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A white-breasted hawk has been perched on the backyard burn pile for the better part of an hour. He’s waiting for a little rodent, burrowed underneath, to poke up its head for a sniff of fresh air, and then he’ll thrust himself down so fast upon it that the little life never even realizes the danger. The bird did take a five-minute respite. Flew off to one of the evergreens, perhaps, for a little rest, or maybe he was seen and needed to feign retreat. Either way, the diligent bird is back and mother has grabbed her binoculars for a better view.

The thing about writing, if you do it with any frequency and live with your eyes on the sparrow, is that you’ll inevitably feel frightened to sit down once in a while. Sometimes Hemingway is right, and blood does let out your veins and seep into the keypad.

Grief has been a heavy blanket lately. So many things, but a tender few in particular, have been making tissues out of the tossed masks in my car, and it has been raining inside as often as it has out. Someone was praying for me today after I had spilled my woes into her open arms. She prayed that the grief would “bolster our faith.” It was maybe the sweetest word she could have said. Bolster. Not only praying against the strong tide of doubt the world assumes will knock our frail figures over as it encroaches the bank, but also praying for a sturdier foothold at the crux of the tempest. A very sure rest on the Rock underneath, never failing or floating away.

I keep envisioning Jesus weeping with Lazarus’ sisters. I wonder if the women came back to that moment after Lazarus lived out the course of his second life. How many losses would that weeping comfort, in the years to come? It comforts mine now, and there is room yet for yours.

Peace to you friends. We have a God who weeps with us, and One who is making all things new.


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The hawk sits on the phone wire like he owns the world. I call my son over and we watch him from the window our necks craned up so that we feel small and he, enormous. His face is blocked by an inters

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