March 22, 2014


Deep down,
and just below
the surface,
somewhere beneath the soil,
surrounded by

Cold air sweeps us inside--our houses and ourselves. We burrow deep, desperate for constant sun. Numbed fingers clench, chilled shoulders hunch, cold faces scrunch, weak hearts wrench.


There, on that tree, fuzzy brown buds swell. And that patch of dead leaves, skewered by shoots--green, small, pointy. That one smoldering forsythia? There, too.

And that is what we can see.

Below the ground, the gestation of green has been working, wrangling with the darkness, the frost, the hard, the dirt, the loneliness. Seeds are not static below our line of sight. There is more here than we see.

We are wrangling in the dirt, scratching to poke through the surface, ready for spring. A time for everything.

We want it here,

We may not be as ready as we think.

in the light of hope.

Spring is coming.

"Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring." Terri Guillemets
"To every thing there is a season..." Ecclesiastes 3:1, KJV

March 14, 2014


Five Minute Friday: CROWD

Crowds crow at the thoughts. Crowds are the thoughts. The pressing demands of intellectuals, the pushy philosophies, the downright mean critiques, the thoughts trying to care, trying to get it right, but all just dissolving in the pixels, painting a picture of nothing.

Nothing and everything.

The thoughts crowd the quiet Voice. Stillness is impossible with all the movement like tiny waves that back-and-forth swayingly.

"In the silence of the heart, You speak." Audrey Assad.

Yet all I can do is sing the words, and quiet, stillness eludes.

I just want to be alone with the One whom my soul longs to be with.

Emmanuel, God with us.

That word has kept me going this last two weeks. Remembering that whether I am crowded by thoughts, He cannot be crowded out.

He is with us.

March 9, 2014

with us

"What is your favorite name for God?" he had asked the congregated hearts.

My thoughts had never lingered on the subject long. People spoke, in awkward loudness that tried not to shout: "Savior"  "Redeemer"  "Messiah"

All I could think of was one word:

"God with us" according to Strong's Concordance, a combination of a word for god and the preposition with.

Why do I love that so very much?

What if I really believed that of God? What if I really lived as though He were with me? I forget Him sometimes, in my frailty.

How would I change if I knew in the depth of soul that I walked in the company of God?

In the heaps of messes, in the stretching shadows, the dimming light, the aching burdens, the wrenching pain--



And He knows pain. And He is with us, in us, around us, before us, among us, and for us.

Here. With. Not nearby, but with.

May I never forget.

March 2, 2014

twenty dollars

Today a woman handed me twenty dollars.

I cried.
Winters are winters—beginning with magical wonder and trudging on through barrenness, coldness. The cold air sends us inside ourselves to look for some cocoa, retreating farther and farther toward the grail of warmth that we think can be found inside.

I have not found it. Believe me, I have dug deeper into myself this winter than I ever have before, laying bare lies, sins, and confusions I used to refuse to admit.

It is a lonely road, even among friends. Winter has this loneliness that invades my bones, even when it is sparkling among children, whispering among pines, dancing among breaths. Spring sometimes seems the most absurd impossibility imaginable. So does hope.

It takes the generosity of one woman, who handed me twenty dollars so that others might be able to abandon worry, so that the young people could have snacks and stay up all night, even if they don’t have three dollars to spare. In some ways, her generosity may seem small, but oh, it is always the small.

It is the small that carries us through everyday—small graces and gifts and brave.

It is the small that breaks my heart for what it needs to be broken for.

In looking for an entirely different quote, I stumbled upon this one. It tells my own tale better than I can:

“It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.” 
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

The woman who handed me twenty dollars showed me that one small kindness, one small brave, can be enough for Him to take us to far greater ways and places than we would ever have found on our own.