Author Archive

God in the Crevices

Posted: December 5, 2012 in A Day in the Life

beams and crevices - 2I took a walk in this morning’s crisp, cool air, trying to clear my head and find where God was today.  For many reasons, I felt lost.  And so I found myself on a quiet walk through town, looking for God.  I happened upon the courtyard of an old, brick church in the middle of town.  This happens to be one of my favorite spots to think.  And to look for God.  Not that I think God actually lives at this particular address.  But in this courtyard sits a beautiful, plain wooden bench, encompassed by walls of worn and steady brick that offer a sort of fortress.  From there you can look to the sky above, unguarded.  Such a space expands my soul and allows it to feel protected enough to venture out and look for him.  I sat for a while, staring at one of the bricks beneath my feet, observing with great intent its color and grain and weather-worn cracks.  I knew that there, in that moment, God heard every one of the words I was too numb to say.

A while passed and I began to feel permission to enter the room on the other side of the brick wall, thinking that perhaps this had been my real destination all along.  The tall, gothic door opened almost arthritically, announcing to no one in particular my arrival.  My feet treaded cautiously across the ancient floor planks, creak by creak.  I was reminded of the inner sanctum of my heart as I entered this familiar place once again:  protected by brick and stone, noisy underfoot, but with a sense of beautiful expanse that allows one to breathe and to feel.  And to hear.  As I walked further in, sunlight glowed through each of the stained glass windows, illuminating their story.  I stood for a moment, wondering from which of the dark and hardened pews I could best find God.  I decided on the fourth pew back, on the right.  I sat a couple of spaces in, as if to make room for God should he decide to sit down beside me.  I knelt on the floor and felt welcomed by its sympathetic groan.

I didn’t say many words.  Sometimes “please, God” is the only prayer a soul need utter.  There is a sweetness and an honesty in silence, in that space when no words can be found.  As I knelt, my eyes were drawn up to the ceiling and I noted the strong, large beams that promised to allow neither the roof nor the heavens above it to come crashing through.  In that space and for that moment, my soul found sanctuary.  And in that room protected by weathered brick; there in the beams and in the cracks and crevices between, I found God.  He didn’t sit down beside me and he didn’t shout.  But in the quiet, in the sacredness of the silence I heard his faint whisper.

Tears.  Hope.  I lingered, allowing myself to feel the weight of a present God; of a God that is in this moment and the next; a God that is there in the brick and beams, and in the cracks and the crevices between.

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Posted: September 11, 2011 in A Day in the Life


I have this old typewriter that sits on my desk. It was a thoughtful gift from a dear friend last year. Sometimes I look at it and imagine a hundred years of stories written with its keys and ribbon. A hundred years of headlines and happenings in the world and in the lives close to it. World wars and babies born. Love letters and farewell notes. Sometimes I think that if I could unspool its old ribbon and hold it up to the light I could read its story. The stories it has told. The stories it could tell me. The stories it will tell. (more…)

the pause button

Posted: September 6, 2011 in A Day in the Life

I can’t seem to buy inspiration today. I woke up early this morning determined to make a dent in the world as a writer. But I sit here, freshly uninspired. And it isn’t as though there are not enough good things happening in life for me personally, that’s not it. The flashing light of the pause button is really starting to drive me mad. It’s hard to recall this morning when I hit it, or maybe accidentally bumped it. But there it is. And here I am. (more…)

falling off a horse

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Artists and Creative

I only have a moment to write, and you only have a moment to read; so I think this can work. I wanted to say something about falling off a horse, as I know a thing or two about it. This has happened to all of us. Picture it: you were riding brilliantly, strong, quick and steady, and with epic courage. And then, for one reason or another you fell. You got too close to the edge; an animal darted out in front of you. Something caused you to fall. Maybe you even broke a bone or two in the process and it stung quite a lot. And then one day the scrapes healed, the bones mended, and you found yourself standing in front of your horse again with memories of the joys of riding, how the wind felt rushing past and the thrill of blazing trails into the unknown. But you stand there for a minute. Then an hour. What if you don’t remember how to ride? (more…)

the deep downs

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Artists and Creative

There is something beautiful that happens when you read a simple, fairytale story.  It’s something that is hard to put into real words, yet feels as real as anything you’ve ever felt.  First, there is the maiden.  The princess. And she is in trouble.  Then there is you, the hero.  The knight.  There is danger.  There is the flash of metal and the certainty of death.  And the hero’s choice to face it anyway; to run, in fact, with all abandon into that which will certainly claim his life.  But she’s worth it. A thousand times over, she is worth it.  His  determination and courage help him along the way, but in the end it is his love for her that saves her and, in return, saves him.  And the kingdom is a better place for it. (more…)

what’s your dream?

