Sunday, September 22, 2013


"Do you think they have sort of a bad family setup?" Jane, orange long-sleeves and aqua sweater, gestures toward a man we know. He's bald and big in the muscular sort of way, almost towering, a white beard.

"Yeah," I say.

"'Cause," she cups a hand to her cheek, "about the stealing stuff." She frowns down the left side of her mouth, raises her eyebrows.

I smile into the blue iris seas of her eyes. "But God still loves them very much. Just means they're gonna have some harder things in life," I say.

"Just the kind of family that needs to be sewn together by God," she says.

We nod in that magnetic, contagious, way like a schoolyard sea-saw, up and down, down and up. The moment expands, but the wide spaces won't hold anymore words.

"Mom," she pierces the expanse, "can Joey come downstairs?" New scene. New moment.


A half skip and she tritt-trots down the backstair to math and literature, grammar and stories, a deft comma in our liturgy.

I follow. The day weaves, one rightly placed strand after the next. I braid the loose ends, just keep gathering and placing them in the middle. Bad family setup, there in the middle. Jesus, the tailor, there in the middle. Our bobbing heads, the moment turned horizontal, there in the middle. Weave and weave, the moments braid into ropes, long ropes of years. We all grab on and squeeze tight, swing for the sky.

I follow her down the creaky stairs another strand there in my hands.


4834. Myra wakes with a nightmare. "Jesus, make myself not have bad dreams," she prays for herself. "Amen."

4835. Myra perches a roly-poly on her forearm like a parrot.

4836. "I saw a lettuce that is ripening," she confides while we trounce through the garden. "You better pick it," she says.

4837. Mom and Dad come for dinner. Chickpea ham soup, cucumber salad, fresh corn, ice cream with rum sauce, love.

4838. Craig rattles the front door. The children, all waiting, all circled around the table, cheer for his arrival. "He leaves a BIG hole," Jane whispers in my ear.

4839. I fetch bread from the freezer and find some bags of garden tomatoes processed and ready: Jane.

4840. Fall clothes, a new shirt and jacket, little extras, garnishes of love.

4841. Fresh plum jam.

4842. A girl baby shower for Cerissa and her beaming affection even when I muff the time and arrive two hours late.

4843. Sparkling water. Glass water bottle. Two.

4844. "Look both ways!" Jack shouts to Emma and Lucy when the deliver something across the street.

4845. "Did that hurt when they punctured your ear?" Lucy points to my earring while we wait in line at Costco.

4846. Gerbera daisies. Jane and Lu return from Cerissa's with brilliant red and yellow daisies.

4847. Another week looms by. We thank the Lord for a front row seat to all the action: love -- devastatingly full-strength, undiluted. Down-on-you-knees-completely-helpless-but-for-the-grace-of-God-faith greets us. And somehow the ground reaches up to meet us. All along solid rock, just out of sight, we plant our feet and step toward the horizon.


  1. #4845 Got me to laughing! My 6 1/2 yr. old asked me the very same question the other day. :-) enjoyed reading your gratitude listing.

  2. #4847. Strength for the day. A life well lived. How each day, hour, minute, how each conversation should be approached.

    And your writing skills are amazing. Love you.