The Story of Hope: A Short Story

This short story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Work. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all). I’ll see you on the other side. Hope you enjoy it.


Her name is Hope, and she sits bowed in the corner, pouring herself into a painting. A cord sprouts from the base of her enormous earphones and tethers her still…at least for the moment.

Voices leak through the music, and she swats them away.

Not real. Right? They’re not real.

She glances from the angel emerging from her canvas to the community room, expecting it to be empty. Instead, a woman glances up from her sketchpad, breaks in a sunrise smile, and then returns to her sketch.

Hope knows what most everyone sees when they look at her—crooked glasses, hair so bleached it’s broken, uneven, sharp uncontrollable movements that make even the most compassionate volunteer nervous.

But this woman smiled. Continue reading “The Story of Hope: A Short Story”

Support: A Moment to Say Thank You

A beam, a girder, something that holds something else up. It’s underneath, hidden, not always noticed, but beautiful in its own right.

Without it, the whole structure would fall—a pile of random pieces with nothing to hold it together. Continue reading “Support: A Moment to Say Thank You”

White Spaces

You all know that I struggle with feeling overwhelmed by the shear magnitude of everyday life…and that I underwent surgery late last week. The irony is that I wrote a piece for another blog about the spiritual discipline of rest…and they published it the day I was under the knife.

Talk about forced rest.

But it was a reminder that even in life’s unexpected, we have the opportunity to view upheaval as rest. But how do we find a moment to take a breath? And why are white spaces important?

I invite you to hop over to one of my favorite blogs and read my post to find out:

Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions

Rest. Stillness. Community.

These are all words that I’m struggling to define…to implement. At this moment in time, you and I are probably more “connected” to our world than ever before. We talk about online community building, even creating community in our churches.

And yet, so often, we feel completely alone.

Granted social media, the core of online connection, shows a version of “it”—that something we all need/want. But, if we’re honest, the parade of connection leaves us feeling a little hollow. Continue reading “Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions”

When There Are No Words

No Words

As I writer and editor, my life lives and breathes letters, words, sentences. Pictures, scenes, emotions, flow from my brain, to my fingers, to the page. It’s what I do.

But sometimes…sometimes the river of words runs dry. I’m left without a way to respond to circumstances.

I’ll admit I’m tapped out right now. I have no words. And it’s okay for me. I know I my writing hasn’t been my best, but it’s okay for now. I’m not actively writing a novel…just editing.

My stopped up word-river is even fine for my family for the moment. We’re okay. Really we are (and I’m not just trying to convince myself of that).

My world is surviving without my words, my connection to something bigger…until I got a phone call from a friend who’s always been there for me. Until I didn’t have words for her.

I’m not sure I even followed everything she said through her tears, but I do know this: Her daddy died, and it was hard. She was trudging in the valley of the shadow of death, and I had such paltry words to give. I couldn’t even point her to comfort.

I know that sometimes it’s okay to not say anything. Sometimes it’s better even.

But oh how I long to speak into the dark spot left in her dad’s place.

And so I bring a meal, I pray for her peace, I scour the Internet for funny stories to send, and I might even buy a card with someone else’s words or I might haul out my paints and paint her a picture.

See I may have no words, but she can still hear me…and that’s okay with me. Tweet This

Perhaps it’s here, where our words flee, that we find action. In this wordless place, we set aside our daily tasks, roll up our sleeves, and communicate in a bigger way.

3 Lessons About Friend-Type People

Friend-Type PeopleI’ve always had a hard time making “real-life” friends. It is, I think, partly why I like books so much.

Like a friend, a book can leave you frustrated, annoyed, or disappointed. It can change your life for the better or for the worse. But you can always walk away from a book without leaving a piece of yourself behind.

People, on the other hand, friend-type people especially, get under your skin, into your life, tangled up in who you are. You can’t walk away from people without a little tearing in your soul.

So when, as a kid, I realized my little soul was in tatters, I just stopped letting those unreliable people in–those soul-tearing, friend-type people. I closed the door, hunched in the corner, and worked to patch myself back up.

But I realized I didn’t have the tools for a patch job, there in the dark corner by myself.

Then a few friends crept in and showed me that I’m missing something there in the dark with my light starved soul. They brought in the light of laughter, encouragement, and accountability.

And I discovered that anything worthwhile is worth the risk. There’s beauty in there somewhere. Continue reading “3 Lessons About Friend-Type People”