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…

The Last Chapters

As a young student of English and literature, it was not permitted to read the last chapter first—not officially—but unofficially. Who wants to spoil the fun of traveling through the intrepid chugging and cascading roller-coaster plot and twists brought to you by perfect words placed in perfect order? The compounding mystery is the journey leading…

Pond Real Estate

I’m envying the sunbathing turtles across the pond, flippers splayed upon the muddy beach and heads raised to the sunshine. Most days they come and settle in for hours—the mud on the edges of their shells and skin drying to charcoal grit. Oh the luxury, the decadent extravagance—to sink deeply into the earthen shoreline and…

A Deeper Solace

Faith is a daily consolation, but it takeson an active, deeper solace when we awaken to know the lion share of what and to whom we anchor in a storm is developed through heartfelt gratitude. In the embracing of thankfulness upon the mountain and in the valley, an incandescent joy and strength burns a consuming…

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….