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Read some thoughts on issues affecting daily life and life around our world. Read and join in the conversation. What moves you? How do you respond to the issues we face today?

Possible Answers to Prayer

By Scott Cairns
Your petitions—though they continue to bear
just the one signature—have been duly recorded.
Your anxieties—despite their constant,

relatively narrow scope and inadvertent
entertainment value—nonetheless serve
to bring your person vividly to mind.

Your repentance—all but obscured beneath
a burgeoning, yellow fog of frankly more
conspicuous resentment—is sufficient.

Your intermittent concern for the sick,
the suffering, the needy poor is sometimes
recognizable to me, if not to them.

Your angers, your zeal, your lipsmackingly
righteous indignation toward the many
whose habits and sympathies offend you—
these must burn away before you’ll apprehend
how near I am, with what fervor I adore
precisely these, the several who rouse your passions.


“If she only knew…” Those words punctuated Rob’s address at Love146’s Red Gala last month, referencing the girl who bore the number 146 on her red dress. Sitting at the gala, chills ran down my spine thinking about our namesake. If she only knew that we wore red that evening in solidarity with her.
Red symbolized a girl halfway around the world who will probably never know we exist. She will probably never know Rob picked up the defiance shining in her eyes to fight on her behalf. But what if someday she does know? We may not see resolution this side of eternity but someday, someday she will know. That will be a glorious day.


A few thoughts that caught my attention watching an archive of the opening session from IHOP-KC's Women's Conference. Dana Candler was the speaker and heard God prompting her:
"The next season of your life is not titled, 'And Dana became a mom.' The next season of your life is titled, 'And Dana grew in love.'"
"As I'm feeding [my son] lunch, I heard the Lord say, 'you know, I had a mother.' And all of a sudden that room became holy and I realized, 'of course you did, Jesus! And You actually have this really tender place in Your heart for mothers and You want to encounter me here and maybe I'm all locked away and no one else sees but You're actually taking notes; You're writing it down.'"
~Dana Candler, Unwavering Conference, 3/30/17

Rising Strong

If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability. When we commit to showing up and risking falling, we are actually committing to falling. Daring is not saying, "I'm willing to risk failure." Daring is saying, "I know I will eventually fail and I'm still all in."
~Brené Brown, Rising Strong


This morning, I dazedly checked my phone and read, "I love you today and all days," written by a dear friend. At first, those words confused me then their meaning came into sharp relief, knocking me out of my sleepy stupor. Today is a special day in my family's history. It is the day my brother, Tim, came into the world. Today we celebrate his birthday even as he has "promoted" to heaven, as Mom says.
This year, we'll gather with close friends, light a Christmas tree on fire in the backyard, love on Tim's son and wife, raise a glass, and share Tim stories. Tim was my adventure pal. There are precious few with whom I'd run a marathon, attempt a high altitude pass that had turned back most others, and ski off cornices. These adventures, respectively, led to 1) a vow that we'd never run another marathon, 2) determining to persevere in the face of altitude sickness, and 3) my ski boot breaking as I landed off the cornice.
Just envisioning each of those three misadventures put a smile on my face. We initially got really amped to run a marathon together. I trained in CA, Tim trained in CT, and we ran one 14 mile course around Lake Quassapaug in preparation. Turns out that was Tim's longest training run and he pulled his groin during the marathon. I was arguably better prepared physically but fell apart emotionally shortly past the finish line. Alas, no more marathons for Team Hiney.
After that, Tim and I brainstormed another grandiose physical feat: mountaineering in India. I'm literally laughing as I type this because we didn't come up with our route until we were in Himachal Pradesh, maps spread out on the hotel floor. Our friend, Bicky, had mountaineered Kang La (Kang Pass) years before and remembered it being a good trip. We nicknamed the trip "Why Like This" because of the adverse weather we encountered. I remember us sitting on blocks of ice, huddled under a ground tarp, blocking out the rain. When I noticed Tim's lips were blue, I said it was time to get moving. The last couple of days before the pass, Tim was eating much and was feeling nauseous. He was still coherent and we decided to push up and over the pass since that was the quickest way to a low altitude. The morning of our final push, we awoke in the wee morning hours to the glacial ice cracking underneath our tent. I'm pretty sure Tim awoke breathing an expletive. I told him to go back to sleep. No such luck. Tim was awake for good. We packed up, geared up, roped up, and climbed up in time for a gorgeous sunrise.
After I moved back to the US, I lived with Tim and his wife, Jess, in Boulder, CO for a brief spell. Tim picked up odd jobs here and there so we got to enjoy some quality ski time together. He pushed me to be a much better and courageous skier which is how I found myself dropping into a bowl off a cornice. Trouble was . . . my ski boots were old, I was inexperienced, and I pulled so far back when I landed that my boot popped open at the front. We couldn't fix it slope side and I couldn't ski in it since it now held me in a precariously backwards position. I took off that ski, Tim hoisted it over his shoulder, and I skied down on one ski. We drove directly to a ski shop to get my new boot/ski setup.
Thinking about precious "Big Man" (yes, there's another story there), I thank God for the adventures we experienced and that Tim pushed me to live life to its fullest. I miss the adventure of parenting with him, pushing our kids to experience physical adventures. I look forward to a celestial reunion and try to live life to its fullest during this in between.

In Honor of Black History

Before nap time, we read. Today's book retold the story of a black slave who mailed himself to freedom. While it provided an opportunity to talk about historical and modern day abolition with my daughter, one line stopped me in my tracks.

"Henry's [slave] master had been good to Henry and his family."

I thought, "this must have been written by a white person. No black person would dream of calling a slaveholder good." Sure enough, the author is white. (The talented artist is black but that's a separate conversation). Why do we, as white people, feel the need to sanitize the past, rendering it patently false? Is it white guilt? Is it our inability to confront how truly devastating historical American slavery was? Moreover, I wonder what this means for our perspective as whites on current racial tensions in America. Do we still try to sanitize what we see rather than confront latent racism for the devastation it continues to be?
Perhaps the author was trying to gently introduce young readers to our nation's horrific past. The book did accomplish that goal and still could have done so without insinuating the commodification of people may somehow be termed "good." When it comes to our kids, let's not pretend something is what it is not. Such an approach only passes on racism to the next generation.