You Can Trust Her

Empathy, Sympathy, and Intercession are sisters who find fulfillment in helping others. Empathy will defend you when others bail. Empathy “feels” your pain, and knows your struggles because she has been there. Sympathy also shares your feelings. She strokes your emotions and comforts you—but if your situation gets too hot to handle, she may have…

Eternity Inside

Denali (Mount McKinley) amazes us with its visible landscape: Snow. Ice. Moraine. Rock. Wildlife. But an array of invisible life and elements are just as real. On Denali, thousands of creatures emit clouds of microscopic pheromones to communicate with their own species. Molten lava seethes beneath the mountain’s earthen crust. Wind rips through icy chasms…

Mom and Monet

Claude Monet was the driving force for Impressionist painting in the 1800s, and a master at capturing emotions in water and shadow. His rapid brush strokes apprehended color and light, with little emphasis on exactness. Monet painted the same scenes of flora as many as 200 times, his brush serving as a “time-lapse camera.” Monet’s…

Root Bear

Eustice dropped his bulldozer’s blade and squinted through drizzle where I pointed. “See it?” “Nah… Oh, wait… A-yuh!” A good-sized black bear hunkered on its haunches staring at us, motionless. Eustice flipped the bulldozer’s kill switch and twisted in his seat to get a better look. He shook his head. “Not movin’ a dite…” I…

The Shepherd Boy in Us

David’s mistakes echo throughout his 40 years as king like the hiss of a drawn sword. Adultery, murder, deception, rage, hubris… But despite all of his failings, God called David, “a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22) How is that possible? Learned commentators parse God’s reasons for this declaration: “David was quick to repent.”…

Cut It Loose

When we are at the end of our rope, sometimes we hear the old saw: “Tie a knot at the end of the rope and hold on!” while at the same time Wisdom hollers: “Let go of the rope, Dummy!” About 50 years ago, Fashion’s Shadow pranced like a parade horse, with me walking at…

Array of Truth

The male Red-waisted Whiteface Dragonfly (Leucorrhinia proxima) lives around marshes, lakes, and ponds. It eats soft-bodied insects, pond larvae, and even small fish. This species of dragonfly ranges from Alaska to Nova Scotia. Females wear yellow aprons around their waists instead of metallic red ones like the males. God created the dragonfly with 30,000 compound…

Crane Babies

We heard them before we saw them–two majestic sandhill cranes. Mom and Pop Crane dodged a car that braked wildly. Then Mom Crane launched upward, and Pop followed her, all the while frantically trilling loudly to… whom? Crane Baby One! Crane Baby One could have passed for a lively plucked chicken. In the middle of…

Old Hands, Young Hands

Grandson is 41. Grandma is 92. Her bed is her parlor these days. Grandson sits on Grandma’s rumpled blankets and their hands speak a language only they know. He is her firstborn grand-boy. In bygone days he curled up in a sleeping bag on her bedroom floor, laughing and talking into the night. French toast…

Smell It?

Right now you are breathing an array of “smell-cells” that travel through your nostrils to rendezvous and be analyzed at a brain terminal inside your head. The brain reads and routes these smell cells through what is called the limbic system from which an aroma of pancakes or perfume affects mood, emotions, behavior and especially,…

Room For Thank You

“Consarned heavy equipment rolling past again.” “Hmm.” Carol didn’t even look up from her computer. She’s bookkeeping again. “You know what’s happening, don’t you? More young people are moving into Birchwood. They’re landscaping. Hmph. Not me.” “You’re getting old, Dear.” And I know it. Thirty years in the same house built before the ‘64 quake.…

No Escape for Dads

Isn’t it amazing that a drop of saliva can identify the culture “soil” from which we sprout–European, African, Asian, Middle Eastern…? Our family fathers were stone masons, preachers, lawyers, engineers, and outlaws! Like old journals, their values gather dust until we face life-altering choices. Then it matters what kinds of fathers we have as a heritage.…

The Ancient Way

Which way do we choose when we come to a fork in the trail? We have a map that instructs us to follow the right way–but it looks hard and narrow. Why take this narrow trail when it is logical to pick the easier route? At the trailhead, two signposts promise fulfillment. One way is…

Leave It to Beavers

  Beavers have turned a swath of forest into a meadow.   Dried salmon leftovers from bear’s catch last year.     It’s been 15 years since we hiked this area. It’s only 10 minutes from our house. We didn’t see a single beaver in any ponds. Fish and Game may have trapped them out…

Whisper for the Prosecution

The trial was in its final days. Ms. Gentry had been questioned by the defense, and Prosecutor Hand had cross-examined her, but he wasn’t finished. Hand stood before the witness stand, and Ms. Gentry blanched at the question. “Did you hear me?” Hand delighted in pummeling defense witnesses. “I’ll ask you again: Does God talk…

Nimbus Trio

I guess I can find something good about most work–except maybe plumbing. I was one washer shy of a scream on the way to Fred Meyer when these clouds reminded me how beautiful the day was. And Freddy had the washer to boot.