The Tree in Winter

Lacy and austere at once–beautiful barren trees–winter’s mystique. Frost-covered branches, in winterland magic, play music when jiggled. There is promise in the tree, stripped of fruitfulness in winter’s glory. Winter’s splendor is best revealed in tree unrobed stark against the gray. Let the barren branch take root in bleak mystery–deep hides the new leaf. The…

Cloistered

Cloistered I barely see you across the green meadow, feeding, lingering in morning’s silvery misty veil and awaiting the sun’s bright clarity that brings sure revelation of up and downhill turnings. Day’s beginning and ending remain in mystery. Cloistered in daybreak’s sheltering haze, hidden but not hiding, you quiet your soul to rest and wait…

The next time you want to shake your fist at God…

It is essential in our walk with God to understand him as a consuming fire. Most consider our Creator and his acts toward humankind to center around judgment or discipline. That he is ever-watching from heaven to smash our plans or even our lives. But the consuming fire of the Holy One of Israel and…

Maybe

The holy mystery of Christmas is not hidden. It shouts in the streets like a vendor and blocks the highway like a barricade. It’s the crazy unexplainable that flashes with bright clarity for a second and collapses in the warm arms of hope that yearn for home. It’s the beauty of heaven that falls with…

Slow-Smoked Meat

Outside the barbecue smokehouse, a tattered flag waves, “Tr*mp W0n.” Apparently this theory does not effect the good eats inside. “It takes time to get the flavor just right—you can’t hurry,” said the smokehouse owner with a slow southern drawl. People flock from miles around to tickle their palates with southern barbecue favorites. Not a…

Vespers

Amidst autumn’s burnished copper leaf mirrored across the pond, lighted houses are pressed into dusk against chilly November winds. In this moment at day’s end, let me tell you of my gratefulness. Let me say thank you. The leaves I raked today are resting on the shoulder of the road—bagged and still warm with life….

Lavender Shirts Not Required

Leaning against the wooden porch fence at the wayside barbecue stand in his crisp lavender shirt and black dress pants, he explained that he’d just come from the church up the road. With a defined zest for life, the man spoke about local news and history to us that stood in line for our Sunday…

Roundstone, Ireland

Roundstone, Ireland I walked the stony beaches of Roundstone, Ireland, and stood under the shadow of the old lighthouse. The salty, icy Atlantic wind blew through to the heart of me. I saw the sun glistening upon lapping water pools by ancient, abandoned stone houses where Irish fisherman lived and died and sustained a generation…

Soul and Spirit

Soul and Spirit The searching-truth poet asks with every word penned, “Is the soul awake?” assuming that all revelation finds epitome in that dominion. But the dead man knows the spirit must arise to life. And you recognize that it teems with life when the sword of betrayal pierces the heart, and the spirit pauses…

Oak Trees and Anchors

Last weekend, our daughter, son-in-law, and both grandchildren visited our lake house for the first time. You can imagine how much preparation grandparents do anticipating the patter of little feet. Our goal is smiling faces and happy hearts. In buying this home of course we thought about respite—a place by still waters and green meadows…