Friday, October 29, 2010


Sometimes I wish things wouldn’t change.

I recently saw a photograph of the Iowa farmhouse my Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill lived in when I was growing up. Back then, it was a simple, two-story brick house, with an insanely steep staircase going from the main floor to the bedrooms above.

The house sat across the road from the cornfields my uncle farmed with my grandfather. A pair of binoculars sat in the living room windowsill so we could track Uncle Bill and Grandpa in their day’s work, or watch the storms coming in, at times welcomed, at times not.

There was a porch with a swing in the front, and an enclosed porch on one side next to the kitchen. I loved that house.

But in time, Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill needed a place without an insane staircase, and they moved into town.

A few weeks ago, one of my sisters traveled through Iowa and she drove by Uncle Bill and Aunt Betty’s old house, stopped the car, and snapped a photograph.

When I saw the photo I was shocked—and a little horrified. The new residents added a whole wing onto the old farmhouse. In fact, it’s like two houses, joined with a window-lined passageway. Very modern. Lovely. But wrong.

I liked it the way it was. With the porch and the swing.

And Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill.

And that’s the point, really. I miss knowing Aunt Betty is bustling around kitchen making Rice Krispie Treats. I miss seeing Uncle Bill on his tractor, or rubbing the head of his favorite dog.

The remodeled house is just another reminder that time is marching on, that nothing stays the same. Except our unchanging, eternal God. And that’s where I need to place my hope and my joy. Yes, houses come and go. Even the people we love come and go. But Jesus? The same yesterday, today, and forever.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stories from the ER

One of my friends works in a local emergency room. Every once in a while she will pass along a story about some strange case she encountered—usually involving a lot of blood. But today I heard about a 20-year-old patient who died and whose parents chose to donate 17 organs and other tissues from their child’s body to that many sick, suffering strangers.

I don’t know what 17 things were donated beyond some of the obvious ones—eyes, kidneys, heart. During the surgery there were 17 medical professionals on hand to receive a particular body part for a needy recipient. My friend observed that each of the people transferring the body part to its destination paused to thank the donor before leaving the room.

Can you picture it? I’m sure each person knew the urgency of handling the donated item quickly. But they acknowledged that each organ, each piece of tissue, had come at the cost of a human life.

My mind went quickly to Jesus. He died so that I might know life. His back bled, His joints popped, His eyes closed, His heart stopped. For me. For you. For the world he loved.

So I pause . . .

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.