Showing posts from May, 2015

Seeing Our New World

We’d met at the park, so her kids could play. From a nearby bench we could keep an eye on all the action while talking about motherhood, marriage, her full-time job, and marvel that sanity was still possible.
Janet pulled a news magazine from her bag. She flipped it open to a page revealing the photographic journalism we’ve come to expect but never can un-see. I looked at the bloody image of a dead boy—carried by a woman bearing the weight of far more than her brutalized child. I cringed.
“Julie saw this.” Janet shook her head as she quickly slipped the magazine back into her bag. “She asked me what had happened. What do you tell a seven-year-old about people who kill children?”

I thought back to when my kids were young and we’d sing, It’s A Small World After All. We learned about far away places and cultures, but even with different languages, clothes, and homes, people were still people—with a purpose and passion to live. 
Our kids used to have a childhood and then learn about th…

Giving Their Tomorrows For Our Todays

At seventeen he felt awkward standing next to his family at the Memorial Day parade. His younger siblings enjoyed it all, but he’d rather be hanging out with his friends. It was the same every year, his family getting together to honor Uncle John.

After the parade, there’d be a picnic in Grandma’s backyard. Uncle John had been killed long before he’d been born, so all the Memorial stuff didn’t matter to him. But it mattered to his grandma.

Sulking in Grandma’s living room, he didn’t feel like playing games in the backyard.

As he sat alone, he saw an old photo of his Uncle John. He picked up the picture gazing into the face of the young, uniformed soldier taken in some war torn jungle.

Grandma came in and saw him looking at John’s picture. “I’d like to show you something.” Grandma motioned for him to follow. They went into her bedroom where she pulled an old wallet from her dresser. She carefully laid out the contents of John’s wallet—sent home after he’d been killed.

He fingered Joh…

Diminishing Christians and the Baker's Dilemma

A recent Pew Research Center poll revealed declining numbers of Christians in America. Church leaders are scrambling to explain why. I have an idea. Maybe it’s because of people like me who have struggled with the whole Christian “love” thing. Jesus told his followers, “Love others as you love yourself.”
Loving those who think like I do is easy, but loving people of different faiths, or no faith, while living in the midst of our rapidly diversifying culture, that’s been harder.

But God hasn’t changed his mind on the love commandment. As a blogger, I’ve been caught in the crossfire between some hard-line atheists and brutally dogmatic Christians. I can almost imagine Jesus shaking his head as judgmental words flew back and forth. 
We Christians need to consider how we’re going to relate in a post-Christian nation.

Will judgment or love increase our Christian numbers?

Which leads me to an editor’s soul-searching assignment. The directions:
You’re a Christian baker and have been asked…

A Mother's Heart by Choice

The first time I realized she had a special way with kids was when I watched her babysit a large family. She could snuggle a baby in one arm and stir a pot on the stove with the other. She could keep the older kids on task with their homework while keeping a close eye on the younger two swinging in the backyard.
Around that same time she became a Sunday school teacher’s helper. That quickly morphed into a full-fledged position when the director saw how the little kids flocked to her. She could simultaneously manage ten kid’s craft projects while keeping the most active boys enthralled during story time.

I kind of expected her to be an elementary teacher, but college took her in a different direction. Marriage came but children didn’t—yet my sister always had a mother’s heart along with a fun-loving mind. Kerry loved kids—but even better—kids loved Kerry.

At a time we honor mothers and all they do and have done—I salute Kerry who has been the babysitter, the “fun” aunt, the counselor,…

Look At Me

Seattle has its share of homeless folks—just like in most cities. It’s a hard situation without easy solutions. Yet, every time I visit the land of Seahawks and Mariners, of skyscrapers and the Space Needle, I’ll walk right past the folks who have no home. What else can I do? How much will a couple bucks help?
I’ve tried the cluster approach, where I gather with a fast-moving group and we collectively ignore the beggar on the corner. It’s like a human shield protecting me from having to consider the dollar bills in my purse.

However, it was mid-morning and my fellow cluster must have already been at work. I walked alone with my cell phone in one hand and my handbag tucked close to my side.

I'm adept at pretending to be on an important call—appearing oblivious to the suffering on the sidewalk. So, not only am I ignoring a human need, I’m a liar as well. I'm ashamed to think how often I've done this.

A beggar was up ahead.

As I got closer I noticed his long overcoat, misma…