29 September 2006


I dreamt I was visiting downtown St. Louis and it looked like something out of Dickens’ 19th century London—skuzzy, gray, cobble-stoned, misty, candles in windows, disease filled with rats running hither and tither. My dad and I came upon an amazing open-sided cathedral thing and I didn’t know the story of it. It was clean and polished and beautiful, with these intricately carved arches and pillars, and large healing pools.

We wandered around the maze of it until we came to the chapel, where there was a karaoke-type worship service going on with synthesizer background tracks and a garishly made-up old woman with dyed black hair singing “Tears in Heaven.” The audience was scattered about on the old wooden pews with looks of content joy on their faces, and some were clapping a little.

We walked through a side door and came to a small room where we were going to watch a movie on my dad’s laptop about the origin of the place, which was apparently the object of a great war fought long ago. It began with a close-up of Rex Harrison (Professor Higgins from My Fair Lady) speaking, quite badly I could tell, Arabic. He was very impassioned and leaning against a stone pillar, being battered by the rain.

Then I woke up. I made some coffee and reflected that I was somewhat disappointed to not get to hear what the war was about. I love dreams. Anyone else dream vividly and bizarrely & remember it?

26 September 2006


Photos courtesy of Daphne

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the wedding of Heather & Wes, who are dear to me even though I haven't spent a lot of time in the same city as them. They serve with Word Made Flesh in El Alto, Bolivia among exploited women and their children. Their wedding was the celebration of the great surprises God has in store for his children.

The setting of the wedding was a beautifully deep greeny-blue back yard in Port Huron, Michigan with a creek running through it, chairs on the lawn, and a rustic chuppa draped with lace. The homily was a charge, a blessing, a celebration of sacrament. The Episcopalian father who delivered it reminded us that "sacrament" is defined as a visible sign of an inward grace. I think it was one of the most moving weddings I have attended. Their lives are concecrated first to the giver of that invisible grace and, as a mysterious blessing, a covenant and visible sign of that primary sacred bond, to one another.

It was even better getting to spend time with friends whose wisdom, humor, compassion and convictions are a blessing to me and to those around them. And who can forget the generous hospitality and plethora of pumpkin spice donuts provided by good old Tom Horton and Bob Newton? My favorite line of the weekend had to be: "This fillet o' fish is SO good." Or maybe: "My jacket is missing. I left it at Curves. You just get so hot working out."

I didn't think it possible, but Matt & Julie's dear Finley is even cuter in person than he is in the pictures I've seen. My one regret of the weekend was a lousy half hour visit with Juls, during which I was trying to get ready for the wedding.

On Sunday when I returned home, my mams and pops (who are awesome and should definitely get on the blog wagon with The Kitchen Gnomes, which might soon be their very own if they desire to claim it.) picked me up from the airport and we had lunch together, which reminded me that although it is nice to go away, it is also good to return home.

I went to see Sufjan Stevens Sunday night, and it was a great concert, but for some reason was not quite as magical and warm as last year.

Some exciting things are in development in the realm of missions opportunities, but until the time is right, I'll continue to seek the Lord and try but mostly fail to cultivate gentleness and patience in the world of coffee and other people's addiction and leisure, all the while not taking myself too seriously and remembering that:

1. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!
2. In spite of the wretched smell of airplanes & the small travails of delayed luggage and running through airports, the adventure is pretty much always worth it.
3. God's sense of humor is, of course, where our senses of humor were derived. And lately, I think he's pretty dang funny.
4. "For Your Love" by William Joel, played on the recorder, is indescribable.

17 September 2006

turtles can fly, the maker of noses and monarchs

This weekend I watched "Turtles Can Fly". It is a distubing, haunting and moving portrait of refugee children. It's a good one.

Occasionally I come back to the fact that Rich Mullins was really an amazing person. Heather mentioned one of his songs the other night, which made me fondly recall listening to "The World as Best as I Can Remember It" volumes one and two on cassette tape in my room in junior high and highschool. The anniversary of his death is September 19th. I think he is one of my heros. If you haven't read "An Arrow Pointing to Heaven", the book about his life, I recommend it. One of my favorite songs of his is "Waiting":

"And I can't walk away
Though the truth is that it can be so hard to wait
When a million voices whisper, and they tell me I should leave
Into the shadows that the moon casts
On these alleys and these streets
But I know that chasing shadows won't get me anywhere
'Cause I've been there

So I stand on the promise, 'cause I know that the promise is sure
That it comes from beyond us and tells us again
That there's a whole 'nother world
Well, the one I'm in keeps spinning 'round
But I want to stay right here 'cause I found You"
Rich Mullins, "Waiting"
It echoes some verses I've been coming back to frequently for the last six months or so:
"We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you."
Psalm 33:20-22
Photo courtesy of Monarch Butterfly USA.

In other news, the monarchs have been appearing on their southern journey, although I've only seen a few early birds. Watch for them in their lilting fligt in a midwestern sky outside your door.

05 September 2006


"Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing.

Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?" u2