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A love like no other

IMG_0730Sometimes there is a friend, early on, say, in high school, who writes in your yearbook.
Pages and pages, continued here and then over there, with a message that defies time and space.

Dispensing with the cursory, superficial gibberish, this friend heads straight for the truth with words so profound that, at 17 years old, you actually transcribe them so you can call on them again and again. Each time you do, they speak something new.

They planted a seed in me then, and now they reverberate through the ages. It’s as if Jesus Himself spoke to me through this friend.

Today, I have a special prayer for you: I hope that you find fulfillment, and that you are at peace with yourself and God.  Because that is what I think is most important, what gives meaning and direction.  His love is so great, Dear One, that the very thought of someone who loves me that much, in spite of the cursory lip service and lack of time I give Him makes me cry almost in shame and in joy.

There are so many pressures.  After all, you will only be happy if you get straight A’s, hit .400, play at every game, go to every party, attend every Prom, lose 10 pounds, get accepted to five colleges, win a scholarship that covers tuition, room and board, and more or less win honor and glory in every endeavor.

But you don’t have to.  Even if you hit .155 or sit in McDonald’s on Homecoming night, or fail every class, God loves you and is proud of you anyway. And that alone is enough to give you courage to stay up an extra hour studying, or keep running for office, or whatever.  Someone who loves you so totally deserves never to be let down.

All of my love.

Imagine. A love like this

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Welcoming the Stranger

tree and friend Unlikely partners,
these two,
One tall and statuesque,
the other short and squat.

One, firm and defined,
Hands neatly latch their way
up the ladder of the palm tree bark.

sprawling planting

The other, raucous and unwieldy,
Green sprigs, as a rogue lock
Escaping from the ponytail.

One, disciplined and ordered.
the other, doing as it pleases.

 

How in the world did these two meet?

trees togetherSurely, a random occasion
when this stick settled in.
Blown in upon the wind
to lodge here
in the clutches,
the talons,
the grip of such an unwelcome embrace.

Yet,
here nestled one in the other,
firm and strong, reaching upward,
splayed and supple, reaching inward.

Both,
enjoying the same patch of ground,
to be nourished in the same grassy noll.

FullSizeRender (9)“Glad to meet you.”

“So glad you happened by.”

“Why not sit and rest a spell?”

“Don’t mind if I do.” … “My, this is comfortable.”

“Will you stay?”

Somehow,
they become each other.

Faith Doesn’t Work without the Works

Book launchOn the 13th of January, my book was released. It’s titled, Fit2Finish: Keeping Your Soccer Players in the Game. No, I didn’t self publish. There is actually a publisher out there who believed in me and believed in my message enough to work with me to get this into print. Thank you, Morgan James, Publishing, for getting it into stores and into e-format so people can take a look at my work and decide for themselves whether it’s worth buying.

Here’s the KC part: when you publish a book, people are really happy for you. They congratulate you on your accomplishment, celebrate you on Facebook and Twitter and generally make a big deal about you.

“It must feel good,” they say, “to have arrived!”

IMG_6436IMG_6318And for a moment, it does. The moment when you open your box of shiny new books and look at your name on the cover, it feels very satisfying. But then the delivery truck arrives with the cases and cases of books needing selling. You thank the nice man who helped hoist your crate into your garage. You thank the kind neighbor who helped form the brigade to heave the cartons into your basement. You stack them neatly out of the way, waiting for the orders to roll in, so these books can go flying out the door!

But they don’t, because who knows about them? Who knows you? Who are you anyway?

When the glitter fades you are left seated on the throne of your unsold books, or perhaps buried by that very pile of books. The ones that were meant to be your “contribution to the world!” your “gift to all those families” the “saving grace for all those kids.”

Well-wishers glance in your direction and smile. “Good luck,” they say, as they depart for more important things and to attend to more pressing matters. They don’t say but I hear, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill.” (James 2:16)* The words spoken to a brother or sister in need who lacks the necessities of life, while (we) go along (our) way, failing to supply it.

Faith doesn’t work without the works.

How very poignant this message is to me now. My dearest of friends – the ones who truly believe in me – show me their faith, not with casual mentions or polite congratulations, but by showing up and sharing the work. They have purchased books, shared them with friends, connected me with resources, and generally spread the good word.

lebolt_v10There’s a book here whose author I know and trust. She’s got something important to say. Listen to her.”

I am responsible for that book. Inspired by my friends’ belief, I continue to work for the good of those who are dearly loved by the One who inclined me to write the book. Sale or no sale, He still gets His word in edgewise. “Don’t let up. This is My work you are doing.”

Faith in your story isn’t enough. You have to be out there telling it. Books don’t sell themselves, you know!

*God-nod: I was inclined to share the idea of this post but I couldn’t quite recall where the Bible story was. I opened my copy of The Upper Room this morning, and there was the verse, inspiring a powerful meditation by another author.

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