Even If China Attacks

James runs past the front door of our church to find his coat. He sort of skids when he looks up and sees Jesus standing outside the tomb.

James slows, then stops, and pivots long enough to find the holes in the feet, and the ones at the wrists. He soaks up the image in the painting, quietly, without the help of adults. And then he’s off running again.

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Reading and Writing

My four year-old sits quietly in the pew with his pen and paper. All around him, the sanctuary is dark and full of mystery. 
 
His slow hand moves and concentrates across the space and centimeters of paper. I hear deep, unspoken conversations taking place between him and the lines and shapes. 
 
He works like a surgeon, speaks from behind a mask. On my side of childhood, words can get lost here.

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Brace Yourself

Soon after our first child was born, the doctor informed us that Henry might have congenital hip dysplasia.

Aside from that, he appeared perfectly healthy. Even so, Mom and Dad left the hospital with a small limp of anxiety.

Another doctor confirmed the diagnosis a few weeks later. As a new parent I knew Henry’s first step was still many months away, but now it wobbled with a new kind of uncertainty.

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The Smack of Loyalty

With a delicious Irish meat pie sitting on the table, my 4-year-old son looked across the same table and saw a chubby red rubber ball, 13 months his junior. Carefully, with a small elastic string, he tethered his brother to a hard, mischievous paddle.

“Jaaa-ames,” he pulled, “Me going to drink your miii-ilk.”

Smack.

“Jaaa-ames, me going to eat your craaa-kers.”

Smack.

As the “playful” paddling continued, each smack was met with a shrill, vile cry of defiance. Meanwhile, my half-full plate of food steamed in front of me, while a half-empty temper steamed inside of me. The noises were a bloody distraction from my meat and potatoes — like watching a battle unfold on the evening news during supper. Only this was worse — because I had to get involved.

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An Open Book, an Open Eye

Ever feel like you’re pushing around an empty cart? Or one weighed down and overflowing?

Either way, I’ve been gripping my cart handles more than my Bible lately. Misplacing my priorities is a sin I’m not fond of admitting to others. To me, it feels like a litmus test for the heart. Either I’m synching with God’s heart or something else.

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A Prayer That Fits

A few years ago Hoosier politicians legislated a moment of silence into the school day. But don’t worry. Those three seconds are not interfering with student learning.

In fact, they could stand an extra shot of espresso.

Because silence is a weak drink these days. In the classroom, in the workplace, and in the home, people are thumbing their noses at it.

Like it’s some kind of cheap coffee.

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Listening …

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“As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.

“Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!'”

Ezekiel 1:28-2:1