When we are poured out and empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again. It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28. These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this...

When have you had enough?

Enough is enough. His words were heavy with conviction as he spoke to the room filled with 100+ people. Most were men, like him, addicts and alcoholics. It was a night of celebrating sobriety. One month, two, a year, 5 years and more. We’d celebrate program completions and we would share with cheers, encouragement and words of caution. Mark was the resident manager. He lived upstairs in a private room...

The external doesn’t define you

It’s that first glimpse of the external that we define someone. Tall, short. Young, old. A description becomes our initial definition. It’s only the surface we define. I would have been in the third or fourth grade when my family went to visit friends. They must have been business acquaintances because I don’t remember another time we were together as families. I clearly remember being in their backyard where their...

This risky, uncertain life: Embrace it

Embrace today the now the unknown uncertain Embrace failure new things trying the learning Embrace making a mess letting it go reaching out reaching for more Embrace the parts of you that don’t fit that are awkward and a singular beauty Embrace grief its loss that was full full of hope joy promise Embrace it because it moved you, stirred your inner being and filled you with life. Embrace the...

There’s grace with the abandon

I have a tight schedule this morning. I need to pick up our kids from Miami from a cruise they’ve been on and traffic is…well, it is. My first thoughts were I’ll have to abandon this week’s Five-Minute Friday. Because, really, 5 minutes? There are rules for this free-writing frenzy. Rules that I often abandon. I don’t set a timer but were I to guess, I’d say it’s closer to...

We’re on a mission

The organization we’re with has a purpose statement for the area we’re assigned to. We have an overall mission statement but in our singularly focused area of ministry, we also have a statement defining our purpose. It says, in part: “The primary purpose of an Adult Rehabilitation Center is the spiritual regeneration and rehabilitation of men who have undergone a process of disaffiliation from those significant ties, which enable individuals...

Are you living life in the slow lane?

I merge onto the interstate, making my way past the slow moving vehicles traveling at a crawl to the far left lanes, the fast lane. I push past those traveling at 65 mph….oh, how they creep along! Other areas of my life mimic this need for speed or lack of patience. I try to avoid the checkout lanes that look to be slow, bogged down with shoppers with full carts. And...

Delighting in the strength around me when I’m weak

Tell me the story simply, As to a little child, For I am weak and weary, And helpless and defiled. It isn’t the body that is weak but the spirit. Tired and weary as the old hymn says. Made weak from the news, real and fake, weak from uncertainty, and even weak from caring. But I take heart in the strength of Jesus. He puts others in my life to...

He isn’t safe, but he’s good.

I was greeted by this notification when I opened Facebook: Your friends want to know if you’re safe. Mark yourself safe. It was the day a man walked into our airport in Ft. Lauderdale and began shooting people. The first time I saw this notification was a year ago when one popped up telling me a friend living in Orlando had marked himself safe in the assault on the nightclub there....