Dead Wood

We took a drive recently into the Llanwynno Forest north of our former home in Ynysybwl to show a friend some Welsh scenery outside of the city. Unknown to us, much of the forestry had been logged. The dark, windy roads up to the old church and nearby pub were light, airy and exposed.


The entire scenery had changed; it was hard to know where we were. We could see farms and hillsides we’d never seen before. The long walk into the outdoor centre property where the carpenter once volunteered was lined with stacks of logs ready to be transported to saw mills. It felt strange and unknown.


Change can feel uncomfortable.

Yet as I was reminded recently, change is good. Normal. Expected.

If a child or teen didn’t grow and change—intellectually, weight and height-wise, or socially—we’d be concerned.

No change means no growth.

I don’t know why the forestry was logged. Perhaps to stop the spread of tree disease and promote a healthy forest. Thankfully, if precedent follows its normal pattern the forestry will soon be replanted with fast growing trees.


It got me thinking…what about me?

How am I changing?

How am I growing?

What new things am I making a way for?

Emotionally, Spiritually, Mentally.

In my faith, in my friendships, in my relationship with Jesus and with others.


Am I just dead wood?

Good for nothing

except to be thrown in the fire.

Am I open to experiences and change I’ve never known before?

No change brings stability and comfort for a season. But even the seasons change. 


Perhaps I should too.

No change means no growth.


No April Fools Here

The tall one will never forgive us for the April Fool’s Day we told him I was pregnant. He was horrified. He was a teenager and didn’t want any more siblings. He felt we were too old to have children.


We were spending a few days with friends at a resort in Minehead, England, attending a large Christian conference where one day melts into the next. He didn’t remember it was April 1st. But in the back of his mind he seemed to remember hearing that another child wouldn’t be a future option. That the possibility had been cut off, tied up, impossible. We assured him although the chances are low, the possibility is still there.

A miracle was the only explanation.

One of our friends was colluding on the joke too. The tall one gulped and accepted his fate. He would be a big brother once again. He just hoped it wasn’t another sister.

Some time later, our sides sore from holding back the laughter, we finally let him in on the joke. He laughed, insisting he knew it was a joke all along. But the look on his face had proved otherwise. He’d definitely been fooled.



Perhaps he understands better than anyone how Peter felt when he ran to the tomb on that momentous Sunday morning and found empty burial clothes lying on the floor of the cave. Peter wasn’t a fool. He knew that the Roman soldiers had stolen the body and hidden it away from his followers. It could be the only explanation.

So, when his friend Mary and others started telling him that they had seen Jesus and talked with him in the garden, he knew that it wasn’t physically possible. That the seeing and believing had been a figment of their imagination. They were fools to think anything other than the plausible explanation that the power-hungry Romans had pinched his friend’s corpse. The possibility that Jesus was alive had been decisively cut off at the cross, tied up on that piece of wood, impossible.

Until Peter saw Jesus with his own eyes. Heard that unmistakable voice that could rebuke and encourage in the same breath. The chances were so low. But Jesus had never been about chances. He’d always thrown possibilities upside down. He should have been dead, yet here he was looking Peter in the eye.

A miracle was the only explanation.

So Peter went along with the ‘joke,’ spending the rest of his life telling others that peace was possible, that love triumphs over hate, and that the biggest fool is one who hears the truth yet refuses to believe it.

For I am not ashamed of this good news about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.

Romans 1:16

The tall one will wake up on Sunday, ready for any jokes that we plan to play on him. He’ll throw all of them back in our faces. But when we tell him, He is risen, he’ll know it’s not a joke.

The tall one is no fool.

He knows there is no death without resurrection, no hope without the One who pulled the biggest April Fool’s joke the world has ever known.


Food, Guns, and More-with-Less

Forty-some years ago a woman named Doris wrote a cookbook called More-with-Less. She was a good Mennonite, and a good cook. That means she not only cared about good, quality food but she also cared about the world’s poor, the over consumption of food in western society and the lack of resources, planning, and distribution that caused many in the world to go to bed hungry.

