Family – Five Minute Friday (a day late)

Another rewrite:

guardedNancy heaved her bulging bag onto her narrow bed and began pulling out stacks of neatly folded garments that smelled of biting sweet detergent. “How was Thanksgiving?” she asked.

“Okay,” my said in soft, small tones. My forehead wrinkled, my voice grew stronger “The houses are so close together. I thought that was only in Manhattan.”

Nancy laughed, “That’s the way it is in New York. Everywhere except the suburbs.”

“Oh,” I sat up straight on the hard, wood chair, held my legs out, and pointed and flexed my feet.

“It must be hard for you to be so far from home,” Nancy continued.

I pulled in a deep, cautious breath, “I guess.”

“What was your home like?”

“More land, bigger gardens. There’s a barn and playhouse… and a kitchen garden” I replied. “The vegetables here are like plastic,” my voice rose, cutting the quiet of the room, resounding off the hard surfaces of the floor and the iron beds. “I miss tomatoes that taste like sunshine.” The words tumbled past the censor that had stood stiffly at her post since the day I woke with my mouth pressed against the rusty, dusty screen door.

“Do you miss the family you lived with?” Nancy, her folded laundry now stored in the solid utilitarian bureau or stacked in her closet, sat on the edge of her bed, her chin resting in one cupped hand.

Images of the world which the man inhabited rose in my heart. I pushed most of them away before speaking, “I miss Matthieu.” I paused to review my feelings. “He’s the youngest.” I added. Internally, I scanned the remaining images. “I miss the mountains and Lake Mirren. And swimming everyday and my sewing machine.”

As I spoke, mountains, large green lake, my body slicing through chlorine water, the whir of my sewing machine presented themselves. The censor nodded. Each might be allowed public viewing.

Nancy sat gazing at me. Her patient, gentle attention hurt but there were no more images fit to be shared.

“What do you miss?” I asked trying to redirect her to herself.

“I miss my horse,”she told me.

“You have a horse?” I asked, my eyes wide, my heart rejoicing that she owned one of those magnificent beasts.

“Yes,” Nancy’s face held a small, wistful smile.

Then silence hung in the room. Something more seem expected of me. My voice faltered as the sentence left my lips, “I – I guess I’m looking forward to Christmas.”

She nodded her head. “I miss my family too.”

Nancy sighed, stood up, took her shower basket and one of her still fresh from being laundered towels and left the room.


On Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

Doubt: Five Minute Friday

This is one of those “I have no idea what to write” weeks so let’s see what comes out occasions.

I doubt many things – myself, other people, whether what we plan will work as we expect, even whether God will agree with what I think is important. But I don’t doubt God Himself. I don’t always like Him (He often doesn’t agree with me), but I don’t doubt Him. He is real. He is everything He has revealed Himself to be and more. I wish I could express that so that all those who long for God to be real would know, He is.

Often, I encounter anti-theists, people who hate God, who battle against Him. (I regularly pray for them.) Often they are hurt. Often, they are confused. Always, they fail to understand that they are not doubting God. How is it possible to be angry with someone who doesn’t exist? They are angry that God is not as they think He ought to be.

dwarfs are for the dwarfsGod is frustrating, like a parent saying we can’t have cookies before dinner because they will spoil our appetite. He will not make our world as we see fit but instead, works according to His purpose and we must accept both His purpose and that only He knows how to accomplish it. My fighting God days ended when I began to ask, what if God is right and I am wrong? What kind of world would exist if God followed my script? What if I’m asking to cast myself as God and make God merely a character in my own story? (That one terrifies me.) Do I really want God to be under my control? Do I think I’m big enough to keep all that is in existence? To create all that is new? Can I create even one human being in my image? Am I big enough to love everything and everyone?

