Life, believe, is not a dream…

Charlotte Bronte, from “Life”

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?


A Song of Hope for the Hard Season of Transition

It is October, the time of year when the wind sighs so deeply that the trees begin to weep leaves. It is the season of football and homecoming; it is the season of our homecoming. We are two weeks back; and I have lost my mind, wandered by myself to a grocery store the size of some small towns. It is a Saturday, when the rest of humankind also descends upon such stores, and I have somehow inexplicably put myself there.


for want of wonder

GK Chesteron, Tremendous Trifles

The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.


And So it Goes With Time


that seem to find an endless supply
of minutes and hours
from some hidden well of time
with all its rules and all its powers.
You cannot speed them,
can’t manipulate their course.
They will come at your pleasure
or they will come by their force,
but they will come.


And Now I Am Back

The air is crisp, and the wide sky is bright morning blue. I haven’t had good running sneakers in a while; these feel extraordinary. I tug my black fleecy headband a little lower over my ears- how do they get so cold? And I am running. I am running the same streets I ran twenty years ago; and how, by the way, am I old enough to have been running twenty years ago? Someone explain that to me.

Run300The houses that line the streets are as quiet at this hour as the streets that organize them. (They are as quiet at this hour as they are at every other hour, for that matter.) Everyone has scattered- the children to school, the grown-ups to work. The family huddles have all shouted “Break!” and hurried to their respective places on the field. I pass no one except the very occasional biker or runner. I wonder if they were running crowded red dirt roads this time last year and are now finding these paved beauties as strangely peaceful as I do. Perhaps not, but I imagine my neighbors have their own unique surprises well-hidden under those layers of reflective spandex.


real forgiveness…

CS LEWIS, “On Forgiveness
The Weight of Glory

Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness…
To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.



Ever On

Withered, weathered
Stretched and feathered
with thorns,
pricked by the bark of hounds
and the bellow of horns-
he is ragged.

Straggled, struggled,
mucked and muddled
his way at times.
But ever on he pushes, bends,
falls, but staggers up again.
He marks that line:


A Thousand Days in A Thousand Hills: Leaving Rwanda part II

We haven’t been here that long. Relatively speaking. Right around a thousand days when we get on that airplane. It wasn’t long enough to have gained fluency. There are parts of the country we never saw; I would have liked to visit Nyungwe. There are still certain western sensibilities that we never quite outgrew, instincts and expectations irrelevant to life here that we never quite shook off.

Then again, a lot can happen in a thousand days. It’s long enough to form friendships that take root in your life and grow beautiful things that you’d rather not leave behind. Long enough to gain a perspective that will wreck you for “going back.” Like one wise hobbit said, “There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same.” Exactly, Frodo.


An Introduction to Leaving Rwanda

I tried so many times- dozens upon dozens of times. For weeks. For months. A whole year I tried to reach Tate.

Those who have known us since the beginning of our Africa years will likely remember hearing about her- the teeny tiny umukecuru [old woman] who lived in our tight little compound in Musanze during our first six months in Rwanda.

Sarah and Tate


Jesus Friend of Sinners and the Gospel of Unrepentance

It is dawn, pale morning light just creeping up on the streets of Jerusalem. Jesus has come to the temple to teach the people. Probable that the morning had started well earlier for him in some solitary place of prayer. Imagine two scenes going on simultaneously… in one, the humble Son is alone seeking his Father’s will for the day, fixing his eyes and attention on everything the Father desires. Meanwhile behind some door off some side street, a woman is in bed with someone else’s husband, rebelling body and soul against the law of God, fixing her heart on what she wants that is not hers. These two will meet each other this morning.