Doris and some friends resolved to see change. They wanted to do more than just send thoughts and prayers to the world’s hungry. So, they compiled their favourite recipes in a book. They also encouraged people to eat and spend ten percent less.

It wasn’t rocket science.

It was simple, yet revolutionary.


It was 1976. Many of the recipes were vegan before Veganuary was cool. It was ‘low-cost, low-fat, low-sugar, and cheap protein’ before I Quit Sugar, Atkins, and Slimming World become the norm. There were more legumes and lentils than you could shake a wooden spoon at. There were recipes from Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Spain, Pakistan, Greece, and Mexico that good Mennonites in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Manitoba had never heard of, let alone tasted.

The cookbook should have been a failure.

No respectable Mennonite cook whose staple dessert ingredients included sugar-charged Cool Whip and Jello pudding should have bought the book, let alone tried the recipes. No one whose idea of gourmet was stewed crackers or grilled cheese sandwiches should have tried to make Nasi Goreng or Eggs Foo Yung. But they did.

2014-07-16 08.46.11

2014-09-17 10.22.55

My copy of More-with-Less came from the forty-sixth printing. That was 1999. There have been at least two since, with more than 850,000 copies sold worldwide.

What should have been a failure became a movement for change.

It didn’t start with lobbying government. It didn’t start with demanding others change.

It didn’t start with more.

It started with less.

It started with people like you and me committed to making simple lifestyle changes. Less supermarket purchases in vacuumed packed plastic and more purchases from the little boy guarding his family’s roadside cantaloupe stand. Less out-of-season purchases picked unripe, bleached and sprayed with chemicals and shipped across the world to our neighbourhood shop and more hands-on planting seeds and picking our own fruit and vegetables from our tiny corner plots or patio planters. Less microwave ‘ping’ dinners and more home cooking.

That’s not easy.


It takes time. It takes patience to teach your children. It takes spilled milk and floured worktops and dried beans crunching underfoot. It takes experimenting and finding new taste buds. It takes conscious choices and making sacrifices.

It’s revolutionary for our western mindset.

But it’s how most of the world lives.

More is rarely ever the answer to a problem.

So this week when the American president suggested more guns (in the hands of teachers) to combat the nation’s school shooting epidemic, I thought of Doris.
What if we Americans took Doris’s words to heart? What if more meant less, and less meant more?

In the preface to her cookbook Doris wrote,

There is not just one way to respond, nor is there a single answer to the world’s food problem. It may not be within our capacity to effect an answer. But it is within our capacity to search for a faithful response.

There is not just one way to respond.

I live in Britain. My teenage sons have never held a handgun or a .22. My husband and I made a conscious choice. No guns in our house. No video games with shooting and killing. No target practice just for fun. It wasn’t easy. When all the other kids had Nerf guns. When all the other kids played Call of Duty and you’ve only got Fifa. It took time, patience in parenting, and sacrifices.

They’ve also never feared being shot in school. Twenty years ago a man walked into a school in Dunblane, Scotland, shooting 16 pupils and a teacher before killing himself. After public petitions, two new Firearms Acts were passed by the UK government, which banned private ownership of most handguns. There have been no school massacres in the UK since, and only one massacre involving a gun. Farmers and gillies still carry rifles. Enthusiasts still go fox hunting. Muzzle-loading and historic handguns are still legal. Somehow the nation saw a problem and found a creative solution that seemed to work. (If only they could do the same for other issues they current face.)

But I grew up in a house with guns. My father and brothers learned to shoot and brought home amazing venison or rabbits or pheasant that fed our family. My mother learned to shoot and kill the pesky ground hogs that destroyed her vegetable patch and flower beds. As a child, I sometimes opened the little drawer of the dresser in the spare bedroom where my father kept his bullets, holding them in my hand, marvelling at the colourful shells. I learned to respect the power in my hands, to fear it even.

So I’m well aware that there is not just one way to respond, nor is there a single answer to America’s gun problem.

