Showing posts from 2016

Holy Hands

Three minutes after the Buffalo Bills lost last Sunday I found myself surrounded by a world of hostility. Texts came in from angry and disappointed friends. I too felt frustrated and annoyed. The next day in the car I listened as the hosts on sports radio and those that called in lamented with pure exasperation. No one was happy. Four days later hope resurfaced and optimism emerged. Then, they lost again. And the hostility increased. Now keep in mind this is just a football team we’re talking about. When you compile this reality with all the other actually important aspects of our lives (a world at war, police shootings, police shootings [redundancy intentional], an inane election, etc.) the result is an environment that is overflowing with discouragement, aggression, and irritation. All of which is fertile ground for anger and argument. The anger in this world is palpable and on display. We hear it on the radio. We see it on TV. We experience it in the workplace. It finds


Peace is scarce. Peace - that is, tranquility, harmony, serenity, stillness, calmness - it is a rare thing in most of our lives. On the contrary, tension and turmoil, anger and agitation, fear and worry are often ever-present aspects of our days.   There is strife in our politics, bullies in our schools, catastrophes in creation, cancer in our bodies, and worries in the workplace. Even when that which disrupts our peace is not that upfront or outright, we still have to reckon with everyday busyness. We have to-do lists that keep getting longer, schedules that are increasingly packed, and demands that keep demanding to be met.   Look around and you will find a people “on-the-go.” Running from here to there. Multi-tasking at all times. Connected in all instances. Physically in one place, while their hearts and heads are somewhere else. Peace is scarce. And the consequence of this peace scarcity – of the tension, tempo, and turmoil we live with – is often angst and anxiety t


The coffee shop where I grab my daily “joe” has a parking lot that is literally an accident waiting to happen. Traffic is allowed to go both ways even though there is only enough room for one car to pass. The drive-through blindly shoots out where people enter and exit the building. The turns in and out of the parking lot are too tight for most cars. All of which makes getting a cup of coffee a much more exciting escapade than it need be. This morning the perils of the parking lot were on full display. I pulled in while a car in the drive-through was pulling out. Meanwhile, a customer was entering the store. The customer was caught between us. I saw him and stopped. The other driver did not. Luckily, he saw her. He waited until she drove by and then entered the crosswalk. As he passed behind her car, she remained oblivious to his presence. He was irked. “HEY!” he shouted violently. “Watch out! Pay attention! What’s wrong with you?!” (His language was a bit more colorful and


When my kids are behaving badly I jokingly inform my wife that they (our daughters) are hers.             “ Your kids are acting up again.”             “ Your kids are making another mess.”             “ Your kids are making too much noise.” Needless to say, she doesn’t think it is as funny as I do. “ They’re yours too ,” she reminds me each time with a blissful tone in her voice and a stinging look in her eye. “ They’re yours too .” At which point I realize that I cannot avoid doing something with them – about them – for them. There’s a story in scripture traditionally labeled “The Prodigal Son.” It is the story of two sons. The elder son is faithful, obedient, hard working and patient. The younger son, well, not so much. He’s brash and demanding. He insists on his half of the inheritance far before it is due and then squanders it in dissolute living. Penniless and poor, broke-down and broken he decides that he’d rather be a slave in his dad’s house tha


I played the part of a leper today. My daughter, Delaney, is quite ill. Her illness is not hidden from the world. She coughs. She cries. She wheezes. She sneezes. She has the classic kid snot-face with swollen eyes and a smoker’s cough. She sick. And today we were shunned like lepers. In the doctor’s office parents chose to stand in a corner rather than sit within 20 feet of us. Those who were seated nearby got up and moved across the room. While picking up her scrip from the pharmacy the associate looked at us with pity and despair. Now, I don’t blame people for their reaction, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt to see my daughter avoided and shunned. Being a leper hurts. In the doctor’s office as each person moved away from her, I made sure I moved closer to her. With each look of pity, I countered with a touch or a kiss on her cheek.   To the world she might seem like a leper, but to her father she was still as perfect as she was on the day she was born.