I am currently visiting my daughter and her family in Seoul, South Korea. When I called to say good-by to my dad before leaving the US, he said, “I guess you haven’t been watching the news.”
I am always being stretched by the technology out there. At the moment I am learning to access podcasts. I can listen on my phone while walking on the treadmill or elliptical at the club down the road and distract myself from my body’s complaints about the distance or speed—not that either of those is the least bit impressive to anyone who isn’t used to spending her day in front of a computer.
The two “channels” that have motivated me to figure this out are Quick to Listen from Christianity Today Magazine and Rewrite Radio from Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Writing.
Again this year my friend Debi Alexander sent a Christmas letter that struck a chord with me. She graciously allowed me to post it here.
I watch the tear roll down his face, passing by the remnants of an eternally runny nose and the dustings of powdered sugar from a donut. His look is earnest, pleading. Because I took it from him--his idol, that thing that comforts, the promise of security: his food.
No matter how much I sing, “We eat one bite at a time” and return the bowl to him after each “Chew, chew, swallow,” I have threatened his vows [his commitment not to be hungry again]. And he’s mad.
I met Tamara Jorell at a Minnesota N.I.C.E. meeting. N. I. C. E. stands for Novelists Inspiring Christian Excellence. It’s our local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers—except that Tamara doesn’t write fiction. She writes true stories—“narrative non-fiction,” as she refers to it. In a blog called My Blonde Life in the Hood she tells stories about her neighborhood in North Minneapolis. It’s a place that reminds me a lot of where we used to live in Indianapolis a few blocks from the Butler University campus. Tamara’s neighborhood is racially, economically and spiritually diverse, full of real people, not statistics or headlines. She and her family have made it a point to get to know those people and be available to them for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
I am racist.
I think we all are racist. In this world we cannot help but be influenced by the color of our skin. Much as I love my brothers and sisters at Solid Word Bible Church where we worshipped when we lived in Indianapolis, my white skin has given me different life experiences than their black skin. I cannot help but view the world from inside my white body.
I recently attended a women’s retreat sponsored by my home church at Country Lake Retreat Center, Underwood, Indiana. I went, thinking it would be a chance to see lots of old friends. There were a few, but mostly it was a time of meeting new friends—younger women who are picking up the torch of encouraging women in their walk of faith and running with it.
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.
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.