But, like Doris said, I believe it is within our capacity to search for a faithful response.



No movement ever started with shrugging our shoulders and turning away in frustration or disgust.

No movement ever started with thoughts and prayers.

Search for a faithful response.

It’s not rocket science.

It’s simple, yet revolutionary.

More with less.

No movement against hunger started with more gluttony.

No movement against guns should start with more guns.


So sings the light

With a new pillow designed for side sleepers and a soft new duvet, I should have had the best night’s sleep in the history of humanity. Instead, I found myself lying awake, staring into the darkness, while little monsters of anxiety held a rave in my head.


Downstairs, the kitchen light hurt my eyes. I ripped apart the jigsaw puzzle we’d painstakingly finished last week. The rain pounded the window and wind creeped through the ageing rubber seals. A small blue light on my phone connected me to the world. A restless mind often wanders with other restless souls, seeking solace in virtual worlds numb to reality. But even Facebook couldn’t help me fight the darkness so I crawled back under the duvet, the carpenter oblivious to my nocturnal wanderings.

I laid awake worrying about this broken body, longing for escape from the constraints of flesh and blood, infections and viruses, lethargy and anxiety. I yearned for complete healing, for a remedy that treated the cause and not just the symptoms.

Then I heard it.




In the stillness between sheets of rain and wind.

What creature sings in the darkness?

What bird chirps cheerfully through a storm?

I held my breath, wanting to hear it again. Not willing to miss these notes of grace.

It came, strange but beautiful. A twittering chorus of comfort that wrapped itself around my fidgety fears.

What creature sings in the darkness?

One who may not have it all together, but remains care-less in the care of God. Who may not know what the morning light will bring, but doesn’t waste the night by worrying. Who knows that darkness flees when the morning comes and so sings the light into being with its every breath.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:1-4

Pascal once said if the choice is heads God exists and tails he doesn’t, you might as well call heads. If you’re right, you hit the jackpot. If you’re wrong, you lose nothing.

Maybe the Creator wasn’t speaking to me through the birdsong. Maybe it was the warm duvet and not His comfort that finally eased my mind to drift into sleep.

But even so…


Instead of escape, I found One who is ‘with’, who joined me in the suffering. Instead of healing or answers or escape, I found One who gives dignity to darkness.

Instead of anxiety, I found One who sings the light into being.

A Gut Wrenching Longing

Our first child was born 10 weeks early. Our second child was born 5 weeks early. Our third child went full-term. I’m no mathematician, but even I could see a pattern and I wasn’t about to go for a fourth child to test the pattern! Because I hate waiting.

We spend most of our lives waiting: in traffic, at the shop, for the phone to ring, for post to arrive, for the kettle to boil, for news about something.


What do you do in the waiting? If you’re like me, you multi-task. While I wait on the phone to get through to customer service, I’m eating breakfast or folding the wash. While I wait for the kettle to boil, I tidy up or put some dishes back in the cupboard. I fill the waiting with activity.

I lost my voice two months ago. I’m still waiting for it to completely heal. What I’ve discovered is that waiting is a tension between what is and what should be. Between the now and the not yet.

We can fill the waiting with noise and activity. Or we can fill it with silence, space to listen and to become.



Advent is also a tension between what is and what should be.
• Mary must have felt that tension, as she waited in Roman occupation for her child to be born.
• Joseph must have felt that tension, and argued with Mary.
• The wise people from the Far East must have bedded down night after night, wondering if they were following the right star.

Because Advent is filled with a raw, gut wrenching longing for what is yet to come…in us and through us. A longing for the tension, for the waiting to cease. A longing to hold on to hope regardless how fragile things seem.

Some of us have been waiting for what feels like a lifetime. Waiting for healing. Waiting for operations. Waiting for that broken relationship to be restored. Waiting for someone to love, or to love you. Waiting to hold your own child, not someone else’s. Waiting for what often feels impossible.



Come, sit with me by the manger, in the waiting, in the uncertainty, in the tension between what is and what should be. Wait with me for hope to appear.


