immigrant empathy

I remember entering the arrivals hall at JFK as an immigrant at age 10.  The huge room with cathedral-high ceilings, packed with people of all nationalities, waiting to be admitted to the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I wasn't an immigrant, really.  Just a US citizen who'd never lived more than a few months at a time in my passport country.  

I wasn't an immigrant, technically speaking.  

But I felt like one.  

My childhood experiences had made me into a person without a country, a person hoping for a home.  I spent my first birthday in Mexico, then there were a couple of years in Brazil, then nearly five years in Nigeria.

While Mexico and Brazil had been welcoming places to US nationals, Nigeria was not so much.  Due to a long, painful history with the slave trade and colonialism, white people in general were not highly esteemed.  

In Nigeria, riding down the street on the back of my dad's motorbike, people would throw up their hands at us.  It wasn't a friendly greeting; it was a curse.  I understood why people were angry, but I only felt safe inside the walls of our compound.

So returning to the US, at age 10, was a big, huge, exciting deal for me.  Going from a place I wasn't wanted and didn't belong, hoping to find the place where I was wanted and did belong.

JFK Arrival, flikr

JFK Arrival, flikr

As an adult, I chose to live overseas once again.  Fortunately, in a place that was warmly welcoming to US nationals.

When that beautiful little country erupted into civil conflict, my family had the experience, for about a week, of being refugees.  We were given 15 minutes' notice to leave our house and arrive at the embarkation point to be evacuated by ship to Australia.  

We were allowed one carry-on bag each of belongings.  I took the photo albums and some clean underwear.  The kids picked out what they wanted in their bags: favorite books, stuffed animals, toys.

Andy stayed behind while the kids and I boarded HMS Tobruk.  No cell phones, no email, no contact during the 5 days we were at sea.

Two weeks ago, Andy and I boarded a plane here in Dallas, bound for Doha, Qatar, and then on to Bangkok, Thailand to speak at a conference for expat families.

It's a 13-hour long haul from Dallas to Doha, on a Boeing 777-300, with 368 passengers on board.  Some of them were small children who cried while their moms stood in the bulkhead, bouncing to soothe them.  

Just like I used to do with my babies on those long hauls.  

I listened to Leonard Cohen's latest album for about 10 hours straight, trying to sleep and block out the baby noises.  

As the moon rose over the mountains of Iraq, Steer Your Way was playing, with these lyrics:

They whisper still, the ancient stones
The blunted mountains weep
As he died to make men holy
Let us die to make things cheap

We had a wonderful trip to Thailand.  It was like a layer cake of deliciousness:  food, culture, scenery, people, family, friends, new friends, speaking, listening, sharing.

When we landed back at LAX and got into the "citizen" line at passport control, Andy said, "The citizen line and the foreigner line look just alike."  

And it was true.  Both lines were an almost identical rainbow of skin tones and racial diversity.

I said, "This makes me damn proud to be an American right now."

Less than a week later, we were back at Terminal D at DFW, International Arrivals and Departures.  When I go to Terminal D, I'm normally going someplace awesome in our big, beautiful world, or meeting a loved one who's arriving back from overseas.  

But Saturday night, we were out at Terminal D because people with legal visas to enter the US were being detained as per Executive Order, issued while they were in transit.

When we heard this news, every single cell of my immigrant self just cried out in pain.

The little girl who came to JFK, feeling so outcast and hoping for a home, felt that pain.

The grown-up who left a home with 15 minutes notice, one suitcase, and four small children felt that pain.

The last-week self who stood proudly in a rainbow line felt that pain.

So we went to DFW and we stood with others who were feeling that pain.  Not because we thought that protesting would cause a change overnight, but because the people who were in that pain needed to know that they were not in it alone.

And because of what Mr. Rogers said:

I was spared from any great disasters when I was little, but there was plenty of news of them in newspapers and on the radio, and there were graphic images of them in newsreels.

For me, as for all children, the world could have come to seem a scary place to live. But I felt secure with my parents, and they let me know that we were safely together whenever I showed concern about accounts of alarming events in the world.

There was something else my mother did that I’ve always remembered: “Always look for the helpers,” she’d tell me. “There’s always someone who is trying to help.” I did, and I came to see that the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.

I think a lot of us have realized this recently:  not only can we look for the helpers, we can BE the helpers.

