Tag Archives: live

Searching for Beauty


I miss…

The beauty of early morning cirrus wisps

Splashed with color over ever-lightening sky

Stirred with rays of the morning sun, rising, rising, rising

Gleaming over golden of short shorn wheat

And vibrant green of wayside grass

Lush and lavish in sun-dappled morning glory.

I miss the dew.


I miss…

The cool caress of wind on my face

On the late evening rides with young bright sorrel

That pulls on the reins to fly, fly, fly;

And the beauty of thick brown tail, and well- muscled legs

That stretch in quiet thunder down shadowy lane

In rhythm with the ever- rising, ever- setting sun.

I miss the catlight.


I miss…

I miss the silence of a sun-stilled afternoon

The dreams of the summer wind as it lies still and

Asleep in wide seas of wheat where waves lap, lap, lap

Against the never giving shores of green

Until the machines come with their powerful teeth

And eat away at the waves and the silence.

I miss the dust.


I miss…

The sharp knife of wind in snow swept prairie

Stinging on numbed cheek, embracing the wild, the fierce

And bowed head against the cold, fighting, fighting, fighting

And after that the silence, and the swirl of snow

Floating with featherlike dance to the ground.

I miss the pain of cold.


I miss….

The horizon that stretches far and away, and I can breathe

In the glory of a star spangled night in fields of sky

That stretch out their canopy wide, wide, wide

And wider still, never hampered, never cramped

By skyscrapers and man-made malls glimmering their incandescence

But go on and on and on.

I miss the sky.


So God, show me how to find beauty in crowded cities

Where noise runs random and unchecked and the air is thick- smogged

With smoke and sorrow and the beat of grief that chants and chants and chants.

Show me where to find it in this sewer world of sin

Where jewels lie buried deep in the debris of human forgettings

And neglect.

Undug, unsought, unknown

There and Back Again

There and Back Again

After 3 ½ weeks at home, I’m back in the Far East, wondering sometimes if this is really where I’m supposed to be, wondering if I am equipped for this work, wondering if I’ll last the two years I signed on for, feeling at home yet not at home.

When home was within my grasp 4 weeks ago when I left for America, the thought wasn’t as delightfully welcome to me then as it would have been 3 months earlier. My time to go home came at a time when I was finally feeling more at home in this country and friendships were being built. But when I walked down those last few feet into the arms of my waiting family, I knew why I had come home. My nephew summed it up later. “Everybody was crying. But it’s ok for big people to cry.”

I didn’t do any super amazing things while I was home. Mostly I just soaked up being at home, yet on the last day, I still wished I had spent even more time at home.

My time was filled with those little moments that I love. Like when my 6 year old nephew sized me up on my first evening home and asked, “Can you still run?” Or it was holding my newest nephew for the very first time.

It was moments like these that made up my time, like when my sister and I made lattes with her new coffee and espresso machine on the evening before I left because this was the last time in a long time that we could do this, and then we took our books to bed with us and read late into the night because we couldn’t sleep.

Or it was milking cows in the new dairy barn and trying to see how fast we could milk. It was stumping around my sister and her husband’s farm in dirty boots, letting my niece show me the baby chicks and looking at the prize yearling filly of my brother- in- law’s. It was riding my horse one sunny Sunday afternoon through grassy fields and listening to the prairie wind speak to the world, or sitting in the silence of a late Saturday evening by myself, listening and praying.

It was just sitting at home and eating a simple supper with my mom and dad and sister. Or that time I spent with friends, around a campfire on a misty Friday night into the wee hours of the morning. That morning that I spent on a friend’s porch, enjoying a deluxe brunch and laughter and companionship. Or when I ate supper with a friend one evening and we shared our hearts, even after 8 months of absence from each other. And it was baking cookies with 4 lovable tykes, and even an afternoon of teaching former students. It was looking into chocolate brown eyes and listening to my nephew’s solemn dissertation on why Jesus is more powerful than Satan. It was visiting my grandma and wondering if I would ever see her again on this side of heaven. It was singing “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” and letting the tears come, because that is my real-est home.

And somehow, no matter how much you might have prepared yourself to come back to your “other” home, and no matter how much of my heart is here in this country, good-byes always color those last few days with sadness. And that’s why tears rolled down my face as I opened a card from a friend at the airport, and as we taxied down the  runway for the first flight, and as we flew over unknown territory on Qatar airways. And I was glad it was rainy that last day I was home. It fit my mood.

(I know I’m sentimental. There’s no getting around it.)

But God wasn’t angry with me for having a hard time leaving. Instead, He gently showed me again the burden He had given me as I sat in the Chicago airport, watching people. On my longest flight, I sat beside a young Indian woman flying home to India to await the birth of a child, while her husband stayed working in Arizona. In Qatar airport, I was doodling horses on my drawing notebook when the Arabic man beside me noticed and started asking questions.  I was delighted to sit beside a Thai lady while waiting for my flight to board to Bangkok, and even more thrilled that Pasa Thai still flowed from my lips. On my flight to Bangkok, I sat beside an Islamic Thai student studying in Jordan and we had a few long worthwhile conversations. And as I read from John 3 and looked out the airplane window at the hundreds of city lights below me, and thought of the millions of people we were flying over, I realized again why I want to do this. Even when it is painful and I cry.

I Was Not Made for this World

I Was Not Made For This World


I was not meant for this world, this place

I was not meant to live in such a realm

In such a realm of shadows and fog

And window glass dirtied with dark sin-smog

That blurs sharp details of that glorious Face

That I seek

No, I was not meant for this world, this place


I was not made to live in this skin

This body of muted hearing and feeling and touch

That cannot grasp the story so long

That faint, faint echo that kindled its song

In that Eden place I was made for before my sin

Dulled my senses

No, I was not made to live in this skin


I did not ask to be born in a fight

Where every breath and thought is a move in a battle

And life itself is a war-torn field

Of past mistakes, future fear; and offenses wield

Pain as a bait when hope loses sight

And is blind

No, I did not ask to be born in a fight



Yet, somehow, here I am, and I fight, and I live

In a world and a skin I was not meant to have

I seek for a Face that is blurred by the glass

And echoes of that Eden place where greener is the grass

And with a Power I cannot explain, I stand and I give

All glory and praise

To the One who enables me to fight and to live

LH- Written July 2014