Hey Brother

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Hey brother. Hey brother. Hey brother.

Wherever our two brothers roam, these words show up. Spoken from the mouth of the oldest, they are words meant to unite them upon observation of an interesting thing or participation in a daring act. They are the words meant to allow the oldest the joy of inviting another to take part in shared delight. They are the words our youngest have heard from day one as the main words of orientation around this new and foreign world before him.

They usually come in repetitions of five or more because the youngest either hears white noise due to their regularity or simply to attest to the power of the youngest’s focus on what is before him. But eventually they catch his attention (spoken right into his ear with oldest waving arms before his face) and upon registering the invitation, the two brothers become one being. Continue reading

30: BLINK. 30 years, 3 days, and Counting

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BLINK
Words from my dad on the occasion of my 30th birthday… presented over lunch with two squirming boys on a Sunday afternoon at a quiet spot (that is, until we arrived)

Blink.
That’s it.
Open shut them open shut them
cry then eat then sleep then cry.

Finding your voice
finding your feet
losing your fat
in come your teeth.

Long summer days
dolls in your arms
but then its your friends
and school-day alarms.

Homework and games
leaves orange brown
thick golden hair
laughs all around.

Stepping then running
then sprinting and bursting.
A long-legged blur
for the future you’re thirsting

The fresh life you sought
brings you close to new friends
who love and live with you
and form a new lens.

Through which to cast
an eye towards another
and see your reflection
embraced completely.

That embrace once returned
leads to love’s relation.
and vows and new houses
and two new creations.

Eat then work then love then sleep
open shut them open shut them.
That’s it.
Blink.

I blink and time has passed. Thirty years, three days, and counting. Days have passed and I have endured them. Some have sped too fast to catch my breath. Some have crept along too slow in between breaths.

The significance of these 10,953 days is not in the accumulation of meager wealth, success, or power. It is found in the ones who have walked these days with me. Continue reading

Beautiful is the Tapestry that Holds Me

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Pink and white seersucker trimmed in lace. Raised and tapered at the shoulders. Skimming the ground. Cinched at the waist. Clothed in my mother’s old robe, I putter around the kitchen as I make breakfast before the world stirs. Out-of-date and yet full-of-history, it is the robe my mother wore in the hospital as she spent her first hours holding on to my little life. The feel of the seersucker and lace edges. The sight of the pink and white. Her face glowing in love. My first moments.

Any attempts to remember those moments beyond the photos taken are merely imagination. And yet, I venture to guess the memories exist somewhere within me. Time may have locked them away. But all are not lost. Rather, every caring gesture, nurturing act, and tight embrace are threads within the tapestry knit within me. Continue reading

INSPIRATION: On Being’s “Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves”

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For the wisdom that comes from another, I give thanks.

INSPIRATION: Krista Tippett’s conversation, “Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves” with Jennifer Michael Hecht about her recent book, Stay, on NPR’s “On Being”

  • amazing how a conversation about death helps us life seem more vivid and clear
  • amazing how the work of a non-religious writer is the perfect partner to my current ministry book I’m loving, The Relational Pastor.
  • amazing how a good radio program makes a 6-mile run seem not long enough.

“None of us can truly know what we mean to other people, and none of us can know what our future self will experience.” Continue reading