Whitney Houston is gone. But I remember when she was alive in my family’s kitchen. As a boy, I was awestruck by the power of a Sony radio. My parents kept it high on a shelf, up next to all those red and yellow cookbooks and the potted green ivy.
Once I reached a certain age, I was allowed to touch the radio. My fingers stroked its walnut wood casing. I experimented with those clockwise and counterclockwise movements, exploring a world that went far beyond my small Indiana college town.
There, in the kitchen while helping my mom with the dishes, I heard a voice hit a frequency of celebration that only a soul lost and then found could reach.
Surrounded by the toil of clean and dirty dishes, I fell in love with The Voice.
The song fell from the sky like a life-preserver. Not to release me from my environment, but to steady my perspective.
Yesterday I sat among the Lego shards of a primary-colored catastrophe. As two preschool-aged children stumbled and sifted through the ruins, their vulture-like screams blasted across the blocks. Barefoot, Henry stepped on pointy ridges. And victimized, James writhed as his older brother pillaged his stockpile of shiny, glasslike plastic pegs. Continue reading →
There is nothing like having lunch with a preschooler. This afternoon, Henry explained to me how the body digests food while eating a stick of celery spread with peanut butter and a family of ants. Apparently, the food goes down a tunnel and then travels all the way to Canada. Upon reaching The Great White North, the chewed up, stringy green package visits a candy factory where it actually becomes sweet candy. Finally, it travels up the tunnel again into the mouth as delicious candy. And with the added bonus of ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate chips.
A little while later, I caught him very passionately holding a slice of red pepper and playing “air violin” with his index finger.
It’s a refreshing blessing to sit and dine with childlike imagination. As adults, I have a feeling we don’t draw on this gift as much as God would like. Perhaps we should be peppering our prayers with a little more air violin.