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Artists and Creative

I’ve been following the #IHaveADream campaign on twitter these past few days.  People from across America and around the world are speaking their dreams aloud into the tweetosphere, and it is inspiring.  Many of the posts, appropriately, center around racial reconciliation.  Still others address broader dreams for human equality.  Being freshly inspired, I couldn’t help but jump in with the first of my own: “#IHaveADream that one day tolerance will end and respect will take its place”.

When my wife and I moved to Nashville almost 15 years ago, I held a narrow view that went something like this:  “Racism is in the past.  Can we please get over it?  Let’s move on.”.  In fact, it was years before my heart was softened and my eyes were opened to the more subtle form that racial division has taken.  It’s as though racism sensed that it was no longer culturally acceptable, so it went underground.  As I pondered this over the years, I gradually became aware (more…)

The food was amazing.  At least it was easy to imagine that it was.  You could smell it even as we pulled up to the house in the family wagon. We spilled out of the car with the grace of a wounded swan after our long trip on snowy roads.  There were six of us and the car was too small; our own interpretation of the clowns, a tiny car, and the big top.  My sister, two brothers, and I scurried across the snow to the front door, slipping and sliding.  The smallest by a mile, I always came in dead last.  The front door was opened.  Hugs and kisses were exchanged.  On to the first order of business, the bathroom.  Again, a race.  Again, last place.  Dang!  It had been a long trip.  As I rocked back and forth, waiting impatiently for my turn, I could smell the amazing aromas wafting out the kitchen, calling out to my rumbling stomach.  In this moment, I felt not unlike Odysseus, as his boat sailed past the luring song of the Sirens.  The Sirens had sought to lure Odysseus to imprisonment on their island and to ultimate death.  This, I suppose, is where the similarities end.  Odysseus was returning from war, on a mission to his rescue his wife and his kingdom from being overthrown.  I just had to pee and wash my hands so that I could eat.  Still, as my task felt no less noble, I lashed myself to the doorknob just in case.  OWW!  A good, solid punch in the arm was one way I always knew my brother really loved me.  (more…)

 

This post is a little unusual.  It’s 50% science lesson, 50% philosophy, 15% language study, and 50% math. Just kidding (it’s only 20% math).  But if you’ll hang with me, I promise, it works.  The picture above you is the famous Flux Capacitor.  We’re going to talk about it in a minute.  But before we do I’d like to set the (more…)

Nearing the end of an anything is enough reason to find a moment to pause.  This is especially so with the end of a calendar year.  It’s a natural time to reflect on the poignant moments of the previous 365.24 days with all its gladness and sorrows and to hopefully emerge with a sense of purpose and determination for the year that lies just on the other side of midnight.

At the end of a particular, strenuous last year, my family and I spent an unforgettable evening with two good friends and their children.  It was an evening filled with laughter and honest conversation about life and the realities it delivers at our doorstep each morning.  There was a question that had been bothering me for weeks, or to put it more honestly, years.  It was one of those burning questions that piques your curiosity but which you try to shove deep into your pocket for fear of what answering it would mean.  Well, as it is with most questions of this sort, it is only a moment or two before it sears through the fabric of wherever you’ve put it and tumbles out into the middle of the floor for everyone to see.   (more…)

the world needs you

Posted: December 20, 2010 in A Day in the Life

I’ve lived most of my life not really knowing who I am.  Let me state that a little more accurately.  I’ve lived most of my life not really knowing how to access that truest part of who I am.  Better.  I chose not to delete that first sentence because it communicates a truth and perspective that most of us would like to hide.  You see, I believe most people in the world live this way; not knowing how to live from their deepest, true selves.  But they make the mistake of seeing and saying it in a way that tells those in their world that they “haven’t yet found themselves”, or put in my favorite way:  “I’m almost 40 years old and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up”.  I freely admit that I’ve thought this way much of my life as well.  But it’s not really true.  Actually, it’s an outright lie – and not always an unintentional one. (more…)