Sunday, April 27, 2014


"Well Lucy, what's God been teaching you lately?"

Lu, her gaze anchored out the passenger window, turns. Slow blink, tilted head, I watch her. She doles out a slow measure of time.

"Math facts," she says.

"Oh?" I say. From the driver's seat, I evaluate a "straight only lane". I ease left. "Why math facts?" I say.

We trundle over a railroad crossing. The road curves, separates around a median. Brown scruff-grass hangs over the curb. I relax my hands at the wheel, slow through an intersection, glance at Lucy in the rearview mirror.

"I'm not saying he's teaching me like 100 +100," she finally says. "But," she trails off. A winter-worn field brushes by, a smudge of yellowish brown. "I'm noticing different things," she says, her words soft feathers.

"Like what?"

"Um," she says. The gentle gait of our conversation lolls around the soft vowel. "It's kind of hard to explain," she says.

"Hm. I can wait."

A grove of pines just ahead, we glide between the spears of trees.

"Hey, is that the turtle place?" she says.


She grins, follows the spindrift of a waterfall around the passenger window, her face the fluid stroke of a wing in flight. I roll toward a row of parking places, pull into first place. The ignition cut, my seatbelt slack, I turn around.

"So did you think of what God's been teaching you?" I say.

"Well," she lolls the word over her tongue. "Like with cursive," she says, "I try to remember an L or an O, and then I do." She measures this against something inside of her head. "He helps me," she says.

I smile. "Oh."

Merry eyes, a crinkle at each corner, she rounds her cheeks. "It's kind of impressive," she says. "Like O. I make it, and then it's there." I feel the moment where we both picture that O inside of our heads. Smooth. Crisp. There.

The feather stroke of a miracle and then it's there. There. Like a still small voice, conception flutters away and there we both are on the rim of that O.

Something of the presence inside of her grins back at me.


A miracle.


5364. "I'll make yours in a minute," Myra says. Elbow deep in the oatmeal sack, she scoops oats for the two of them.

5365. Three wolfish dogs rush Lucy and me at the park. "Do you think those dogs are harmless?" she whispers to me.

5366. "Two donuts, one for you, and one for Daddy," Jane says. "I like the taste of donuts going down, but then they make me feel sort of sick," I lament. "Oh," she says, "like the book that tastes like honey, and then makes you sick?" Revelation.  "Ye-ah," I say, "yeah, like that."

5367. Spices. A LOAD of spices from The Spice House.

5368. "Jesus, thank-you that I get to pray on my bed," Lucy prays. "And thank-you that I get to pray with Myra, and Myra gets to pray with me."

5369. "Jesus, thank-you that I get to pray with Lucy," Myra prays. "And thank-you that we get to play babies. Amen."

5370. We learn the story of Michelangelo. "So what was your favorite part of Michelangelo's story?" I ask. Jane pauses. Then, "I actually liked that he wasn't afraid to draw naked people," she says. I nod. "And he even drew them in churches, which must have been sort of horrifying for the people." We laugh.

5371. "What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the food is more noble than the shoe, and the skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?"  ~Michelangelo

5372. I catch coffee with my mom.

5373. Ladybug buttons.

5374. Camisoles for dress, and the ensuing snag, across one shoulder. Life. It's just life.

5375. A Tale of Two Cities.

5374. Friends come for dinner. A hush of affection settled over our families. Children loll through the yard, bits of brownie under their fingernails, adults reposed at the big black table, coffee bits of conversation, between us. We feel the many years of friendship there between us.

5375. Craig helps me repot 75 tomato seedlings, then his mom helps me with the last 25 and another couple dozen fennel sprouts.

5376. Standing there in the greenhouse, happiness soaks into us, pleasure in the work of our hands.

5377. Lucy gets a good report on her eye. 20/32 in the cataract eye. A miracle.

5378. We stop at the care center to see Craig's grammie. She warns him to shave before he comes again. The children encircle her.

5379. Our niece invites us to her 16th birthday party. Tacos and doughnuts, coffee and fibers of conversation threaded through the night, love. The night's for her but somehow we all leave feeling loved.

5380. And here we are, Sunday night. Another gift. Another week.


  1. The description of the presence of God's help is indeed indescribable. I love that Lucy found approximations to bring us close to the Holy. The story is perfectly told, each phrase pointing, circling and bowed, every word contributing.

  2. Bethany,

    What sweet times with your daughter. And starting those conversations early about what God is teaching each other -- priceless. I treasure those times with my kids too.

    Re your comment on my post "Dance Parties in the Sunset and Life's Questions at the End of Day," thank you. How encouraging! :) Nice to have you here.

    Jennifer Dougan

  3. Praising the Lord with you re: Lucy's eye! What sweet moments you captured here. I can't believe Ellen is 16!