Edge of the Wind

The air moves

In ways strange

It doesn’t explain

The winds change

From gentle to gale

From rushing to ripple

And I feel the urge

To clean out my house

Or my heart

Or even to disappear

Into the wind

And let it carry me


A mountaintop perhaps

Or even a star

I can’t track the movement

Of the wind

Its cycles and cold fronts

Colliding with heat

Piling cumulus over nimbus

And stratus beneath cirrus

All I know is the rain

And the magic scent

Of sky before it falls

A smell like the sound of skittering leaves

Whispering the approach of a storm

This wind change

Will it be a storm

A calm

Perhaps a little bit of both

Settling and stirring me

At the same time

I don’t know

And at times

All I can do is close my eyes

To better feel the change

Skirting the edge of the wind

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Almost Beyond Belief

road in the dark

Why do we tend to fear

Things we do not understand

Like love and God

And sometimes life itself

So big they are

So often out of hand

Throwing them aside is easier

Than taking a chance


Beyond all knowing, I think

He cares

He understands

The questions, the fears

Even the choice, sometimes, to disbelieve

It’s hard, God knows

Only He knows just how hard

Life, and love, can be

Our hearts full of joy and pain

And loss and questions why


I think, almost beyond belief

He smiles, and loves

In spite of it all

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Could You Live without a Mirror?

John Piper, in his book The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace, shares this true story:

Evelyn Harris Brand, the mother of Paul Brand, the world-renowned hand surgeon and leprosy specialist, grew up in a well-to-do English family. She had studied at the London Conservatory of Art and dressed in the finest silks.But she went with her husband to minister as missionaries in the Kolli Malai range of India. After about ten years her husband died at age 44 and she came home “a broken woman, beaten down by pain and grief.” But after a year’s recuperation, and against all advice, she returned to India. Her soul was restored and she poured her life into the hill people, “nursing the sick, teaching farming, lecturing about guinea worms, rearing orphans, clearing jungle land, pulling teeth, establishing schools, preaching the gospels.” She lived in a portable hut, eight feet square, that could be taken down, moved and erected again.

At age 67 she fell and broke her hip. Her son, Paul, had just come to India as a surgeon. He encouraged her to retire. She had already suffered a broken arm, several cracked vertebra and recurrent malaria. Paul mounted as many arguments as he could think of to persuade her that sixty-seven years was a good investment in ministry, and now it was time to retire. Her response? “Paul, you know these mountains. If I leave, who will help the village people? Who will treat their wounds and pull their teeth and teach them about Jesus? When someone comes to take my place, then and only then will I retire. In any case, why preserve this old body if it’s not going to be used where God needs me?” That was her final answer. So she worked on.

At the age of 95 she died. Following her instructions, villagers buried her in a simple cotton sheet so that her body would return to the soil and nourish new life. “Her spirit, too, lives on, in a church, a clinic, several schools, and in the faces of thousands of villagers across five mountain ranges of South India.” Her son commented that “with wrinkles as deep and extensive as any I have ever seen on a human face … she was a beautiful woman.” But it was not the beauty of the silk and heirlooms of London high society. For the last twenty years of her life she refused to have a mirror in her house! She was consumed with ministry, not mirrors. A coworkers once remarked that Granny Brand was more alive than any person he had ever met. “By giving away life, she found it.”

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River of Reason


There are times I think that in my life I’ve done more harm than good.

When I regret not having done those things I know I should.


There are times it seems as if a mountain blocks my way

And though I’ve heard it comes to pass, the sorrow tries to stay.


There are times I feel the way is harder than my heart can bear

Times I reach out and feel that there is nothing, no one, there


There are times I seek to pray but cannot say a word

Times I admit I wonder if a single prayer was heard


Then there are times that joy abiding comes to fill my heart

Times I understand that I play a special, unique part


In a rhyme that runs so deep it was formed before time started

In a love so vast that from it none could e’er be parted


In a reason for this life that calls unto my very soul

In a purpose helping others find that which makes them whole


There is a meaning that goes beyond life’s passing, changing tide

Given by the One who in my heart always will abide


[Originally posted in March 2012]

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What Is More Important Than Life?

According to the New Testament, “ministry” is what all Christians do. … What ministry looks like is as varied as Christians are varied. It’s not an office; it’s a lifestyle devoted to advancing other people’s faith and holiness. In this sense the only life that counts for anything is a life of ministry – whether you’re a banker or a bricklayer. …

This conviction is what makes the lives of radically devoted people so inspiring to watch. Most of them speak the way Paul did about his ministry: “I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:24). Doing the ministry that God gives us to do is more important than life. – John Piper, Future Grace


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Treasures on the Path

Storm Clouds

Every cloud is silver lined,

Or so the stories say,

But how and why the heart doth pine,

When loved ones pass away?

Does the cloud reach out a hand,

To dry a tear-stained face?

Turn the hourglass, allowing sand

To fall back from its errant place?

No, voice echoed in my heart,

It cannot do these things,

But it shows that though raindrops start,

There’s one who sees all things,

Perhaps the storm will pass your way,

Quench your joy in chilling wrath,

But when again the sunbeams play,

You’ll find more illumined your morning’s path,

For as your tears awaken your soul,

And cleanse your heart from errant ways,

As the heartbreak makes you whole,

A treasure on your path now lays,

And as you walk the way that’s shown,

You’ll find the storm left in its wake,

A treasure that you sought to own,

But from another could not take,

Treasures of love that come only through pain,

Treasure of joy only sorrow can bring,

Treasure of peace through the wind and the rain,

Treasure of flight, like a bird on the wing,

Delight in the treasures laid on your path,

For only therein may your heart awake,

It is in love and not through wrath,

That nobler form your trail take,

And when your heart seeks for the joy,

Evoking serenity through pain,

When deepest dreams you will employ,

Realized only after the storm and rain,

Hidden truth your thoughts expose,

And lift them as diamonds from a cave,

As thorns would hide a lovely rose,

Yet a lover’s hand would risk to save,

Thus see the yonder morning’s glow,

As radiant light outshines the storm,

Lift your eyes to colored bow,

Take in the iridescent form,

Let your gait hold steady now,

As the morning’s path you tread,

Not seeking shallow joys somehow,

But treasure you’ll find instead.


(Written in 1999. Dedicated to Trina Milne, 1978-1999)

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God is Up to Something Good

[The] glorious might of God that we need to see and trust is the power of God to turn all our detours and obstacles into glorious outcomes.

If we believed that our hold-up at the long red light was God’s keeping us back from an accident about to happen, we would be patient and happy. If we believed that our broken leg was God’s way of revealing early cancer in the x-ray so that we would survive, we would not murmur at the inconvenience. If we believed that the middle-of-the-night phone call was God’s way of waking us to smell smoke in the basement, we would not grumble at the loss of sleep. The key to patience is faith in the future grace of God’s “glorious might” to transform all our interruptions into rewards.

In other words, the strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours. This requires great faith in future grace, because the evidence is seldom evident.

– John Piper, Future Grace

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