For the last 8 years Karen and I have lived in the place where this country plunges into the Pacific.
We have perched here, sometimes precariously, through brush fires and earthquakes. We’ve made friends and made a life. We’ve seen God move powerfully in our lives and through our lives. We have been far from family, but have learned how the church is an expression of family far greater than we ever imagined. And we have added Finnden and Ellis to our own little roster, raising them in a place that is far removed from our midwestern roots but a place we have come to call home, the only one they’ve ever known.
But a new shore awaits, albeit a very different one. Lake Michigan is a far cry from the Pacific. Continue reading
At the shore he is shirtless and wild.
He makes “snow bunnies”
from wet sand
stacked up in his hand.
He screams and jumps
and throws the lumps
of mud into the sea
just to see
what they do.
Watching the water wedge the sand between his toes
and then suck it out again to sea—he knows
a self-conscious thought
in his world. Continue reading
You forget what you own until you begin packing your home into boxes. Suddenly closets and corners contain things you forgot you knew you had.
Packing is taxing though. On the emotional side of things it is probably more taxing than we let on. We are saying goodbye to a home. Goodbye to a life. Goodbye to people we love and a place that has been good to us.
For now, though, it is still fun. There is a home waiting for us in the midwest. There is Christmas around the corner. There is family who will be eager to welcome us into their arms once more and into their lives more often.
But when January rolls around the storyline may change. As snow sits half-melted from yesterday, as it refreezes today, as the skies are grey upon grey upon grey, and as the chill bites in at the windows and nips at our bones… Continue reading
For two days in a row this week I have been taken to work by my family. As one hand is warmed by my travel mug full of coffee, my other hand has been engaged in helping kids up into the car and buckling them into car seats. (Without practice this is not a one-handed affair.)
We only have one car. At times this is an inconvenience, but the silver lining is that it affords us just a little more time together as they shuttle me to and from work on the days they need the car at home. Continue reading
God has been getting my attention. It may have begun as a whisper in my ear, but it has become a banging of drums and a battle cry, like being taken by the shoulders and shaken awake.
I’ve always distanced myself from the idea of mission, from the fact that God has called me to something that is less comfortable and less controllable than what is “normal.” I have narrowed my definition of mission down to something that happens overseas or a project I can sign up for now and then. By this narrow definition I’ve been able to skate on by without an overabundance of guilt despite knowing in my heart that God’s vision for mission must be much bigger than my definition.
Mission is seeing everything with new eyes, seeing within despair the incredible potential for beauty and the redemption God can bring. And mission is choosing to be one who is available to the idea that the beauty and redemption God can bring might be brought through me.
I’m still learning. I alway will be. But this is my missional confessional, my way of saying, “I’m awake!”
What might it be like if words ceased to exist—
if they turned into mist,
grew tired of resist-ing
the onslaught of mass and matter,
lost the gumption
to fight things with form and function?
If they no longer sat coyly on the tip of our tongues,
leaving us completely undone. Continue reading