We're ready to jump in when things go wrong.

That's not hysteria.  

It's empathy.

Empathy is what allows us to feel alongside someone else, to care about how they feel, because we know that under our rainbow skin, all our feelings are one.

Empathy is the gift of connection that comes out of our pain.  

Empathy is Love calling to Love, recognizing our mutual humanity.

Empathy is what makes us into helpers, into healers.

Empathy allows us to look into the faces of strangers, even enemies, and find family.

Print Friendly and PDF

land of the unexpected

I seem to spend quite a bit of my life looking around and saying, "How did this happen?"

It's not always bad!  Sometimes it's really cool stuff that surprises me, here in the land of the unexpected, which appears to be my habitation.

January's cool surprise:  Andy and I are traveling to Thailand to speak at a conference for homeschooling expat families who live all across Asia.

It's a little bit ironic that I'm going to be speaking to these folks since I think I was one of the least successful homeschooling parents of all time.  The fact that my kids have all done well in school has far more to do with their natural intelligence than with anything I did to guide said brainpower.  When it comes to teaching children, I'm more of a cautionary tale than a success story.

Fortunately for everyone involved, I'm not going to talk about educational methods.  I'm going to talk about counseling stuff, and Andy and I are going to talk about what we've learned about marriage and family through our own journey.  

Again, more of a cautionary tale.  

Kind of like the old Berenstain Bears books: "This is what you should not do.  Now let this be a lesson to you."  

When I say those words, I have this picture of of Papa Bear and his bicycle, being dragged up out of a canyon by his son's Bear Scout crew.

I don't know if we ever keep other people from falling into their own ditches, truth to tell.  Seems like we all find our ditches, regardless of how well others warn us.

But I do think it's helpful at least to know that others have fallen, so when it happens to you, you don't feel so alone, and you know whose name to yell for help.

I feel like the gift to me of having fallen spectacularly into any number of my own ditches is that I have a lot of compassion for people who have fallen into theirs.  

Plus, Andy and I have learned a few things along the way about the ladders that help us climb out.

There's great research and wonderful resources out there, and I look forward to sharing that good stuff.

But, beyond all the knowledge and know-how, there's one ladder out of the ditch, really:  Love.

Ultimately, Love is the only thing that overcomes our shame and our fear, our anger and grief and our need to control.  

Love is the only thing that can give us peace to know that we're loved just as are, and the courage to change and grow into more than we knew possible.

So, most of all, we're going to share Love.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Print Friendly and PDF

statement of faith

I'm in a couple of private facebook groups for doubters, wanderers, hopers, and dreamers.

This morning a fellow group member posted a letter to God, expressing her love for God, and some deep pain as well.  

I wrote this in response, and it occured to me that someone here might need it too.

Ft Worth Botanical Garden (photo: Andy Bruner)

Ft Worth Botanical Garden (photo: Andy Bruner)

Dear Sarah,

I love you too!

In fact, you're one of my favorite people.

There's nothing you can do or think that will end my love for you.

I know that lots of people need rules to feel like they're safe, and they try to make you follow their rules because that makes them feel safe too.

Here's the good news: my Love will always keep you safe.

You don't need the rules, because my Love transcends all the rules.

My Love keeps safe the women who've had abortions.

My Love keeps safe the LGBTQIA community.

My Love even keeps safe the people who trust the rules to keep them safe.

My Love is big enough, strong enough, wide enough, deep enough for all things.

Nothing can separate you--or anyone else--from my Love.

Don't worry about going to a certain place, saying certain words, or doing certain tasks. My Love doesn't need any of those things.

My Love just is. It's everywhere, all around you.

The breeze, the sunshine, the snow, the rain. The pets, the friends, the good coffee, your yoga studio.  My Love is there, in all those gifts.

When life really truly sucks, my Love is present in the deepest, darkest places. I will never, ever leave you alone. I am with you in the pain, the sorrow, the anger, the anxiety. My Love folds all those things close and holds them safe.

Dear Sarah, when you love others, you participate in my Love.

When you stand with the vulnerable, when you serve the suffering, you're living and moving and being in Love.

And you are enough. You were created from my Love, and you are going to my Love, and every minute of every single day, you are kept safe in my Love.

It's okay if you doubt and wonder. It's okay if you don't understand or experience my Love all the time.

Just like the sun shines above the clouds, so my Love is always there.

