Sunday, September 20, 2009


is the name she goes by. She has a brilliant smile and a servant's heart. She works at the breakfast room of the hotel I stayed in last week. Breakfast is a buffet. Her job is to refill as needed and clean up after guests. Her vocation (calling) is to greet those guests with a smile or in my case a hug and a warm welcome. She takes a job that could be drudgery and turns it into a ministry. She wears a name tag with her official name, but her real identifier is the yellow and orange sun pin she wears next to it. I was blessed by her presence and so are many travelers each year.

Thank you God for sunshine (after 10 days of rain) and for Sunshine who brightened my day even if it was rainy outside. Amen.

Monday, September 07, 2009


can be a good thing or a not so good thing.

In April, I wrote about my missing neighbor, Kathy Garza. Friday, I attended a memorial service for her. Her body still has not been found, but the prosecution is proceeding with murder charges. In the weeks following her disappearance, I really struggled - especially with my imagination. I wondered if she had been afraid, if she felt pain, if she knew she was leaving her children (2 adult, 2 teenagers). Even as I type this, the tears still come. As time passed, these thoughts no longer dominated my thinking, but were still under the surface and bubbled up whenever there was a reminder.

At the memorial service, the first song was I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me. This time my imagination was healing rather than painful. As I listened to the song, I could imagine Kathy looking ahead to heaven in delight, looking back at her family with grief, and looking back to the presence of God with delight. I could imagine her feeling God holding her hand as she went through her suffering. I still ache for her loss, for her family, for our neighborhood, but I also have more peace.

Still working on that forgiveness thing.

Please keep Kathy's family and all those who miss her in your prayers.

Giver of Life, thank you for the hope we know in you. Thank you for your presence in our grief. Hold us close please. Amen.