I recently read Walk in Her Sandals, a collaborative effort including a friend of mine, Stephanie Landsem. (Note: I received a free e-copy of this book for review purposes. You can read my full review on Amazon or on Goodreads.) I marveled at how a book with ten authors could come together so beautifully. Walk in Her Sandals combines devotional reading and Scripture with Biblical fiction, thoughtful questions and suggestions for putting faith into practice. The authors are Catholic and their intended audience is Catholic, but as a Protestant I found very little with which I didn’t identify.
We’ve been getting together at Waycross Camp in southern Indiana for four years now. We are only a few (7 this year), but then the Tudor Hall class of ’69 was only 32 and that counts Inez, the foreign exchange student. We weren’t particularly friends in high school. Some of us rarely spoke. We were threatened by the academic achievements or coolness factor of others, but the passage of forty-plus years has mellowed all that. We are who we are, and that's OK.
On our recent trip west, we were awed by the beauty of our national parks. We fell into bed exhausted each night with little time to catch the evening news. However, we were well aware of the political situation that dominates the airwaves these days. Katherine Lee Bates’s prayerful poem “America the Beautiful” ran continually through my mind, leading me to pause to pray for this country even as I admired the beauty of its scenery.
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!
My husband and I have recently returned from a road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Usually on road trips a favorite praise song runs through my head, becoming a sort of theme song of the journey. This time the song that kept returning to my mind was “America the Beautiful.” We saw no shortage of amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties, but it was not the familiar first verse that ran through my mind so much as the later verses.
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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