It has been, it will be.

Nothing can separate you from me.

You are mine. I am yours.

Love always.

Print Friendly and PDF

#LTHO2017

Today is the day of resolutions, which I never make.  

Because, as I've said before, it seems to me that all the worst things have happened regardless of my best efforts, and all the best things have happened when I just could not do one thing more to make it right.

That doesn't feel like helplessness or hopelessness to me.  

It feels like acceptance.

I have very little control, and experience has taught me that's actually a good thing, because God is God, and I am not.  

Sending up light on Christmas Eve (photo: Amy Miller)

Sending up light on Christmas Eve (photo: Amy Miller)

I discovered, on this final day of 2016, that I can do something new:  Janu Sirsasana.

That's seated head-to-knee yoga posture.  Level of difficulty:  beginner.  Not a big deal.  Unless you're 50 years old and partially fossilized from disuse, such as yours truly.

Back in August when I started practicing yoga, and we went to Janu Sirsasana, I could only gaze down at my knee, with love and longing, from a very great distance.

But this morning, down I breathed, and to my extreme shock and amazement, my forehead went right to my knee.

I didn't plan to end 2016 with this accomplishment.  In fact, a year ago, yoga had never crossed my mind as a thing to do.  

But then 2016 happened, and by midsummer, it was clear I needed to ramp up my self-care plan, and I was willing to try any crazy new thing, which brought me to yoga and my moment of happiness today.

And I realize this:  today's little gift of Janu Sirsasana would never have happened without the brokenness that forced me to the mat.  I would never have done yoga without the motivation of desperation.

Now.  This is not a handy-dandy method of rationalizing away pain.  It's not "worth it" that the terrible pain of things like my friend's ALS made me desperate enough to try yoga.

It is, however, a gift out of the darkness.

Which, I think, is what Love gives us: a little light, to help us find our way forward.

When I look forward from today, when I think about 2017, when I try to figure out what to do with the big mess of the world, it seems to me that many times all I can do is take back little moments of beauty and wonder and joy from the darkness and sorrow.

In the face of fear and distress and anger, light a little candle of Love.  

Breathe. 

Rest.

Be still and know.

Maybe touch my nose to my knee.

Most of the time, lighting a little Love-candle sounds like not enough.

It sounds too simple.

Too small.

Too helpless.

Too weak.

And yet.

Haven't we just been through Christmas?  

Haven't we just learned that the best things do look simple and small and helpless and weak?

Shouldn't that teach us something about the simple, small things?

Shouldn't that foster gratitude for all the gifts that surround and surprise us?

Wall detail, Granada Theater, Dallas

Wall detail, Granada Theater, Dallas

Our Number 3 Child is a senior at Texas A&M this year.  

In contrast to the Bruner family, Aggieland is awash in tradition.  There are so many traditions that you have to go to a week-long camp before your freshman year to learn about them.  There are class yells and whoops and probably secret handshakes and I don't know what all.

True confession:  I've been a pretty bad Aggie Mom.  I have no bumper stickers, no sweatshirts.  

One thing I have picked up on, though, is #BTHO.  It means Beat The Hell Out.  You can #BTHO another football team obviously, but you can also #BTHO finals or job interviews or anything else that needs #BTHOing.  

I've decided to adapt #BTHO for 2017. 

I'm not going to #BTHO, though.  (Even though 2017 is shaping up to be something that does need #BTHOing.)

No, I'm not going to #BTHO.

I'm going to #LTHO: Love The Hell Out. 

The truth I know is this:

We can control so very little.

Sometimes we just can't #BTHO, no matter how hard we try. 

And yet we can Love.

Love may look simple and small and helpless and weak.

But those of us who have experienced it know this to be true:

Love is the One True Thing.

Love brings us peace to breathe and rest and be still and know.

Love gives us courage to stand with the vulnerable and to serve the suffering.

Love opens our hearts to our neighbors, and even our enemies.

When everything else has burned up and turned to dust,

Love never fails.

We are born from Love.

We are returning to Love.

Every day, of every year, we are living and moving and having our being in Love.

And so, 2017, bring it.

Whatever happens, I will #LTHO.

Who's with me?

Print Friendly and PDF

always imogene

The Bruner family is not exactly a traditional outfit.

When our son-in-law Kevin joined our family almost 6 years ago now, he characterized us as "quirky," a label we accepted with pride.

