Visiting relatives as a child came with a lot of internal ambivalence. I enjoyed the stories, hated stringing green beans, had a blast playing horseshoes or croquet, and cringed every time someone said I was “a shepherd”. What did that mean anyway? One aunt kept calling me by my Dad’s name, apologized, and remarked how much I look like my Dad. Then she would do it all over again in the same visit. Is that what it meant to be a shepherd? I just look like my Dad?
Some years ago, living in Thailand, I met a Thai pastor in Bangkok who had previously been a Buddhist monk. Curious about that change, I asked about his conversion, which he happily explained. While mowing the grass at the monastery, he accidentally ran over and killed a frog. Panicked over taking a life, he knew he had lost all the merit he had earned up to that point. He would have to start over.
The other day, I took our daughter out to an empty parking lot to teach her how to drive. We went through the paces for about an hour when a policeman showed up. So, I jumped out of the car and asked if everything was alright. “License and papers,” was the reply, with no smile. So, I pulled out my papers. “Not yours, her’s,” he snapped.
Over the past month Jayne and I have been concentrating on making space for God in our lives as a way to observe this season leading up to Easter. I’ve gained a lot in the process of intentionally slowing down, spending time in silence and waiting upon the Lord.
One of the joys that Scott and I have experienced since returning to the US is joining a new church full of 20- and 30-somethings. This body of believers loves Jesus and desires to grow in faith, hope and love. When we were asked to be the “gray-haired/no-haired” people of this congregation, we couldn’t say yes fast enough. One of the joys that Scott and I have experienced since returning to the US is joining a new church full of 20- and 30-somethings. This body of believers loves Jesus and desires to grow in faith, hope and love.
I haven’t been sleeping well lately. In my mom’s journey with Alzheimer’s, she has begun taking midnight strolls through the house looking for my dad (deceased), or more food (from a not yet renovated kitchen), or anything else that seems vaguely familiar in her mind. We put a sensor on the door so that we would know when she was out of her room (very helpful), but now I find myself lying in bed in the middle of the night wondering if I heard a ding or movement, and then imagining what could possibly go wrong.