Suffering is Never for Nothing

In high school, I toured New England with an acting troupe that performed a reader’s theatre production called Bridge of Blood. The play told the story of five missionaries — Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming — who were martyred in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. Their deaths madeContinue reading “Suffering is Never for Nothing”

On the Road to Jerusalem

Last night, the kids and I made pancakes for our Shrove Tuesday dinner. Since Rob died, life has lost much of its sweetness, so I decided to give up refined sugar for Lent. Always one to burn out rather than fade away, I figured we’d go big for dinner since I’d be leaving sweets behindContinue reading “On the Road to Jerusalem”

The Open-Handed Life

We give Thee but Thine own,whate’er the gift may be;All that we have is Thine alone,a trust, O Lord, from Thee. William Walsham How, 1858 When we lived in Chicago, Rob and I attended a church that read 1 Chronicles 29:14 each week before the morning offering was received. “For all things come of Thee,Continue reading “The Open-Handed Life”

Mercy for the Broken

I want to tell you what it feels like to hold a child as he mourns. I want you to know how it feels as his body, wracked with sobs, sinks deep against your own. You hold his tender frame, cradling him in your arms like when you soothed him as a baby. The maternalContinue reading “Mercy for the Broken”

Saying the D-Word

Our smell announced our arrival before we’d hit the threshold. Teenage boys tumbled out of the locker room, doused in cologne to mask their gym class body odor. None of them had showered. Girls walked down the hall in groups, a cloud of floral shampoo fragrance surrounding them. “Women don’t sweat. They glow,” remarked theContinue reading “Saying the D-Word”

The Son Will Rise

I’ll never forget the Easter we stumbled into a church in Capitol Hill in Seattle. We jammed our family into a pew and heaved a sigh. Our hearts were carrying so much that was heavy. Family complexities. Health concerns. Life questions. We needed some hope. We sat, exhausted. Then, a single cellist broke the silence,Continue reading “The Son Will Rise”

“Mystic Sweet Communion”

Rob and I grew up in church traditions that loved hymn singing, and we gravitated toward churches like that as a married couple. On Sunday mornings now, when I’m missing Rob’s arm around me in the pew, the hymns remind me that he’s near. “Yet she on earth hath union with the God the ThreeContinue reading ““Mystic Sweet Communion””

May You Find a Light

“Lost and weary traveler searching for the way to go … May you find a light to guide you home.” The Brilliance Of the many times I have felt lost in my life, none has ever been so all-encompassing, deep, and dark as grief. Sometimes I miss Rob so much that I don’t think I’llContinue reading “May You Find a Light”