Friday, October 22, 2010

Time Toward Home

This day marks one more transition in family life from our roots to the wings they were meant to supply. It begins with the sacred reminder that the soil from which we have sprung and the rich nourishment it continually supplies goes far deeper into the rich loam of earth than the Hawkinson name itself. We are more deeply rooted, in fact, in a family of faith that extends all the way back to Father Abraham and even before him to Adam and Eve.

Tomorrow my son Peter and I return to all those yesterdays as we embark on a journey together to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. There for the first time in our lives we will stand and walk together, only one generation apart, on terrain we have each been taught to be our inheritance over thousands of years. Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, all the prophets and kings, Jesus himself--the only-begotten Son of our God-- and the twelve apostles there nurtured and first sent out to proclaim and evidence good news all over the world will no doubt come alive in fresh and new ways. "Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name," Jesus once said, " I will come and be with them."

We are both aware, given this extraordinary privilege, that "unto whom much is given, much will be required." So when we leave tomorrow afternoon our thoughts and prayers will range far beyond personal concerns for blessing and safety. They will be gathering rather round a charge my son issued his congregation recently that lingers in my soul as a challenge to us all: "Time to grow deep, that we may grow tall, and shade the lives of those coming after!"

Friday, October 15, 2010


It was a word
coined by my son
when but a youth,
or so I thought
until I found
that it was real.

A charming word,
referring to
an ev'ning gone
and yet not gone,
full of mem'ries
still lingering.

Nor yet one night,
but yesternights
still much alive
through many years
in many climes
where life has led.

Thank you, dear Lord,
that this morning
finds me looking
not only forward
but backward too,
down mem’ry lane.

If truth be told
life looks better
moving forward
when yesternights
thus remembered
return to bless.


Monday, October 11, 2010

'Motivation When You're Too Sad to Pray'

The title above was penned by a dear friend who lost his life partner to ovarian cancer recently and is no doubt often himself "too sad to pray." Imagine the encouragement that came with this wonderful picture of his grandson at bedtime, not alone but with his dog alongside, both with eyes shut as if praying in concert.

"A little child shall lead them," Scripture says. Might not even a loyal dog? Cynics may rationalize all they want about whether dogs actually pray. But surely they sense what is in their little master's mind and heart. And they can certainly also mimic postures and sense emotions being expressed.

Would that we each could be more like these two--bound not only to each other as creatures but to God as Creator, Redeemer, and Friend. Oh for the day when the lion shall lay down with the lamb, when every enmity known to us will be laid aside, and the peace that passes understanding will prevail. Come, Lord Jesus, come--to my bereft friend, to the simple pleas of his grandson no doubt missing his grandmother, and to all God's creatures whose devotion to those who love and care for them is also a witness to your presence and grace.

As that lovely anthem has it, "Stay with us, Lord Jesus, stay with us, it soon is evening and night is falling.... Let your light pierce the darkness and fill your church with its glory."

Amen and Amen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

'Go Get the Keys!'

Carson Crawling from rooted wings on Vimeo.

Change is a perpetual challenge at every age. Carson Gustaf, our nine-month-old grandson is struggling with it as he emerges in his infancy from simply sitting--waiting for life to come to him--and crawling, venturing out to seek whatever he sees that he wants. "Go get the keys." his mother challenges him. And so he does, only by stages at first, bumping and grinding along the way, even falling on his nose and face as he seeks control of his body. Yet he proceeds nonetheless until he finally gets the keys, after which he rolls over, giggles, and shakes his legs in delight.

Aren't we older types often bumping and grinding too--trying to grasp keys to the exponential change all around us? And aren't we often just as awkward in that process? Stumbling our way along, often hesitant and complaining, almost ready to give up, ought we not at least be as determined to get to "the keys"? Maybe, as Carson Gustaf demonstrates on arriving at his goal, we will turn over too if we persevere in engaging change. Maybe we will even end up kicking our legs in similar delight and ourselves that we finally got hold of something that earlier seemed unattainable.

The lesson is clear. To "Go get the keys" to whatever, we just have to mobilize ourselves and our whole being. Better to try, however difficult, than sit forever waiting for life to come to us.