Stories

O God, why dost thou cast us off forever? Why does thy anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? . . . Thy foes have roared in the midst of thy holy place . . . they hacked the wooden trellis with axes. They set the sanctuary on fire; to the ground they desecrated…

Come September…

Every once in a while, if you’re like me, you have a dream that wakes you up. Sometimes it's a bad dream—a dream in which the shadows become so menacing that your heart skips a beat . . . Sometimes it's a sad dream—a dream sad enough to bring tears to your sleeping eyes .…

A still small voice

It’s a perfect August afternoon at the lake. Our little log cabin is cool inside, but I’m out on the porch since the temperature has not risen above 78. Clouds gather white at the tops of the blue mountains . . . then stretch and darken, rumbling every now and then. The pine boughs move,…

Let not your heart be troubled

I had a little talk with Jesus last week . . . same topic but a different conversation on my end. I’ve been praying all these months for the truth to be seen, for justice to be done, for strength and protection for those I love who are under attack . . . and I…

City of trees

She’s called “The City of Trees,” this place we’ve called home for at least part of each year, these past fifteen years. And she’s a charmer. I remember the first time we visited being struck with how beautiful the sky was . . . its wide blue arc stretching from the foothills and red-rocked cliffs…

Guardian angel

We drive south along the lake, rain showers pattering on the roof of the truck now and then. The morning sun finally breaks through the clouds as we pass Wild Horse Island, Big Arm, Chief Cliff . . . and as Flathead Lake ends, Polson. It’s our breakfast stop on this ten-hour journey back to…

Porch sitting in the rain

Sitting on the porch alone, listening to them fixing supper, he felt again . . . the sense of loss and the aloneness, the utter defenselessness that was each man's lot, sealed up in his bee cell from all the others in the world. But the smelling of boiling vegetables and pork reached him from…

The starving of the imagination

The people of God in Isaiah’s day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens; that is, he made them begin to use their imagination aright. Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure…

Grandma’s cook stove

“The smell of bruised apples reaches me of a sudden. And in that moment I am back in Miss Eliza's kitchen, rich with cooking odors: the nutty smell of roasting coffee berries, the syrupy scent of fruit upon the stove, the pierce of a fresh-cut lemon, the sweet warmth of a split vanilla pod, the…

When the roses speak

Since it's still National Poetry Month... When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention by Mary Oliver As long as we are able to be extravagant we will be hugely and damply extravagant. Then we will drop foil by foil to the ground. This is our unalterable task, joyfully." And they went on, "Listen, the heart-shackles…