While I have never been diagnosed with textbook claustrophobia, I hate tight places. Elevators, tunnels and all other small spaces make my heart race and my palms sweat. I can rescue a child from the Chick-fil-A playplace blackhole like the best of them, but other than that, I try my hardest to avoid squishy, smushy places in the external world.
Similarly, my soul hates tight, restricting places and situations. With the exception of contortionists, I believe that most humans share my sentiments to varying degrees of intensity. Humans try to avoid being squeezed. Continue reading
Today the tears of fear, disappointment, and the unique tiredness that comes from trying to be tough for your kids welled up from within me.
We have been doing the workouts, reading together, and making the most of things. We tried to make Phin’s birthday two days ago feel as festive as possible. He tried to be grateful and act like it was the perfect day. But it wasn’t. He did not get to have his party. He misses his friends. Today it culminated in him being sad and disappointed that life looks like this right now. When his honest tears started flowing, mine joined him, and we made a little river.
I don’t think I realized how much the dust of disappointment has been gathering in my heart and in their little hearts. Continue reading
I cried today. Partly because I am tired. Partly because it is a strange birthday for our youngest son. Partly because we are reading Pax, a beautifully written but sad book aloud for our temporary homeschool arrangement. Partly because I have been watching our housemate and his fiancee decide what to do about their wedding next Saturday, a wedding they have been planning for half a year. Partly because my friends in the healthcare sector are tired and exposed to a disease that shows no signs of relenting in the near future. All the partly’s make for a whole lot of emotion churning in my heart and the hearts of my little ones.
In the midst of the list of real emotions, the Holy Spirit was gracious to bring one word to heart and mind: dayenu which means “it would have been sufficient.” Continue reading
Aleksandr Solzhneitsyn said of his prison cell in the Russian gulag that it taught him how to run a magnifying glass over life.
Not the perspective one would expect from a man falsely-imprisoned in one of the most cruel prison systems in history.
“Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made
to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.” Continue reading
As I sat down this morning with extra time on my hands from cancelled meetings and appointments, I found my soul stalled out. It seems the incredible amount of statistical information and news stories have left me (and most people, I would presume) paralyzed.
Graphs of flattening curves and comparisons between countries who have responded well or poorly to COVID-19 kept flashing to the forefront of my mind. As such, I was having a hard time knowing how to pray. Continue reading
As the Spring breaths its new life over a weary, wintered earth, things begin to open. Buds bravely begin the process of opening themselves from being tightly bound, exposing themselves to the outside air.
But buds are not the only tightly bound things. Hearts, hands, and souls are also bound and closed. Exposure to the brokenness of the world constricts the soul. Fears tend to tighten hearts in reflexive self-protection; however, exposure to Christ opens the soul in hope, eager expectation, and even a vulnerable love. Continue reading
What began as a silly way to make a long drive feel shorter quickly became a source of exposure and sadness.
My youngest son happens to have been born on St. Patrick’s Day which is a source of great pride for him. As a joke, my other sons began looking up what holidays might fall on the rest of the birthdays of our family members. Somewhere, in the laughter and silliness of hearing about Taco Day, Cat Lover Day, and Donut Day, my heart became heavy. Continue reading