Shades of Violet

When I was in the seventh grade, a new girl checked into our homeroom class named Darla Star. She shone like a beacon in a dark sky with her curly raven hair, beaming brown eyes, and confident smile. To this day, I think those magenta suede go-go boots, that she glamorously paraded, gave her a…

Dilemma of Joy

My treasured keepsakes bulge in pockets of time—rather moments—that are tucked hard against the bones of my heart. They remain as fresh and life-giving as the first-offerings of spring rosesbuds, tight with fragrance and bleeding of crimson that smears across my fingers as I pull them out one petal at a time. The edges are…

Spent

I saw the silver-headed woman limping from a distance. Her attentive husband, with one arm around her waist, coached each step and made her giggle as they walked. As we passed, our eyes met. Something moved between us—perhaps I saw a glimpse of the impartation of the gifts of this older woman. (This can happen…

Discovery

Not even two, she steps into her first winter day of discovery. Heavy and stiff with warm woolen armory, our little explorer stretches mittened hands out into the cold air of gently falling snow. Next, one then two brave little black boots slide forward into the sparkling powder. Her big brown eyes fill with childhood…

Winter as First

“His mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). This scripture is life-giving and liberating. The heart knows all too well the constant need of continual renewal and fresh restoring. Each day brings the glorious light of morning and with that comes the precious promise of God’s blessed mercies. “All the paths of the Lord are…

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…

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…

Reconciling

We’re sitting in the car as gray clouds gather and light rain sprinkles the dusty old Texas cemetery. Memory erupts in the calm silence of honor as we quietly gaze at and contemplate the Wilks’ family plot and gravestones. Mom and Dad Wilks lived, loved, and left a legacy of hard-work, moral values, and deep…