Living With Ugly

I knelt down on the cement, putting my hands to the task before me. Our potted garden needed pruning. I began clipping off unhealthy stems while the sun beat down upon my body. The heat didn’t bother me as my mind began to replay the week I’d had.

Thoughts came in pieces. I tried once more to make a whole picture out of the puzzle of life. My eyes had seen things during the week which hurt my heart. I sometimes just wanted to close them; to no longer have to see ugliness.  I wondered if that was cowardly. My eyes had also seen things so pleasant I wanted to observe far more.

Finishing with the last plant, I backed away to see the results.  Fruit was already growing. I was wishing I could clip away all the ugliness, but to do so would damage the health of the plants.  Sighing, I gathered my tools and thought about the parallels of what I had seen in life, and in the potted plants.

Mat 13:24-30 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'”


The room was very small. It was designed for those who would wait. I was impressed by the number of magazines but didn’t care to read any of them. Looking around the few walls and books, I found obvious confusion. There was a bible on a table in the corner, but also the stature of a hindu god. On the wall was a picture of Christ being crucified, on an opposite wall was another multiple god impression. Conflict seemed to be at work in the room decoration. I myself felt no conflict whatsoever. I made cozy on one of the couches and dug into “truth”.

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Language Of Love

Over and again I played the notes to a song no one would hear. My eyes grew watery with passion, wanting to play my heart for the Lord. My audience of One. He alone could draw me out into the open to be who I knew I was. He moved my fingers in worship. Words of love fell from my lips into the quietness of the room where I sat before Him.

I lay the guitar down and picked up my pen. More words of love flowed onto private pages meant for His eyes alone. He enjoyed my love letters and I was completed whenever I wrote them. The depths of my heart could finally be shared. I knew who the author really was. I merely wrote the words put within my heart by the One who loved me. He alone taught me my language of love.

Salt & Pepper

Gears were grinding for us both. His outward expression for the moment was to clean his rather disarrayed desk. Mine was to watch him closely, playing the oddball music tune while running fingers through my hair. The years we had shared didn’t make either of us think we should take each other for granted. I grinned, thinking about salt and pepper shakers. How different; but they are always paired together on any given table, in all environments.

Prodigal Conversations Of The Mind

“He falls and covers his face with his hands because he is ashamed of his shame”…André Gide (1869-1951) from The Return of the Prodigal Son

My eyes are drawn to this truth written in a sentence from a century ago. The writer is bold in trying to interpret the story of the prodigal son. He delves deeper into his own mind for conversation and the reasons a son would leave his father.

“My son, why did you leave me?”

“Did I really leave you? Father, are you not everywhere? Never did I cease loving you.”

“…Why did you, the heir, the son, escape from the House?”

“Because the House shut me in. The House is not You, Father.”

“It is I who built it, and for you.”

“Ah! You did not say that, my brother did. You built the whole world, the House and what is not the House. The House was built by others. In your name, I know, but by others.”

I stopped reading the story here and wondered at the mindset of the writer. I could relate to his conversational thoughts. Many times I had felt hemmed in, all the while running from my Father in error. I read further the conversations of a man’s mind trying to comprehend love.

“I have known love which consumes.”

“The love which I want to teach you, refreshes. After a short time, what did you have left, prodigal son?”

“The memory of those pleasures.”

“And the destitution which comes after them.”

“In that destitution, I felt close to you Father.”

“Was poverty needed to drive you back to me?”

“I do not know. I do not know. It was in the dryness of the desert that I loved my thirst more.”

Again I stop reading. My mind is drawn into relating to my own prodigal character and what it would take to draw me back to my Father….

No Fee For Healing!

I wandered hallways of luxurious buildings with fancy furniture and expensive artwork. My friend had no money and she was far from living a life of luxury. Yet here we were to find her medical help. Going from one building to another, I felt sorrow in my soul for how we’d corrupted ourselves to make money off of the sick and dying. More sorrow filled my heart for how we’d learned to accept that this was all we could have.

What a lie…..Jesus doesn’t charge a fee for healing!


A moment…that’s all it took. Just a moment and there I was; standing in a whitewashed wooden porch room, alone. A few notes of music sent me back in time. I remembered the small room; about the size of a walk in closet. I had been playing a record. I sang with the tune. Later, I could remember others making fun of me. It didn’t matter. Those few notes had always taken me to “another place”. That was enough.

Help Son Win The Battle

She awoke with a jolt. The sheet was wrapped around her legs tightly and she knew how much she’d tossed and turned in the night. The room was dim and looking at the clock, the digits read to be just after sunrise. She lay still for a few moments trying to understand what her unconscious had been sharing.

Her dream was of a son going his own way. No surprises in that revelation for her night talks, but in the dream there had been a young man who was family. She didn’t recognize him, but he was a needed asset, a cousin of some kind to her son. Sitting up in the bed, her mind remembered the aggression with which she had pursued this young man for information. She offered a threat she was fully prepared to deliver. The young man believed her, giving her the information she sought. Her dream ended on a note of heading out to look for her son, to help him win the battle.

Tilting her head back she wondered about the dream. Anxiety was trying to play with her. She went to shower and turned the knobs to a cold setting. It was time to wake up. It was time to pray.

Full Access To His Heart

We had looked across the wide valley to see white cotton clouds making their way over the tops of other mountains. In the warmth, I could see a layer of smog over the lowlands. I wondered what this view may have been in years gone by; in times before industry had begun belching out large plumes of pollution.

My Ipod had been playing music but none of the songs seemed to match my heart.  I turned it off and slipped it into my back pocket. People wandered about us, but I had no interest to engage conversation and avoided eye contact. My husband took my hand and led me along a forest trail. As we walked on pine needles, I listened to what he was sharing.

We were changing and our interests seemed to be going in new directions. It had been awhile since I had asked him of his dreams. He almost seemed hesitant to speak them aloud and chose his words carefully. I wanted to poke around in the depths of his thoughts, but I took care to be minimal with my words. I wondered what the future held in store for either of us. I wanted the world for him. I wanted him to be as happy as he desired. I wanted him to live out his dreams and his passions. I also wanted something of him for myself. I wanted to know I could go anywhere in his heart. I wanted full access. While he walked, I watched him in secret and wondered if he really knew how much he was loved…

A Fallen House


A writer writes about what he knows. I’ve heard that many times over the years. On this particular day I was hiking a short distance to see the dream home of a prolific writer from the early 1900’s. Jack London was a man who lived adventure in order to write about it.

It was a short half mile before we came to the ruins of “Wolf House”, Jack’s pet name. The man, the writer, the father, the husband was said to die at age 40. Some discrepancies exist for his early demise. The bigger mystery was why his mansion burned down before he and his second wife could move in for occupation.

My husband and I wandered the public grounds. Where the signs discouraged access, I chose to get a closer look. The elements had taken their toll upon the walls over the years. My feet climbed what had clearly been marble steps from years gone by. They now resembled the unpolished rocks they had originally been hewn from. I wandered the halls and rooms of a man’s dream, wondering about the deeper purposes to life.

Beneath my feet I could feel the crunch of dried moss. The wild had overgrown this dream. Everywhere were iron bars to reinforce the structure of a fallen household. I made my way past an empty reflection pool to hear the buzzing of a hornet’s nest built within a fireplace never fired.

I remembered a story about “sandcastles” and how they were easily washed away…