Our quirkiness definitely extends into the Christmas arena:  we don't have a lot of traditions.  

This is partly because we used to move all the time.  Christmas might be celebrated in Tennessee, the Solomon Islands, or Papua New Guinea, or Dallas.  It might be cold and snowy or it might be 95 degrees with 95% humidity.  

When your Christmas environment changes, you adjust.  You take a picnic to the beach instead of going over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house.

Furthermore, when you're as mobile as we used to be, you don't haul a lot of stuff with you.  At least I didn't.  The more I moved, the less stuff I wanted to have.  End result: not a lot of Christmas decor has come with us through the years.

One notable exception is The Pickle.  The Pickle is a little plastic pickle that Andy hides on the tree.  Once all the presents are opened, the kids hunt for The Pickle.  Whoever finds it gets to open a present that's for the whole family, like a game or a movie.  The older our kids have gotten, the more this has developed into a full-contact sport which our daughter generally wins.  

I recently suggested that everyone might be getting too old for this, and my notion was firmly rejected.  I'm envisioning my kids whacking each other over the head with their canes in the nursing home, still hunting The Pickle.  We're just about that quirky.

Another Christmas tradition that's survived many years is reading Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  One of the side benefits of living in places where TV didn't exist is that we read aloud as a family every night for many years.  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the last surviving vestige of the family read-aloud hour.  Again, I suggested that we might be too grown up for this now, and again my notion was firmly rejected.

One of the reasons I'm trying to wiggle out of half of our holiday traditions is this:  I always, always cry while reading it.  And this year, this dumpster-fire year, I can't even THINK about The Best Christmas Pageant Ever without crying.

Monday night, Andy and I went to The Dallas Bach Society's performance of Handel's Messiah.  At halftime, I was weeping away and Andy said, "Why does this always get to you so much?"

I mean, Handel's Messiah is the same thing every time.  Has been for hundreds of years.  Surprise level:  zero.

In my own defense, I'd just heard the most beautiful rendition ever of "Come Unto Him."  The soprano soloist sounded exactly like angels are supposed to sound.

When Andy asked me that, I just said, "I don't KNOW" and tried not to sob out loud.

But I think it's perhaps the same reason I cry during The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

It's that line from "O Little Town of Bethlehem," about how the hopes and fears of all the years are met in some mysterious way.

The great, unending sorrow of the world meets Love.

And there's hope that Love does win, that there is rest for our souls.

I feel this not simply on a global level, for the big wide hurting world.

I feel this in my own heart: that there is always sorrow and pain and rejection and loss inside of me that needs to be met with Love.  

The truth is, I feel like Imogene Herdman, the eldest girl among "absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world."

Imogene's siblings are completely out of control.  Her dad abandoned the family long ago, and her mother works long hours--to stay away from the kids, and who can blame her, the book says.  The Herdman kids, who've never been to church in their lives, end up in Sunday School when they hear that free treats will be served, and somehow they all end up in the starring roles of the church nativity play.

From the beginning, Imogene wants to understand the Christmas story, and she ends up understanding it better than anyone else.

When it's all over, Imogene ends up doing what I always do:  "She just sat there--awful old Imogene--in her cookedy veil, crying and crying and crying."

When Imogene, who so desperately needs rest for her soul, discovers Love, it breaks her open.  

And it breaks me open every time, too.

Because I am Imogene.  

I know why she cries.

She's been so alone, and Love has come to be with her.

And so, messy and weepy and imperfect, I embrace being always Imogene, crying and running into things, and ready to clobber anybody who lays a hand on one of my babies.

This year, and every year, 

I hope the Light pushes back the darkness in my heart.

I hope the wonder of it makes me weep.

Most of all, I hope Love always breaks me open when it comes.

Print Friendly and PDF

joy

"Be joyful though you have considered all the facts."  Wendell Berry

I've been thinking about joy lately.

Because Joy to the World and all that.

I've been pondering the question:  what is joy?

I think it's a bit like Justice Potter Stewart's struggle to describe porn: "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

Joy is like that.  Here are some of the places I saw joy this year.

In my granddaughter's sweet little face.

In the beauty of the sea and sand and sky.

In remembrance and repentance, in the resolution to never again disrespect or destroy fellow image-bearers.

In stopping to look, to really look, at the everyday.

In growing things.