It’s hard when life isn’t as it ought to be. But if I haven’t the power to fix it, if all I can do is complain and insist that things ought to be different, then I’m like the dwarfs in C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle:

Aslan raised his head and shook his mane. Instantly a glorious feast appeared on the Dwarfs’ knees: pies and tongues and pigeons and trifles and ices, and each Dwarf had a goblet of good wine in his right hand. But it wasn’t much use. They began eating and drinking greedily enough, but it was clear that they couldn’t taste it properly. They thought they were eating and drinking only the sort of things you might find in a Stable. One said he was trying to eat hay and another said he had got a bit of an old turnip and a third said he’d found a raw cabbage leaf. And they raised golden goblets of rich red wine to their lips and said, ‘Ugh! Fancy drinking dirty water out of a trough that a donkey’s been at! Never thought we’d come to this.’ But very soon every Dwarf began suspecting that every other Dwarf had found something nicer than he had, and they started grabbing and snatching, and went on to quarreling, till in a few minutes there was a free fight and all the good food was smeared on their faces and clothes or trodden under foot. But when at last they sat down to nurse their black eyes and their bleeding noses, they all said: ‘Well, at any rate, there’s no Humbug here. We haven’t let anyone take us in. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs!’

‘You see,’ said Aslan. ‘ They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they can not be taken out.’ (1)


On Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

(1) C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1978), 147-148

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Same – Five Minute Friday

This week, I spent 5 minutes rewriting a passage from my book. The rewrite is moving along:

nyc from the air“Had I not bought the boys clothes for school,” I softly told my Friend. “I’d have enough.” I sighed and plucked out a blade of grass. “But he would have tried to take my money away. I just wanted him to leave me alone.” I sighed again. “Now I can’t afford both a plane ticket and to make it through the year.” My forehead was tight. “I’ll need his help,” I told my Friend looking out over Lake Mirren. “But he won’t help me. He’ll never let me go. Never.” I shook my head. “There’s no escape. It will always be the same.”

Tears welled up. With an angry sniff, I blinked them away. A brilliant flash of demanding possibility raced through my mind. “I can’t!” I told my Friend. “I just can’t!” The bright sunny day suddenly felt foggy, dim. I packed my things and walked to the bus stop.

Tap! Tap! Tap! I lowered my Bible, “Who is it?”

“It is I,” Ella announced. “Could you open the door?” I unlatched the hook and cracked the door. “I have a headache,” Ella was even paler than usual. “Would you make dinner?”

“Sure,” it was a pained sigh. I marked my place in Genesis and made my way to the kitchen. With the big chef’s knife Ella and the man had received as a wedding gift, I chopped carrots as if they were wood. “Why isn’t she making dinner?” I demanded of my Friend between chops. “That’s why he married her. I’ve been doing her job all summer.”

You could be in New York soon.

“What?!” The almost sound hung in the air. I felt my bum. The words were like a large boot kicking me gently but firmly in the seat of my pants.

You could be in New York soon.

My backside felt the gentle but firm kick again. “Really?!” My voice was shrill terror. I walked over to the calendar that hung next to the phone and counted days with the knife’s tip. “Three weeks. In three weeks I could leave.” My eyes widened. A warm tingle suffused my body.

A few minutes latter, Gerard came through the laundry room. “Dad sent me to get…” he began.

I interrupted, “In three weeks, I am going to New York.”

“No you’re not,” his voice dripped with superior knowledge.

“Yes I am,” my head nodded as I spoke. He shook his head and disappeared down the cellar steps.

When he returned, words tumbled from my mouth, “Will you buy me a trunk for my going away present?”

Gerard pursed his lips, “He won’t let you go.”

“Yes, he will,” I told him.

Gerard shook his head, “If he let’s you go, I’ll buy the trunk.”

“In three weeks, I’m going to New York,” I told the man that evening. “Will you pay my plane fare so I can use the money I’ve saved for my expenses?”

The words had tumbled out. I didn’t even rehearse, I mutely told my Friend as I waited for an answer.

At my words, the man’s face had become angry and indignant. Ella, who lay beside him, pulled herself up and spoke first, “That’s the least we can do considering how hard you’ve worked.”

The floor was suddenly wobbly, my head woozy and light. Something was changing. Something was not the same. My mouth formed itself into a small smile,  “Thank you.”


On Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

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Yes! – Five Minute Friday


I want to say “Yes!” to you every day, every moment, every time You call me to follow You. At times I don’t. I don’t when I feel I’m being inspected, weighed in the balance, and found wanting. I don’t when I feel I’m being improved, molded. Like Bertie Wooster, “I don’t want to be molded! I’m not a jelly.” There may be good reason for my reluctance and fear but reluctance and fear are never reason enough not to say “Yes!” to You. I would face anything for You.

But this is one of those things I can’t do myself. I keep trying and failing. I fill my time with distractions when I could be finishing my book, studying, vocalizing, engaging in activities You’ve given me, activities I really want to do. A huge, solid block of fear bars my way, pins my wings so that I cannot soar. I don’t know how to move it. And just telling myself to write or study or anything else anyway isn’t working. This is one of those things I need You to do.

Just as You made it possible for me to forgive the unforgivable, You can make me able to write about what You have done for me. You can give me the strength to let the light you’ve given me shine. You can work what ever must be worked in me so that I get past the block or even discover that block is nothing more than an ephemeral mist, not worthy of my concern. So whatever I need and whatever it takes, work it in me so that I may give You my unreserved “Yes!” I’m not asking You to make it feel good. I only ask to do Your will – I don’t think hiding is Your will. Let me say “Yes!” in thought word and deed. Let my life be the song of “Yes!” The dance of “Yes!” A total “Yes!”

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Alone – Five Minute Friday

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

aloneSome things are easier when I am alone. Singing is easier when there’s either no one to hear me or someone who sings along with me. (I’ve joined the choir at church.) Though I’ve trained to sing opera, worked with a vocal coach, and have a powerful voice, I actually sing off key in a soft breathy voice if I’m singing in the presence of someone who’s not singing and who’s not really an audience.

Writing is easier when I’m alone. So is speaking. Sewing and drawing and embroidery and all sorts of other accomplishments are also easier. If I’m working with others or alone, I excel at so many things. When I feel someone is watching, I choke, shy away, fumble; I naturally give way to others, do what they are doing, follow their lead.

Yet I’m in a time of learning to excel when I’m not alone, even if others are not participating. It’s part of denying myself that Jesus talks about. It’s scary. But since He has brought me this far, I’m convinced He will continue to take me where He wants me to go and, with His help, I’ll marshal through. Let’s see where He has taken me this time next year.


On Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

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Find – Five Minute Friday

“How do you walk through it?” Her unlined forehead furrowed softly. “I mean when you find yourself in that powdery desert?”

Her boss’s face resolved into puzzlement as he searched for the word.

“There is no how,” I replied after a time. “You just do it.” Her boss nodded. “If you waste your time worrying about how…”

“You’ll die,” her boss completed my thought. Our eyes met for an instant. Though we had different experiences, we both understood finding our way through the desert.

find desertBut so many I know don’t understand what to do if they find themselves in the desert. So many have never been told that it’s not an intellectual exercise; there’s often little time to plan. Mostly, one just begins and prays for strength to continue walking while continuing to walk. Mostly, the “how” has been implanted in our hearts by the day to day work of self-sacrifice and faith. Mostly, it’s just the ongoing work to find ourselves or be found. Beyond that, there is only placing one foot in front of the other.


On Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

Happy Again – Five Photos, Five Stories – 5

feast 2“Three pirouettes!” I cried out. “Three pirouettes! For the first time, God!” I took a series of quick steps and executed a grande jeté. My hand reached for the barre. A huge smile lit my face; my eyes sparkled. I took a deep breath, “That’s what it needed, three pirouettes!”

“Can you be happy without knowing everything?”

Time stopped. A rich, white noise masked the strong, driving beat of 38 Special’s “If I’d Been The One.” The question hung in the air. I blinked away the tears that suddenly pricked my eyes.

“Can you be happy without knowing everything?” The Voice spoke again.

“Y-yes,” I found myself responding. Tears surged past my attempts to blink them away. The mirrors reflected my crinkled forehead, of eyes sparkling with tears. I did not ask, Why are You asking me? What does it mean?

For much of my life, I have kept in check a very young part of myself who longs to squat keening in the marketplace, “Look at what they did to me! Look! Look!” as I toss dirt and ashes on my head. Her deepest desire is that my losses, my wounds, my pain be acknowledged. Beyond that, she doesn’t know what she wants. Some losses are so great, it’s impossible to imagine any recovery.

