The kid in the first row, sitting up straight with hands folded, eyes on the teacher — that was me (long ago when students did such things). I know how to meet expectations. I can sense people’s expectations a mile away, and I have this morbid fear of disappointing anyone, of dropping the ball. This […]
A response to Joe Bunting’s Fail Faster (So You Can Become a Better Writer). “Writers are terrible judges of their own work,” Joe said. The words resonated deep in the recesses of my soul. All my life, I was the student in the front row, needing that big red “A” to tell me I was […]
This was first posted last summer, but I couldn’t find it anywhere on my blog. Since my sister shows up a lot in my posts, and I have some upcoming posts inspired by her recent visit, I thought I’d repost this “intro” to one of my most favorite people in the world. A gun and […]
You know the game. You get a list of items to look for in your purse, and the one with the most items wins. It’s an ice breaker played at wedding and baby showers. Women scrounge around in their purses, rooting out long lost items, like so much buried treasure. Contents get dumped as they […]
Most of us are familiar with the story of the son who rejects everything he’s ever known to live what he thinks is the good life. He moves far away from home and spends his entire inheritance chasing his misguided dreams. Eventually his life choices have narrowed to sleeping with the pigs he feeds. When […]
It was not her habit to eavesdrop, but when Abraham ran into the tent and said, “Sarah, get out your best flour and bake three loaves of bread, and hurry!,” when she heard him calling the servants to quickly slaughter the calf, she was curious. Who were these men who had appeared out of nowhere, and why was Abraham so eager to entertain them?
Abraham and Sarah saw the smoke rise up from the valley, and the acrid smell of sulfur and burning filled the air. Just the day before, Abraham had entertained the three visitors. The Lord had said to Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah. I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard.”
The killing had been quick and easy. Too easy. Abel had suspected nothing and offered no resistance. In a moment the light had gone out of his brother’s eyes, “like one of his sacrificial lambs,” Cain thought, but immediately he dismissed it from his mind. He had just finished washing his hands. The dirt from […]
“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love … . Abraham’s heart had dropped to the pit of his stomach. He could feel the sweat cold on his temples, as he thought, “Lord, could this please not be a hard request, another stretching, another move beyond my comfort zone?” He had wanted to cover his ears, but he could not cover God’s mouth, and God had continued as if he had not known Abraham’s desperate thoughts, as if it did not matter.
Hagar had always been carried along by the current of other people’s lives. In Egypt she had been sold as a slave to the highest bidder. Abraham bought her and Sarah took her as her personal servant. They had brought her to Canaan, and then quite unexpectedly, her own body, her womb, had been called into service.
God did things his way and in his time, and things were not always what they seemed. He could be trusted, but he was not predictable. This much he had learned, or perhaps was still learning. How could he explain this to Sarah? How could he expect her to hope again when he could give her none of the assurances she would expect?