All posts tagged: life

Tin Man Heart

1961 Thanksgiving Eve an untimely tragedy left my father fatherless and you the only grandpa I ever knew.   Model airplanes on wire, Posters of cars, Hawaii. Jam jars of nails and screws. Drill press Band saw Pine planks Light bulb glow on sawdust drifts. Miniature engine parts, boxed beside piles and piles of Popular Mechanic.   1966 Chevelle. Three on the tree. Dueled exhaust. Cherry-bomb mufflers. Your apple-red beauty, polished to mirror gentle hands, oil-black and coarse.   1956 The girl from Iowa chose Spokane and you.   One daughter, a wealth of sons to pass along your lessons on the mechanics of life and love. A generation old enough to tell of your mischief and kindness. Babies too young to remember your hazel eyes, but small enough to wrap tiny fingers around your thumb.   1995 Frantic surgery. Aortic-valve. You almost died. Then, tick-tick tick-tick tick-tick a Tin Man heart.   Years and years and years, mercy-filled and overflowing. Moments of fragility, Brokenness.   Your heart clocked a lot of mileage. More than …

Humble Pie at the Playskool Kitchen

One dog forgets his size while the other requires an escort to the backyard. Rufus and Scout. Amplifiers of chaos. Two extra children to raise. When all hell breaks loose, Rufus and Scout are the first to get the boot. “Scout! Kennel! Go!” He’s too swift to spank; I tap him on the butt with the toe of my tennis shoe. He runs in the opposite direction. Hides under the dining room table. Freezes in the shadows until I finally get close enough to scoop him up and just carry him to his kennel. He’s gone in a flash. I give up. “Fine,” I say. “Stay out. Whatever.” You’re small enough to not frighten anyone, though your yap is obnoxious. Rufus at my feet – and legs and hips – turns in the hallway like a yellow school bus stuck on a one-lane country road. “Rufus, move!” When he, like a horse at the stall door, is on the other side of the baby gate, I can finally open the door to greet whomever. Or …

His Desire for You

Read Ezekiel 18:24-32 A year of loss has me musing on the brevity of life. Age and health guarantee nothing. The unhealthiest of us live forever it seems; the youngest of us die before life begins. Death is sometimes senseless. It is mysterious. Spiritual death, which is the consequence of sin, is no less mysterious and the Prophets have much to say on the topic. The exchange between God and Israel in Ezekiel 18:25 addresses spiritual death and is an uncomfortable read. Israel: The way of the Lord is not right. God: My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? Essentially, Israel deems God’s judgement unfair. They were dying for their own sins and the sins of their fathers. It must have seemed immensely unfair to suffer for someone else’s sins. After all, they were God’s chosen people. Didn’t that exempt them? Nonetheless, God pleads with Israel to turn from wickedness and walk in his way. He reveals his heart. “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone …

In the Midst of the Temporal

Read Psalm 103:13-17 When I moved from Texas to Butte, Montana, everything was different. The spring air was cold, the jagged earth elevated, and we felt lonely in that historic mining valley. Unwanted, maybe. I’d swing on that blue swing set the yellow Red Ryder truck had brought all the way from Wichita Falls and look at the sky. If I focused only on the sky, I felt like I was back home. Each time we’ve moved since, I have only to look up and feel at home. The earth and everything in it is temporal. The sunshine, the seasons, the people, the items we tow behind us, the memories we keep, and the dreams we nurture. Even the autumnal changing of the leaves is a tangible lesson in the temporal nature of our existence. Yet, the reliable changing of the seasons and the way the sun burns on through the centuries gives us a taste of constancy. Some things last longer than others. Some things outlast our own lives. Every good gift and every …

The Hope of Purpose

As I walked the cul-de-sac, looking at the stars and listening to DIY MFA Radio, Gabriela Pereira interviewed author and book coach Jennie Nash. They were speaking of that moment when a creator’s brilliant idea hits the road, a shaky moment that can be gritty, ugly, and downright scary. It’s that moment when you realize your own insignificance, and the next moment brings with it a weighty choice: give up or push through the ugly, scary grit to bring that brilliance to life. “Nobody’s asking you to write this book,” Jennie said. “Who are you to think, ‘I can do this, I can spend my time and energy on this planet doing this thing?’” Her statement stopped me in my tracks. I felt small. Insignificant. Who am I? Who needs me? No one, at least no one I know yet. It’s that word yet – that hope of purpose – that keeps me pushing. I can do this. I really can. I will do this. But Jennie’s statement carried with it eternal weight. Time? Energy? …