One unseasonably warm day in February when my daughter Emma and son-in-law Ricky, along with their two children, were visiting, we all went for a walk on the farm. True to our habit, we stopped at the pond for four-year-old Layla to throw in a few stones. Ricky joined her and challenged himself to throw a stone as far as he could. I watched the concentration on his face as he intently cocked his arm. Then with all the finesse of a Major League Baseball pitcher, he hurled the rock, shooting it higher and farther than I had ever seen. It smacked the water hard, then sunk below the surface, its entrance marked only by ripples that quickly disappeared, returning the pond to its placid state.
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
It was time to throw out the sad bouquet of pink and white roses, its yellowing leaves falling off and petals turning brown around the edges. I moved the vase to the counter next to the sink and began to lift out the flowers. With a closer look, I noticed that the entire bouquet was not bad. Carefully, I pulled out the good roses, which happened to be white, and placed them in individual vases that I set in various places around my home.
I thought about how sometimes our life situation is like a sad bouquet. Maybe our marriage is falling apart, our health failing, or we’ve experienced the loss of a job or loved one. We wish we could throw out the whole matter. But it is beyond our control. And we wonder, Where is God in all this? Why is He allowing these things to happen when He has the power to stop it?
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Isaiah 60:1 (NRSV)
A flash of color on my stone path caught my eye. I stooped to get a closer view. A pansy, dressed in the color of kings, met me face to face. I gasped.
In the fall, the wind picked up a seed from my plants on the deck and tossed it down below to the crack in the path. The seed found a bed in the dark earth and slept there all winter.
Spring came and switched on the light, like my mother used to do to wake me for school.
“Rise and shine!” she would say, as she threw back my cover. And I would long to switch off that light, cover my head and go back to sleep.
When we live in sin, we are like that. We want to stay in the dark and away from the light that exposes our sin. But when we admit our failing and allow God’s Light to penetrate our heart of stone (see Ezekiel 36:26), He will forgive our sin (see 1 John 1:9) and give us new life, like the sun gives to the pansy seed.
He will fill our heart with joy, and we will spring forth to bring joy to those along our path.
Lord, let the light of Your face shine on us (Psalm 4:6b).
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
“What’s that?” I wondered out loud. I turned down the volume on the TV so I could hear what was going on outside. “Cows mooing at 8 PM?” I was puzzled, for cows rarely moo at night. I shrugged and turned my attention back to the TV.
“What’s that?” I rolled over to see the clock. “Cows mooing at 2 AM? That’s really strange,” I thought. Too tired to investigate, I pulled up the covers and went back to sleep.
At 6 AM I blinked my eyes open and stumbled to the coffee pot. I placed the steaming cup on the table and picked up a book. But I couldn’t concentrate on reading because of the cow moo-athon. “What is going on?” Hesitating no longer, I picked up my phone and texted my farmer brother.
His response explained it, “We just weaned some calves.”
“They sure don’t like it!” I texted back.