In art.

In being-with. 

And it just occurs to me that all the places where I find Joy are the places where I come face to face with Love.  

Every time I recognize Love, I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in a field of wildflowers: I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in the creative work of an artist:  I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in the intentions of another:  I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in the face of my best beloveds:  I feel Joy.

And it occurs to me that maybe Joy is just this simple: seeing the Love, all around me.

And whatever the facts, however dark the world happens to be today, LOVE IS.

LOVE IS.

Without beginning or end.

Eternal.

Present.

With Us.

LOVE IS.

And the darkness cannot overcome it.

LOVE IS.

And so Joy is, too.

Print Friendly and PDF

what are we waiting for?

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, "When will the Kingdom of God come?"

Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of God can't be detected by visible signs.  You won't be able to say, 'Here it is!' or 'It's over there!' For the Kingdom of God is already among you."  Luke 17:20-21  NLT

For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you.  On the day of salvation, I helped you."  Indeed, the "right time" is now.  Today is the day of salvation.  2 Corinthians 6:2  NLT

It's Advent.

A time of waiting, a season of anticipation.

But what are we waiting FOR?

Santa Fe sidewalk (photo: Andy Bruner)

Santa Fe sidewalk (photo: Andy Bruner)

There are some years when the brokenness of the world just overwhelms me during Advent.  This year is one of them.  

But so was 2012, the year I wrote Comfort Ye My People, an Advent reader with daily meditations from the text of Handel's Messiah.

I remember that year so clearly, because the Sandy Hook school shooting happened that year, and I was left with trying to reconcile "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men" with those beautiful children slaughtered inside their school.

Here's the only thing that helped me make sense of it all that dark day in 2012:

While the Sandy Hook tragedy was happening, I was doing my volunteer thing,  That morning, a foster mom came in with two little boys who were just entering her care.  As she waited to see the doctor, she told me a little bit about the boys' birth families.  Prostitution, drug abuse, HIV.

I watched this mom, obviously engaged with these little boys and loving them.  And I saw good will toward these two little ones, who came into the world with brokenness and evil all around them, and then found someone with love to give.

The world breaks my heart.

And then I see this lady.  Nobody will know her name or talk about her on the news.  But because she helps, every day, these boys will grow up with love and kindness instead of abuse.  She brings peace on earth one juice box at a time.

And as I watch the dark days of 2016 unfold, I wonder: what am I waiting for?

I can't fix what's broken here.  And I can't wait for perfection.  I have to stretch out my hands, with whatever is in them, and bless the broken ones around me.  

The right time is now.  

The day of salvation is today.  

The kingdom of heaven is already among us.  

The Kingdom of heaven is within us, according to the King James Version.

We are the Body.

This broken world is ours, to bless and to heal.

These hands of ours, they hold the Kingdom.

These hands of ours, they hold the hope.

These hands of ours, they hold Love.

These hands of ours, they bring the Kingdom.

If we have just a cup of water to give--or a juice box--the Kingdom comes.

The weary world so desperately need to rejoice.

What are we waiting for?

Print Friendly and PDF

Black Friday Book Sale!

In the spirit of gratitude and giving, I offer my holiday book sale!

Kindle versions of these books are price-reduced from Friday at 12:01 AM until Sunday at 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time). 

As Soon As I Fell (99 cents)

My memoir is about going to extremes for spiritual acceptability and failing dismally, only to find that love and grace transcend failure. For anyone who’s ever asked, “When will I be good enough for love?” This book resoundingly answers: “Right now. You are loved, right this minute, in this mess.” While few of us will live on a tiny island in the South Pacific, many of us will find hope and healing in this story of a painful fall into the arms of love.

Debunking the Myths of Forgive-And-Forget (99 cents)

“Forgive-and-forget” slaps a band-aid over a gaping wound and tells us to keep on limping. Real forgiveness, on the other hand, invites us to remove the bandages, examine the wound, and open ourselves up to a restorative process. What gives us the courage to undertake such a difficult, potentially painful procedure? We find the bravery to practice true, soul-deep forgiveness in the context of a Love that holds us safe, no matter what. In the process of real forgiveness, we’ll learn what wise trust looks like. We’ll be able to choose reconciliation or release in relationships. Most of all, we’ll turn toward healing. Real forgiveness can be messy and hard. But in the end, it brings the kind of rest to our souls that no easy answer can offer. For that reason, we debunk the myths and dig in.

