Thursday, April 26, 2012


I live with a boy who is always making connections.  He takes new information and tries to connect it to something he already knows.  He tries to find a category, to classify and sort.  Sometimes I can follow his thinking and see the picture he is making.  Other times, his dots connect in ways I can't follow.

Today the hairdresser gave him a Dum-Dum.  Just for being a good boy.  (Thank you, sweet lady, for making this easier for us next time.)  When I handed the unwrapped candy to him he said, "It's Earth," and I admitted to seeing the likeness.  I would have picked Saturn, with its fat ring in the middle, but still, how does a person tottering on the edge of three even know how to make comparisons to something as abstract as our planet?!

We bought a book detailing everything you'd ever want to know about sharks for Bill's fifth graders.  It turned out to be the book Landon desperately wanted dad to read to him as a bedtime story.  It is a fat book, with lots of text, and I could tell Bill was wondering how to wrap it up without it feeling too abrupt to a little boy who would've preferred to read that book all night.  He read something about the shark's prey.

"What's prey?" Landon asks.
"Yes, let's pray.  Good idea, buddy."
The dot just went off his page, but I think Landon will overlook it this time.
He's probably gotten used to these little misunderstandings now and again.

I live with a boy whose curiosity leads me to learn things, too.
"What's that man doing?" he asked me of a trucker who was parked in the same lot as us.
"He's writing on his clipboard,"
"What's that on his truck?"
"What's what?"
"What are those cords on his truck for?"
I don't really know.
And I say that a lot around this guy, because he has a lot of dots he'd like to connect.

So I'm out of the car, calling up to trucker man,
"Sir, hi, sorry to disturb you but I have a little boy over there who is really curious about you and your truck and is wondering what the cords coming out of your cab are for...?"

And this kind man hops down and tells me, one is electrical, and one is air.
"What do you need air for?" (and this time I'm the one whose curiosity has been stirred)
For the brakes.  They're air brakes.
Air brakes...that have a cord pumping air to them? How does this work?  I wish I could hear more, but I don't want to push it.

I report back to Landon, whose interest is rewarded with loud horn blasts that make us both kinda jump, and then laugh.  (Thank you, trucker man, for showing my little man that his curiosity can be satisfied.)

Now Landon asks me every few days, "Where is that trucker man?  What he doing today?"  and I make up stories of his deliveries to Kansas, or coming home to eat dinner with his family or washing the truck.  When he sees trucks with cords connecting the cab to the freight he calls it out, "Three cords!" or "Two cords!" and I sit in wonder that I could go my whole life and never notice that all these huge trucks have those cords connecting their parts.  I've certainly never wondered about them, and what they might do.

Landon drew that dot in for us.
I connected it with him.
And the picture of our world gets a little more detail.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Let's Go Fly (or watch) a Kite

"This is going to be awesome!"

He says it so loudly, and with such conviction, I think everyone on the shuttle bus is inclined to believe him.

For my part, I'm just thrilled to be on another family adventure--a serendipitous one because a day before, a stranger told me about Arvada's 10th Annual Kite Festival. Now we find ourselves shuttling over to the park, eagerly awaiting a sky full of kites.

We were not disappointed (though the picture doesn't show it well)

touring a fire truck and learning what a spanner is and how it is used

sweet Bill to indulge this whim of Landon's

the adventure continues at IKEA

We ended with homemade Boboli pizza (a slice of my own childhood), and a movie from the library.  
A great day, from start to finish, top to bottom.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Unprecedented Vulnerability from the Pulpit

I have never heard a pastor confess to having struggled with porn.
Until today.

Today was one of the most refreshing declarations of truth I have ever heard.
For why seek a God who cannot free you from everything that deadens your spirit and keeps you from enjoying true fulfillment and joy?

And yet, so few pastors I've ever met have pointed to anything in their lives that suggest real struggle, real sin.  Sure, they tell a few self-deprecating stories about being impatient with their wives or worried about this or that.  But it's not like you ever hear about their problem with rage or terror in the night.  You never hear of anything that they would be truly ashamed of.

Maybe most of the time, we like it like this.  We like to pretend that the sainted among us have found heights of holiness that surpass our human frailty: and by putting the clergy on pedestals we stay justified to scuff around in the mud below. 

So when my trustworthy pastor describes, without drama and without self-loathing,  a chapter in his life when he was mired in a dark and ugly trap, it was a beautiful testimony of God's restoration and freedom from shame and guilt.

I cried on the way home. I realized that though I know I'm forgiven for sin in my past, I'm not truly free from it. Every so often I wander down that prison corridor of old memories and end up in another  cell of shame, guilt, regret, and pretense. When I felt myself exhale just to hear someone trustworthy claim a life without a limp from past sin, I realized that there are old hurts in me yet to be fully healed.
I know there is no magic bullet, but hearing a testimony to God's freeing work in someone's life was one of the most hopeful and challenging messages I have heard in a long, long time.

As publicly as my pastor was willing to share is as publicly as I wish to thank him: 
Thank you for allowing your journey to be an inspiration for those of us also on this path toward freedom in Christ. Your beautiful marriage, your humble and matter-of-fact honesty, and God's transforming power in your life is like a huge and brightly lit light shining dimly into the prison I wander. I see it and realize there is more.
Much, much more.
It is for freedom that Christ sets us Free.
I look forward to finding what lies beyond the squeak of these cell doors.

Truly, thank you so much for putting aside any kind of ego or concern what others would think, or fear of being judged to speak truth today.

Thank you for being willing to say, "Come on, friends!  This way toward more light!"


A fellow traveler along this beautiful path