Failures Forgiven and Forgotten?

I did not know the woman who knocked on the parsonage door one morning, but her face looked like a tragedy mask carved in granite. “I’ve come,” she said, “because I need to take back four words I said.” “Let’s have a cup of coffee, and you tell can me about it.” Her...

My “Unguarded” Strength Made Me Vulnerable

I didn’t want to join a handbell choir. I just wanted to see how good I’d be at it if I tried it. After all, I’d taken piano lessons for sixteen years, and I could “sight-read” a piece of music of moderate difficulty. So when a handbell choir came to our church, and...

My Dad Put His World on Hold

Years ago I spent several days with my aging father and mother in Tennessee on their little farm. At breakfast, Daddy said, “Libby, come, take a ride with me. One of the cows didn’t come to the barn last night. I’m afraid she’s dropped her calf and is in trouble.” My...

This Is My Father’s World

So, how can I reconcile the wonderful and terrible things that happened this week? (“So?” you ask. “Is that a proper way to open a conversation?” Maybe so. My grandchildren always answer a question with “So— ,” as if they’re continuing a conversation already begun,...