So when my dearest Friend asked if I could be happy without knowing everything, I could say, ‘Yes.’ Hadn’t I just turned three pirouettes when I’d never imagined myself turning more than two? Didn’t that make me happy? Didn’t singing, swimming make me happy? Hadn’t designing a pencil skirt that fit a narrow waist and wider hips made me happy? I didn’t know that I didn’t know what happiness was. I was willing to go along for the adventure.

But the keening child in me knows happiness. She remembers everything. She holds within her the absolutely delicious experience of belonging to specific people, of being loved by specific people, of being at home with them because they are hers and she is theirs. And through the adventure, she has often noted that this is all very nice but…

It’s grand that these people are accepting my invitation to dinner but they’re not my family. What a lovely time I had with my girlfriends but I don’t really belong to them. How grand that they threw me a surprise birthday party but they don’t really know me and so can’t really love about me. Then I unexpectedly found myself waiting five months for my insurance company to begin paying on my disability claim, wasn’t allowed access to my profit sharing account, and had already spent all my savings on being ill. Friends (and even strangers) swooped in and provided the funds I needed to pay my bills. At the same time, they continued to be my friends. The young, keening child in me was flabbergasted and dazzled. But she insisted there was at least one person my friends could never replace. She knows the place in my heart I never go, the place to which I never invite anyone.

I have no auditory memory of Marmar’s voice, no auditory memory of Portuguese. I do recall the sound of German, French, Italian, Spanish, and several other languages. Though I read Portuguese quite well, each time I hear it as it’s the first time. Each time I want to wail. Perhaps it is mercy that hinders my memory. Her loss is beyond telling, a pain I will carry to the grave. Perhaps my Friend has granted me the grace to forget because memory would bring more pain than joy.

“‘Helen was happy here,’ said Phronsie decidedly. ‘And she never–never would want to leave her mother alone, to go off to a nicer place. Never, Polly.’

“Polly drew a long breath, and shut her lips. ‘But, Phronsie, don’t you see,’ she cried presently, ‘it may be that Mrs. Fargo wouldn’t ever want to go to Heaven unless Helen was there to meet her? It may be, Phronsie; and that would be very dreadful, you know. And God loved Mrs. Fargo so that he took Helen, and he is going to keep her happy every single minute while she is waiting and getting ready for her mother.’”*

Fallen Sparrow learned to drive recently and set off on an adventurous motoring trip from Maryland to his home state of Minnesota. Some planned meet ups didn’t work out. I was concerned that he might be disappointed. When I gingerly inquired, he told me he wanted to let one of those he missed know, “I will always fail you and disappoint you, but Jesus never does.”* We cannot escape entropy. Life fails and disappoints but Jesus never does. Christ holds us together, holds all that we are. And just as He held my innocence until I could receive it again, He holds Marmar. And perhaps I long for heaven more than I would have had I never lost her. Though her voice remains just beyond my memory, the sight of her fills my heart. I see us in heaven some day. We will dance before God, her extremely long, dark hair flowing freely and my (not quite so) long, dark hair bouncing in the breeze.

In the meantime, I am happy again. The young child within me longs to keen on occasion but I know, friends love me; I belong to people who belong to me. There are feasts on earth even though there is also famine. While earth was never meant to be heaven neither is it hell. I can be happy and long at the same time. We’re not an either/or people; life is not a zero sum game. Christians are both/and people. Even as we wait, we know we are “heirs in hope of eternal life.” And “hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

*Margaret Sydney, Five Little Peppers Grown Up:

Image: An earthly feast – Grilled chicken breasts with a balsamic and garlic glaze; Baconated kumatoes with fresh basil, garlic, and spicy pepper oregano; Old Bay Shrimp (with butter for dipping).

It’s My Job – Five Photos, Five Stories

its my jobAbend ist’s, die Sonne ist verschwunden,” I sang softly to myself as I trailed my hand along the textured wall covering.

“Why do you have to touch everything?” a voice behind me demanded.

Shaking my head, I stopped and recognized the assistant supervisor. “I like the texture,” I told him.

