Of Skiffs & Galleons

Not all prayer requests carry the same weight.  There are everyday prayers, call them skiffs , and then there are rarely seen ones, like Spanish galleons that cross the oceans. The skiffs carry coal into the harbor almost daily.  The galleons remain out of sight, yet when they do come, appear low in the water,…

A Walk In The Garden

“Lord, if I could dig out of your dense and diverse beauty, just a small sample, a fragment like an artifact, I promise to use every ounce of it to lift eyes to heaven, so that some who see only black sky, could see a blue moon passing Orion, on its way to morning.”  The…

This Latent Force

“This latent force.” I read this phrase in a book talking about the meaning of prayer, written in 1915. It got me thinking…. What do we do while waiting in the ‘long until.’  In other words, what is the most natural thing we can do to spend our lives until we see Him face to…

Jenna

Out front of the café, I noticed a young lady in a yellow floral dress next to an older man. He was leaning on crutches.  They both turned to look at me.  “Do you have any change?” she asked. “I typically don’t carry cash,” I responded, “but I’m getting coffee, would you like one?” Their…

A Savage Gospel

The voice on the phone sounded familiar, but his smooth street lingo was missing, now faint, halting, a whisper. “Mr. Kevin,” (long pause) “Hurry!” Mo Brown lived in Brooklyn, on a dark treeless street. We met up on his stoop, where he explained that he and his family were moving out, “tonight!” While I followed…

Climb the Stairwell

Back in the 90’s we would take our new staff into East New York, Brooklyn, for their first brush with evangelism. It never failed that the beat cops would stop our group, point to the subway and say, “leave! It’s too dangerous for you here.” We didn’t. We had an affiliate, Willie Branch, who ran…

Walter,’Never at the Altar’

My partner for the ‘afternoon of outreach’ was Daniel, a high school student from Brooklyn. It was a first for him, this ‘going out and talking to perfect strangers.’ He was nervous, visibly. Later, he confided that for the past couple of years atheists, who challenged his every belief, had bullied him. The weekend retreat…

The Flutter

Something had brushed her cheek. The flutter of a wing, though infinitesimal, had stopped her, a subtle movement through invisible lines. Without knowing it, an angel had crouched next to her, but had misjudged the expanse of his wings. He noticed when the little girl suddenly touched her skin there. The angel froze, and she…

Where Love Grows

I’m old enough to be his father. He just turned 30, and will soon be a father of four. We come from two very different places, rural and city, yet we have found a common crazy; we love teens enough, to go to the hard places to reach them. We met when he volunteered at a…

A Young Scientist Meets an Old Saint

I met him on a recent flight, and our light banter soon turned more serious. “Having a more rationale mind, how do you see faith in God playing a part?” I asked. “Not at all,” he confided. “If I can’t prove it, I don’t believe it.” Sebastian is a recent high school graduate, and one…