those who suffer

Hope stands in the hollow of the wood, holding out a hand to all of you, for each a different purpose, but for all the same reason. “Will you trust me?” The words are simple; a child can decipher them, yet they feel heavy and impossible; breath comes in shallow gasps, heart thumping with anxious…

It’s What Happens When Students Take Over

I remember it was autumn. In our apartment over the feed store in down town Excelsior, Ginnette and I watched leaves fall like drops of wax into the placid waters of Lake Minnetonka. Into our tiny space crammed about 30 high school students, making this meeting anything but placid. That night with the lights dim,…

A Love Story

The worn valise in my bedroom closet might be mistaken for a used and obsolete piece of luggage. I found it a few years ago, resting on a garbage can. I would have run past it, except I remembered my third daughter, Brianna was into retro, so I slowed down, and decided it was worth…

The Words of Authors In Heaven

To hold an old book, feel it give under my squeeze of affection, to smell it’s pages, and it’s age-scented letters; this my friend is like breath in my lungs. Church libraries entice me to enter their hallowed narrow isles. There I touch dewy decimal spines, looking for familiar authors. Most often though, I come…

An Ember Of A Fire From Another Era

Today students across America got up even earlier than normal, splashed sleep from their eyes, and stood around their school’s flagpole—and prayed. I walked to the high school in our neighborhood, and met my friend, Ms. Rivera, head of discipline there. Her previous job was in a prison. She had invited me to attend See…