“You’re such a little girl!” he insisted.

“I’m seventeen.” My voice was a soft breathiness.

“How were you ever hired?” he harrumphed.

My forehead crinkled, “Because I love math and understand financial statements.” Doesn’t he remember that? I inquired of my Friend. Everyday he gives me a pile of financials to summarize and add to the spreadsheet.

The case manager passed us and caught my attention, “I could use your help.”

“Sure,” I replied.

“Don’t worry about him,” she told me as we walked to her office. “You’re my little stalwart. I know when I give you a project it will be done quickly and competently.”

My face broke into a big smile. Mentally, I hugged myself.

Five years later, I had completed the last two years of my undergraduate degree and was a case manager. Surrounded by documents, I meted out assignments, provided quality control, located lost documents, and kept track of the various aspects of my cases. When on major litigation, which was most of the time, I worked 100 to 120 hours each week. I weeded out applicants interviewing for a spot on my team by telling each one, “There are 168 hour in each week. If you plan your time well, you can work 100 hours and still have four hours for recreation.” I didn’t mention that they must limit sleep to four hours per night. Many applicants walked away at that point. The few who remained were offered a three-month probationary position assuming they could read, write, and think. Many dropped out or were fired during probation. A partner once joked that I fired more paralegals in one month than the firm did in a year. He was right.

I wanted co-workers who were like me. I wanted them to take their jobs seriously, to notice patterns, to catch mistakes, to improve on my work, on the work of the attorneys. Senior members of my team ought to be able to manage a privilege review, prepare trail exhibits, and not just remember smoking guns and key documents but find new ones and present to the partners who could vaguely recall a letter, fax, or email. Repeatedly, I was disappointed. Repeatedly, I encountered team members whose work was inept. By the mid-90s, I was so exhausted I took a break to work in not-for-profit and then in fashion.

By summer 2001, the economy took a downturn and Liz Claiborne let me and my boss go. During that summer, I supplemented fashion consulting with short contract jobs in law. After September 11, there was little available in fashion but law was burgeoning. I took a job as a case manager specifically to correct errors on litigation that was headed to trial. I loved to solve knotty puzzles others had created.

Post 9/11, teams were considerably smaller. often I was expected to be both case manager and paralegal. Tasks that had previously been assigned to a junior paralegal fell to me. I was deeply offended. Such tasks weren’t my job. My job was to resolve kinks, to untie knots. My job was to make an impossible case ready for trial. The firm ought to provide someone else for low-level tasks. They did assign me a part-time clerk but it wasn’t enough. I was indignant and being indignant began to take a toll.

At about that time, I began having serious problems with my health. I needed to take sick days that I’d not yet accrued. The department supervisor graciously approved them. As I became sicker and sicker, those I worked with went out of their way to make my job easier. It frequently struck me that I had not earned such kindness. I knew I was very, very fortunate indeed.

One afternoon, a partner called and asked me to digest (summarize) a transcript. Digesting had been replaced by software but some older partners prefer a summary; they fear the technology. My shoulders grew tight and painful during the conversation. As I hung up the receiver, I demanded of God, “Why doesn’t he have a junior paralegal do that? He knows it’s not my job.”

“They are paying you.” Each word sounded in my head and heart; I knew the Voice only to well. I heard the words again and again, “They are paying you.”

Suddenly I laughed. “You’re right,” I told my Friend. “They are paying me. And as long as they pay me, it’s my job to do what they ask of me.” I thought for a second as I pulled the transcript up, “As long as they don’t ask me to do something that’s wrong, it’s my job to do whatever I can to help no matter my job title.” As I began preparing the summary, the voice of my first case manager arose in my memory, “You’re my little stalwart. I know when I give you a project it will be done quickly and competently.”

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Sin – Five Photos, Five Posts – 3

Ice cracking Photo-by-Jerry-DaykinNot too long ago, I found myself complaining to God because other people’s sins had cost me a great deal of money. A young friend of mine took on the responsibility of raising her nephews and niece and needed an attorney to help her gain custody. I had the funds and offered to help. As the months passed and the bills mounted, I became frightened and a little fractious: Why should I bear the cost for the sins of people I don’t even know?

