all the cities of the world

there are things I dont remember

like names when I have to introduce you

or the French verb for drink

but there are other things

i cannot forget

like the shape of your face

all the days i looked upon you

and saw in your eyes

all the cities of the world

or the violence of grief

which wrung me out

like a hole-y dishrag

after they took you from me

it hurt so bad

i wanted to pierce my arm

to let the pain out

like Jesus on the cross

for me

After being a leper…

i never had a rubric for why Jesus told some people to tell everyone they were healed and others not to tell.  In the story of the healed man in Matt 8–the former leper, i now believe that He tells the man not to identify to anyone but the priest (in offering a sacrifice) because he was giving the man permission to be “normal.”  Jesus is saying you are not an outcast anymore.  You are complete. 

After the experience of being treated as though we were contagious for two years because we had the temerity to tell our story openly, Jesus’ injunction seems more like a great grace than some ineluctible secrecy. 

He is free.  the man is free because he is completely healed.  That is the only way Jesus rolls.

the words among the stones

There is a story in The Silver Chair that goes something like this–a child is given a set of instructions by Aslan to follow.  Of course the child does not do a phenomenal job of recognizing the signs but usually they get noticed.

One involves a message that manifests itself in a kingdom of giants.  The message is over a landscape, unexpected.  It is a sign in a strange place.

I think of that story often because I believe that Jesus gives us a set of instructions in the Gospels, in every piece of the story of His life, but we often miss the messages because we fail to see that He does expect us to follow Him to the Cross.  He says “follow Me” and we futz over the inserts in our church bulletins.

I have learned some painful lessons from following Him, but He is always clear that I am getting cross-caring lite, not the “real” burden He carried for me.

We have to go through suffering, loneliness, misunderstanding, painful sacrifice, and fierce truthtelling if we are to be like Him. And just begin to understand His great big heart.

wisdom in the kitchen with mom

she is three in my memory

during a hard week away from home

but the only one of her life before…

that I know she was not abused

I can see her in my mind as clear as if

I were watching it happen

early morning

the last of the spices go in the basket

the elephant eared reminders of my father’s death

already planted

in the back of the pilot

and she consoles you

she reaches around your hip and pats you softly

there, there

so maternal for a baby, for a child

you don’t care

But I do.

my life without me…

I think this movie would be great except for one BIG thing.  The notion that you would need to broaden your romantic/sexual horizons as some sort of finis to a bucket list is such a shallow (I think MALE) idea.  I will have to check the authorship of the screenplay (nope, I was wrong..written by women).  That being said emphatically–that sexual romantic love should not enter in to 99.9% of our relationships yet LOVE should define all  of them, this is a great quote–

LEE:  I love you.  I’m in love with you. And the world seems less terrible because you exist.  I feel like I wanna be with you for the rest of my life.  And all that, the palpitations, and the nerves, the pain, the happiness and the fear.  I wanna…I wanna touch you all the time!  I wanna take care of you and your girls and even find your husband a decent job and get you a house that doesn’t have wheels and…

ANN: Be careful. That sounds like a classic case of falling in love.

LEE:  I am in love.  I’m classically in love.  The classic husband is gonna be here any minute.  And the classic depression that sets in everytime you go off with him…and the crying and the tears and everything.


My focus–“I wanna take care…that doesn’t have wheels and…”

Again, my main premise is that the actual relationship between Ann and Lee might be a reasonable movie catalyst but it would be a much stronger vision of real love if it had not violated the boundaries of fidelity and marriage.

Once I get that disclaimer out there I get to my main point–love looks and sounds like this.  It is the flooded quality of care not just about the immediate person but all those who are important to that person.

I love Em and because I love her, I love the people she lives with and works with and even fights with.  I love her scary-and-deranged-biological father.  Not because it is logical and not because he deserves it, just because in some intrinsic sense he belongs to her and the restoration of his mind and life would be better for her than its derangement.

This is the one elemental idea that is missing in selfishness, the untranslatable impulse that Sea and anyone like him lacks.

And it is a facsimile of the Love defined by Jesus–His love is entirely protective and obstinate.  He refuses to give up on us or stop loving us even when we doggedly ignore Him or willfully misrepresent Him.

all that before the Cross…



J hasnt aged.  He still seems like the teenager I met in a Bible study years ago.  He still seems like the college student I followed around like a puppy.  When he comes home from work if Elijah sees him he cries out DAD! in such an acclamation of joy. 

The kids all love their rockstar dad.

Tonight we were walking and quoting a favorite line from a Cameron Diaz movie.  He asked if she had been in any good movies lately.  I said that I would reach back as far as “In Her Shoes” just to find a decent one and he pounced on my weak memory.  What about Shrek?  I said, well, I wouldnt vouch for anything past Shrek 2 and even though it was dark I believe there was a glint in his eye as he…

whipped out his smartphone!  he could trounce my geriatric memory instantly thanks to the power of the mobile internet!

in all fairness to the process he admitted that my timeline was accurate…this time…

Cue Carmina Burana

the songs we sing to children

More than a decade ago I spoke in church about the woman at the well–the crux of which was that this fallen, outcast woman was made wonderfully brave when she found a great treasure–Jesus.

I have long believed that Jesus makes us brave and that being around Him is worth all the mucking about.  He is amazing and lovable and that is a silly understatement.

If you dont believe me, see for yourself.

If you are pressed for time start with John


the power of…

you can’t see

the ordinary objects

i sort through like words

i am choosing to keep

or give away

things like pens, markers

permanent or otherwise

things that can be erased

or removed

easier than what i want to know you understand

about household uses

for love

This definitely belongs in the linguistic Lego room


While the Make a Wish foundation is super cool and admirable and what they do has to be super hard, it would be considerably harder were they the Make a Fish Foundation.

If I owned hundreds of vans, I would have them driven in columns and in my van I would drive in front of the column. That way I would be in a van in the van of a caravan of vans.

Here is a breakdown of different disciplines based on an allegory of interaction with a stick (super broad obviously)

Science is asking “how does the stick interact with things?”. Philosophy is asking “why is it a stick?”. Art is “what does the stick represent?”. Engineering is “how can we use the stick?”.

Einstein was horrified to learn Newton didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.

I like to think that the long feud between Rome and Carthage…

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