What would you do if you held a very public position, one that garnered respect and admiration from the Christian community. How would you respond if your daughter came home from college and announced that she is pregnant? Would your first response be to send her to another city to get an abortion? Take care of the “problem” before anyone is the wiser?
Would you insist that she quickly get married? This is the premise of a book by
What is it about grief that either separates us from others, or brings us closer together? There’s no wishy-washy middle ground. For those of us who have lost someone close, grief still lurks around every corner, waiting to pounce. A song, a special time of day, a fleeting memory, these are the things that bring a tear to the eye and a longing to the heart.
We must teach others that grief can’t be avoided and won’t be ignored. When we show others how we grieve, we show them how to live beyond the feeling. Grief, loss, suffering, all part of our human existence, all part of God’s omnipotent plan.
There are some people who you instantly connect with as soon as you meet. Sometimes you feel like you’ve know them forever. There’s an instant bond forged.
Then there are others who you meet and there is a disconnect. Sometimes it’s even an active dislike. You hear them talk and you want to turn away and tune them out in disgust.
Our natural tendency is to do just that – to avoid that person; ignore them and pretend that they don’t exist. But I’m discovering that when I’m in that place, there is all the more reason to lean into that one who drives me crazy. There is probably something there for me, if I will only take the time to look for it. It takes me from my natural tendency to a “super” natural place. As I grow older and, I hope, wiser, I want to expand my view of the world and of others rather than to narrow it down. I want other, younger people, to see me as gracious and kind, accepting and forebearing.
How about you? Can you take time to get to know that co-worker, acquaintance, fellow church-goer, and see them with different eyes?
Writing is hard. Editing is harder. How to “see” the story from 10,000 feet when I’m immersed in my characters’ lives? I think their lives are fascinating, but will anyone else?
When I was learning to speak Spanish, I had to learn the rules:
Masculine words end in O
Feminine words end in A
Verbs are conjugated according to whether they are AR ending or ER ending
Sentence structure follows a rule.
Writing is the same:
Each chapter should begin and end with a cliff hanger
Characters should have clear goals
Conflict should intensify
Show — don’t tell
Keep the same point of view throughout the section
Learning to put all the rules into practice is like speaking Spanish as a beginner. First you sound like a five-year-old. Then you progress until you’re comfortable holding a conversation.
At first, your writing stinks. You’re all over the place. Point of view changes, you include way too much information. Then you learn to cut, edit and (hopefully) write more effortlessly with fewer re-writes.
Sometimes things are set in motion and seem to move beyond our control. I’d like to say STOP! or Slow Down! so I can be sure the direction is right. But God is up above with the 30,000 foot view and He sees the momentum and is okay with it. We don’t see our the small decisions are like a little pebble trown into a pond. The ripples are barely noticeable by the time they reach the shore.
Other, big decisions – who to marry, which job to take, etc. – are like heaving a boulder into the pond. First there’s a huge splash, throwing showers of water into the air. Then rings of motion, slamming against the shore over and over again. Big decisions — big consequences.
Here’s the comfort: that eventually the waves turn into ripples and the ripples into barely discernable undulations, until, finally, the pond is smooth as glass again.
I am here in Estes Park at the YMCA Camp at a Daly family reunion. My husbnd, Mike planned this whole adventure, down to the meals and activities. Last night we had a meeting of all the adults to go over the rules. I watched in amusement as the siblings all assumed their normal place the hierarchy of the family.
Mike, the oldest, attempted to reign over the rest, telling everyone how the meals would be handled. (the rest of the sibs shall remain nameless to preserve any sense of dignity they may need). The youngest kept sniping at Mike, disrupting his flow. Since he is also a CEO, he tried to take over the administration of events, and when things got heated, one of the middle sibs started cracking jokes to diffuse the tension. The other middle sib tried to keep the peace while making positive suggestions.
More to follow as this week progresses….
There is a homeless guy who hangs around our local grocery store. My husband has on occasion given him five dollars or a McDonald’s gift card. But lately, he’s been engaging him in conversation. He’s discovered that his name is “Steve.” He’s been homelss for awhile and he prefers it that way.
One day Mike came home and announced that he had asked if “Steve” wanted to come over and get cleaned up at our house. Use the shower, etc. My first reaction was, “Oh, no!” Thankfully, “Steve” said that he didn’t have time that day because he had to get across town to meet some friends. I was relieved. Then I was ashamed that I was relieved.
I would much rather hand the guy a five and be done with it. Having him in my home might mean that I would have to make a personal investment in his life. That would be very inconvenient for me. Do you have a “Steve” in your life?