Porn and Your Boyfriend (Free)

Dating couples today confront a challenge unique to this generation: internet pornography. Offering information, ideas, resources, and conversation starters, this short book empowers young women to make healthy choices for themselves around the issue of internet pornography in dating relationships.

Comfort Ye My People: The Real World Meets Handel’s Messiah, 26 Readings for Advent (99 cents)

Daily meditations on the text of Handel’s Messiah remind us that comfort, hope, and light are ours, even while living through the real world of grief, pain, and loss.

Print Friendly and PDF

sticking with Love

I don't know how this election cycle felt to you.  

To me it felt like a tornado of fear.

I think that feeling of fear was created deliberately, as an attempt to push voters toward one candidate or the other.  

Amygdalas were fired up, purposefully, to make us push a certain button.

I think that whatever the election results, whichever candidate won, we would probably be reeling in much the same way as we are right now.  

We'd still be cleaning up the mess the tornado made.

Whoever won, someone would be walled out.

Because that's how this election was run: against The Other.

Fort Worth Water Garden (photo: Andy Bruner)

Fort Worth Water Garden (photo: Andy Bruner)

We were told during the campaign never, ever, under any circumstances, to trust The Others.

If you voted for this person or that person, you're not smart.  

I'm smart. You're not.  You're Other.

Whoever you voted for last week, no matter the intention of your heart as you voted, today you're not a caring, loving person.  

I'm loving, I'm caring.  You're not.  You're Other.

You hate babies and you don't believe the Word of God.  

Or you hate people of color and the LGBT community.  

Worst of all, if you voted for The Others, you hate me.

And I can prove it by your vote.

Honestly, my heart is broken.

I have cried until my eyes can hardly open.

And it's not over the candidate who won or lost.

It's because of the othering.

I know people who voted for Trump out of love and care for their families and friends.

I know people who voted for Clinton out of love and care for their families and friends. 

I know people who voted third party or wrote in a candidate out of love and care for their families and friends.

I know people who didn't vote at all out of love and care for their families and friends.

Here is the truth:  there are no Others.

There is only us.

We all belong to each other, and as we other, we tear ourselves apart.

I think the only way out of the othering is Love.

Loving The Others.  

Love is the answer.  I deeply believe that.

This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who reads here regularly:  Love, Love, Love, blah, blah, blah.

In the wake of the election results, I've had to ask myself this quesion: why continue pursuing Love?

Is Love trustworthy?  Does it work?  Is it what I should invest in right now?

I came across this Ted-Ed animation last night that helped.  It's called "How do you know who to trust?"  (And isn't that a question we all wanted to have answered during the election!)

The nugget is this: you trust a track record over time.

People can say anything they want about what's right and what works and how they've got all the answers, and they're the people you should follow and believe.

There are scripture verses and proof texts all around.

The only way you'll know for sure who to trust?

Their track record over time.

It applies to ourselves, too.  

What's my track record over time?  What's proven to be true and trustworthy in my own life? 

So I was thinking about Love, and its track record in my life.

And all I can see from Love is goodness and mercy in my life, and in the lives of others.

I see how Love has transformed my inner self from anxiety about wrath and judgment to peace and contentment.

I see how Love has transformed how I see others, from objects of wrath and judgment and othering to gifts of blessing.

I see how Love has transformed my marriage, from a place of perfectionism and performance, to a haven of safety and joy.

I see how Love gives me strength to be kind and gentle even when I'm othered and rejected.

I see how Love motivates others to stand for the vulnerable, to help the hurting.

Jesus said it:  "Love the Lord your God.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Do this and you'll live."  Luke 10:27

And that's how Love feels to me.  It feels like Life.  Abundant, full and free.

And so I trust the words of Jesus, and the track record of Love in my life.

I'm sticking with Love.

While we dig out from the tornado, while we march down the walls of otherness.

I'm sticking with Love.

Print Friendly and PDF

love gets born

Love was born into our family this past Saturday.  

Or, as our daughter's special needs students have been saying all along: "Baby Shell, hatch."

We are as smitten as smitten can be, and amazed all over again at how Love appears in our hearts.  

One look is all it takes.

One look into the image of Love, born into a new human life, and Love gets born all over again.

And we are so grateful.

Print Friendly and PDF