Tag Archives: church

It was a dark and stormy night.


I’m not sure how much he heard.

I know that his father and I were talking at dinner, for once completely lost in adult conversation and leaving the children to decipher appropriate portions and peace for themselves. I know that this never happens… this us being able to talk without something spilling or someone having a pint-sized crisis.  I know that I was fired up.

I was grasping for the logic that Curt relentlessly offers, but there was none this night. We found ourselves surrounded by friends and family in dire straights: deadly illness, crippling spirituality, lack of community, lack of counsel, lack of direction. Where is etiquette manual for being surrounded by marriages falling apart? How do you pray for a family who has lost a child? Is there a right way to love a liar?

And the big question that night… the house of pain: where was the CHURCH? The church whose doors are always open? The church not at conferences but at home behind heavy, solid doors and firm foundations? The pastors who minister to those in need not those in want? The body that stands rooted in faith and united in hope? The choir that sings from above and behind, not in front and under lights? If help cannot be found in the church, my God, where are we supposed to go?

What do you do when the Temple has turned to rubble and the city is deserted? Where are the wise men? Where are the women willing to spill their perfume? Is there no one who can stay awake for simply one hour?  We have left Christ standing alone on the water, yet we are surprised to be drowning.

Near angry tears, I whispered, “It’s broken. It’s a mess and it’s broken.”

I scraped my plate and refilled my glass.


“Is broke, Mom?” a little voice piped in.

I looked up, surprised to find myself still in a home and surrounded by children.


“What’s that, Bud?”

“Ours church is broken?”


“Us needa fix it, Mom.”

“Yeah, Bud?”

“I can help. I can help you fix it.”


If I hadn’t been choked by tears, if I hadn’t been swept off my feet, if I didn’t so whole-heartedly believe him, I would have told him a ladder would not do the trick. That it’s not the 4-year-old kind of broken. That it’s deeper than saying you’re sorry.


Thank goodness I had no words.

Yes. You, Child, you must help.


We’ve made such a mess. Let the children come.

I’m not sure how much he heard.

But it was enough.

the day after

church • A local assembly of believers or a congregation that meets together physically for worship, fellowship, teaching, prayer and encouragement in the faith (Hebrews 10:25).

Sometimes you wake up and it’s that magical moment when both parents know the timing isn’t in your favor to get everyone up and ready on time… not for corporate worship.

And so, sometimes, you make pancakes a little slower than usual and you put on whatever clothes are closest.

You load up the kids in the van,

And sometimes, at the last minute, you load up the old Labrador, too… and everyone is giggling because, well,

There’s a dog! Sitting next to Rylie! In the back seat!

You skip the pave roads in favor of the dusty, dirt roads and take the back way to the creek.

And, sometimes, when you get there you realize no one has swimming clothes on…

and you don’t even have your camera!

You’re a little off your game, out here.

But, it doesn’t matter…

because giggling kids in undies in creeks are cute

and a special kind of Praise all their own.

It wasn’t a long morning,

but it was blessed.

Abe, the dog, is still sleeping off the excitement.

And, there are no picture to show for it… only memories.

Perhaps, exactly as it should be.

sabbath • A day of religious observance and abstinence from work.