Between Shows


The other night,
I had just finished
watching something
or other and found

myself between shows.
The words floated then
formed in my mind—my
life is between shows.

No way I want to go
back; no idea what is
ahead. I can’t count
the times I was dead

certain about what
was next, what was
coming, or about love.
Wrong every time.

Hope was a train wreck
looking back. Decades
of deserted track. But
the train never stops;

I never arrive. Don’t
you see? The train
never stops; I never
get on. My life is

suspended

between shows.

But Not Hope


It didn’t bother me that after my return
to hiking I was being passed by men,
women, children, beasts, and insects.

I hadn’t hiked this mountain trail since
summer last year. After I returned there
a few days in a row, it was clear my brain

got ahead of my body. I should have
listened to my body. I’m not really
disappointed. I’m exhausted. Over did it.

Things change.

Age has a way of doing that. Some changes
are harder than others but change we will.
How we respond to or handle the changes

are the real tests! Chronic illness has my
attention which is truly annoying and
has contributed to a great amount of loss.

What happens when you pray for healing
and healing doesn’t come? When you believe
God heals and it still doesn’t come?

Things change. Some things don’t change.

This doesn’t change who God is, what he
has done, the things he can do, or has
promised to do.

God doesn’t change.

To try to stay in faith when my body is
screaming, “Don’t believe, God isn’t true” is
my measured response to these things that

I can’t change but must accept and deal with
the best I can each day. I settled for an easier
walk around my neighborhood yesterday.

Things change.

Today much too much pain to walk either.
I would have preferred to write a romantic
haiku and not address the challenges of pain

and faith at all. What kind of writer would I
be if I only shared my heart on the good days?
You deserve the truth in any case.

Reality has no substitutes.

It is when we are at our worst that faith gives
us the best. God’s grace and blessings still
abound. Maybe not in ways I prayed for.

Things change. But not truth. But not hope.

Thus Far


It has been seven years since I moved to Arizona—seven difficult and challenging years. Please don’t misunderstand me, there have been many good things and blessings. But overall, very trying. But this year as it turns out has been the worst. With that in mind I’ll spare you the details of the many challenges that have come my way.

But thank God tomorrow is the new year. So, it is a time to both look back and look ahead. Let me share with you how I did that today.

I read this earlier today: Thus far the Lord has helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)

The words “thus far” help me look back to the past. On my journey “thus far,” the Lord has brought me through so many things, I’m grateful to be alive another day. I thought back about twenty years in the Army, my tours in Vietnam and Thailand, getting robbed when I lived in NYC, to name a few.

And, that in His mercy and grace, He gave me the strength to do a last-minute plumbing repair job and a few other critical chores this afternoon. I don’t know about you, but plumbing wears me out—praise be to God that he didn’t make me a plumber (although I definitely thank God for them.)

So, the Lord has been the faithful “rear guard” of my past as He promised to Israel and to me: “For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12) The past is covered! (Dear Reader, if you are reading this, the Lord has been your rear guard whether you know it or not. I believe that is true!)

Now, my hope is that if the Lord God gives me (and you) life tomorrow, then we can continue to look forward. No matter what trials and tribulation come our way, we have this to look forward to as promised in our future (in Revelation 3:5):

He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God] will accordingly be dressed in white clothing; and I will never blot out his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess and openly acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels [saying that he is one of Mine].

So, I can’t help but be grateful for what has past and excited about what is to come. I hope you share that excitement with me and with what the Apostle John heard and saw as he wrote in the book of Revelation. I leave this with you as we end this year and begin the next. Happy New Year to all and to all God’s Grace and Peace.

And I heard every created thing that is in heaven or on earth or under the earth [in Hades, the realm of the dead] or on the sea, and everything that is in them, saying [together],

“To Him who sits on the throne and
to the Lamb (Christ), be blessing
and honor and glory and dominion
forever and ever.”

(Revelation 5:13)