My family has shown me the Light through their hospitality. When my grandparents were young adults, they hosted a weekly event at First Friends Meeting. It was called “Friday Nights." I think this happened in the late 1930’s. Grandpa would drive around the neighborhood and fill up his car with as many as 13 children. Other children walked to the meetinghouse. My grandma always provided snacks. My grandpa taught wood shop during the... [more]
Our Collective Journal
"I have often felt a motion of love to leave some hints
in writing of my experience of the goodness of God."
When have you experienced the Light
through a member of your family?
Prodigal Son IV (Luke 15:11-32), mixed media by Cody F. Miller
Query: When did your family, or a neighbor, or a teacher help you see something special about yourself or the world around you?
My substitute teacher made me feel good about my birthday. She was really nice to us. She gave me a birthday pencil, she complimented my necklace, and she let everybody count the apples on my shirt and have a look at them.
You and daddy made me feel good about my birthday because... [more]
"If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Mt. 21:22
I have learned more from Kate about compassion and empathy than from all of the books, theology, teaching and wise counsel yet received. Kate is my 27-year-old niece who happens to have Downs Syndrome. With a ready smile, a twinkle in her eye and a good word for all, she is a walking sunbeam who radiates love and Light wherever she goes. ... [more]
Our room was shaped like an L — my sister Kathy’s bed at one end and mine at the other. Four years stretched between us. Sometimes it was a small stretch, like our room. At other times, those four years were like a continent. In the dark, when I was very young, it was both.
I often greeted “lights-out” with fear. It was such a lonely time and my loneliness would become fear and... [more]
When I was growing up, my grandmother practiced a very different faith tradition than the one I was raised in. It seemed alien to me, and parts of it were even disturbing. She once told me a story, however, that very much informed my ideas about prayer and intercession and God "hearing" us. A few years ago I told her what an impact the story had made on me and she didn't even remember... [more]
I cried in the car recently. As everyone knows, cars have a no-crying-allowed rule.
My daughter has an ongoing tantrum problem, and we’ve been at wit’s end trying to figure out how to stop them, or at least shorten them. So when Taylor told me she found something that helps her calm down, I was thrilled! She turned on the Ipad, and played an Alicia Keys song called “Never Felt This Way”. The song is about... [more]
At some point in our childhood the painting of the farmer and his wife giving thanks in a field of freshly dug potatoes was taken down from its place above the dining table, and replaced with a photo of an atomic bomb exploding at night over the Nevada desert. My father worked for the Lawrence Radiation Laboratories in Livermore, California. For weeks on end he was away, joining engineers and scientists, testing nuclear bombs in... [more]
The web of Alzheimer’s disease is a thief of the worst sort. Much like a spider, it sucks out bit by bit a loved one’s mind and personality so that eventually only a barely functioning shell remains. The web reaches through the brain of the afflicted, tangling it with plaques so they can no longer think or communicate, and the person they once were disappears.
My father’s dementia was well along in... [more]
One hot summer day about five years ago, I found my sister deceased in her apartment. I felt that her Spirit had definitely departed. Thankfully, she was with God, but it broke my heart at the time. Although 12 years apart, we were close as our mother suffered from severe bouts of depression. She took care of me.
Three years of difficult probate followed to get her affairs in order. Now, I’m glad... [more]
As a child, I listened to the story of Saul's conversion and transformation into Paul. The story made it sound easy; well, maybe a little scary too. Saul is on the road to Damascus and God comes to him. Paul's transformation overtakes him. He does not have to choose to be transformed.
Cancer is like that too. You don't choose to have cancer. It is something that happens to you. What I missed... [more]
Sometimes Light comes to us as a gentle glow, other times a glaring searchlight. Raising kids is a crash course in blinding light and the afterglow. One event stands out among many.
My sister-in-law was fighting cancer in California. On a school night at dinnertime we received a phone call, alerting us that Chris had been hospitalized. No one knew the prognosis, but the doctors were running out of options. Despite the urgency, we couldn’t quite... [more]
Editors’ note: This story may be a trigger for victims of abuse. Please make sure you are in a safe place when you read.
One night when I was ten, I woke up to an overwhelming presence. My 13 year old brother, M knelt beside my bed with his head down in shame. A pair of scissors lay by my side. My panties, my privacy, and my sense of safety had all been... [more]
My mother, Louzelle, was the clearest and earliest manifestation of God for me. She was spiritually and physically present in her quiet, strong love, which never stopped even when our paths diverged. She taught me, by being herself, to see “unseen” things like intentions, the heart of a person, beauty, God’s love.
Mom was the youngest of six children. Her father was a Welsh immigrant who became a County Judge in Oklahoma and traveled the “circuit”,... [more]
It’s a lesson too late for the learnin’
made of sand, made of sand
In the wink of an eye my soul is turnin’
in your hand, in your hand. . .
Are you goin’ away with no word of farewell,
Will there be not a trace left behind?
[Lyrics from Last Thing on My Mind by Tom Paxton]
When I was 5 years old, my mother made one of those unfortunate mistakes that parents sometimes make with the best of intentions.
My mother, who... [more]