One day, when my friend was visiting, a breath of sanity blew through the room. I looked at her and realized that she is the one who is really facing the cost of these sins – she and the children. She will be caring for her nephews and nieces for the next 20-plus years, long after I’ve recouped my expenses. Those kids will bear the scars from neglect, abuse, and abandonment, scars I know only too well. My meager contribution was tiny compared to the cost of the fallout from sin that they each would pay. I remembered that I had offered to help precisely because I too have born the cost of sins committed by others.

That’s the way sin is. Its cost is enormous and affects more people than we can imagine. Sin is like the first crack in the ice on a pond that branches out until the solid surface is a mass of small islands that can safely support no one.

One lie makes it easier to tell another and then another. When we are bombarded by lies, we no longer know the truth or who is trustworthy. We find ourselves on shaky chunks of ice, floating farther and farther apart. Buying drugs keeps the dealers in business. More crime is attracted to a neighbourhood. Eventually, it destroys the quality of life for everyone. How many children are killed in drive-by shootings each year? Adultery destroys families, unsettles the foundations of children’s lives, destroys trust, affects future relationships. Every sin is like that with perilous branchings and breakages. My sin overlaps yours, together, we break and cannot mend.

At times, I find myself in conversation with atheists, anti-theists, those who are fed up with God and am often asked, ‘Why is there so much suffering in the world?’ Sin is the answer. We don’t see the patterns of destruction sin traces in our lives. We don’t see how one sin leads to another and then to another. But I have long believed that my childhood was filled with opportunities for people to choose something other than sin. The soldiers who killed Grandpère and Ti might have chosen not to commit that sin. What other sins did they go on to commit? The man who took me from the park sinned. When he raped me, he sinned again. Had he not committed the first sin, would he have committed the second? What madness did the minister invite into his life when he chose to claim me for his own rather than follow the law and call the police? What does it mean to decide that another person is an object for the taking? And what of the sins I have committed, do commit? How do they make it easier to go on sinning. (I can certainly attest that it was hard to break myself of lying or hiding out because I was afraid to face someone. Choosing sin makes it easier to sin.)

Christ forgives our sin if we repent and I do hope to meet those who sinned against me in heaven one day. But forgiveness doesn’t repair the cracked ice. We break it and usually we can’t fix it. Often, we have no idea how big the crack is or how to repair it. Sin gets passed on. Those affected by sin must choose whether to accept it as an opportunity to obey God or to disobey. We can open our hearts, wallets, and homes as my friend is doing. We can turn away or push someone else off a chunk of ice that seems bigger and sturdier so as to ensure our safety; we can either obey or disobey Christ’s commandment to love as He has loved us. But God is never to blame because our “tiny” actions have far reaching consequences.We are more powerful than we realize. Obedience is more powerful than we know. And disobedience is devastating. We need only look at the many places in our lives that ought to be solid but are constantly being broken apart. My choice to obey won’t heal everything but it will heal some things and is part of God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

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Here – Five Minute Friday

here cozy libraryWere I able to have anything I want, here would always be a cozy, halcyon place. (I used to nag God about when my halcyon days would come.) Here would be a place where visitors could select a good book, get a cup of tea or coffee, and sink back in a deep, cozy chair. Here they could find space to stretch, paths for walking, an adventure or two, and always back in time for a delicious dinner, a happy evening, and a good night’s rest in a comfy bed. All would know that God is always be here and all would be happy.

But the here in which I actually live is not a halcyon place. (I stopped nagging God when I realized earth is not heaven.) Here I live with an excruciating past and have been given the job of translating those horrors into some sort of readable shape that is honest while not being a platter of horrors. God holds all of my here, including the excruciating past, in His hands. What He will do with the outcome of my writing, I don’t know. All I know is that while here is not as comfortable and halcyon as I’d like it to be, here is real. Here is rich with God and many, many adventures.

The halcyon days were a fantasy. Reality is where I find God. Given my choice, I’d run to God every time. With Him there is endless joy and adventure; there is so much more than I can imagine. God isn’t limited to the boundaries of my imagination and here, with Him, neither am I.


On Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

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