Sit with me in Silence

I met someone this week I didn’t particularly like.

Nothing irritates me more than people who claim to follow Jesus but don’t do a very good job of advertising for him. And this person was clearly not advertising for a life that had been transformed by good news. She was filled with anxiety, moaning about her husband, and generally feeling sorry for herself. I wanted to tell her…get a life, pull your finger out, get some perspective.



It’s easy to tell people what to do. It’s harder to sit with them, in silence, listening to the story behind the story.

Should Jesus-followers have bad days? Or weeks? Or years?

Is it possible to cry the blues , yet still carry a spark of hope within?

How do we balance disappointment with expectation?


Our ideals and our reality rarely align. How do we live the wild, courageous, richly flavoured life we dream of when reality is anything but that?

So I looked at the woman I didn’t particularly like. And we sat together in silence.

Listening to the story behind the story.


Things rarely work out how we expect.

I expected to be talking by now, the vocal cords fully recovered, equipping and inspiring people through my words. Instead, more than seven weeks after losing my voice, I still can’t open my lips without people looking at me in pity. The flexible little camera went up my nose and down my throat taking video to prove that nothing was medically wrong. The consultant looked at me and shrugged: it’s just going to take Time with a capital T, he said.

I expected to be sharing a big house in a different part of the city, with enough rooms for space to breathe and grow and bless. Instead I’m living in a tiny shoe box (wondering if I’m actually allergic to it), needing to drive across town if I want a hammer, or a flower vase, or the Christmas decorations that are packed away in friends’ garages.

I expected to be running around Roath Park looking svelte and fit in my Lycra. Instead the only running I manage is up the stairs after drinking the allotted two litres of water to keep my vocal cords lubricated.

I expected to be walking to the local pub to connect with others, hanging out at the local cafe to write my blogs and dream big massive dreams. Instead I’m curled up on the sofa under a blanket, cancelling speaking engagements and using a whiteboard and marker pen to communicate with my family.



I expected to be like Moses—parting the Red Sea, or Joshua—blowing that bugle and bringing walls down. Instead I’m like Jonah—sitting in a sulk when things don’t go my way.

I sat in silence with the woman I didn’t particularly like. Face-to-face with questions.

The silence was deafening.

Instead of Moses or Joshua, I looked in the mirror and saw Jonah, huddled under a big massive leaf, post-apocalyptic mission, his internal struggle doing his head in. Knowing he’d done exactly what God had told him to do, yet also knowing that this same God has the prerogative to change his mind.

Maybe Jonah was just exhausted. Maybe he was burned out, depressed. Whatever it was, he was frustrated. That’s an emotion I can certainly connect with.

And then it happens.



He doesn’t come in a lightning bolt or even a deep revelation.

But he comes.

And for now, that’s enough.

You don’t have to come, but you always do. You show up in splendour and change the whole room.


He sits. In silence.

He doles out compassion, patience and unfailing love to the most unlovable. He issues second chances. He asks tough questions.


So I look in the mirror at the woman I don’t particularly like and I wonder, how will my story end?

Jonah’s story had no happy ending (that we know of), just a question.

Will you sit with me in silence?


A Vow of No Vocal Chords

I took a vow of silence this week.

It’s not the first time. I’ve done it before as a spiritual exercise, usually in a beautiful mountain retreat setting or an urban convent. This time was different. It wasn’t spiritual. It wasn’t in a retreat setting. And it wasn’t intentional.

I took a vow of no vocal chords. Because I had no choice. My voice just decided to up and leave me. The nurse diagnosed laryngitis, gave me some helpful leaflets and nasal spray, and told me not to talk.


One night I went to a party. Not the best place to be when you can’t talk, but I took a little whiteboard and pen with me.

Oh look, she’s got something to say, people laughed when I started writing and the conversation halted until I’d finished scribbling. We could laugh; we all knew it was temporary. At least I hoped so. It’s hard to be a teacher when you haven’t got a voice.
If it was permanent no one would have dared to laugh.

When you’re voiceless, you begin to see the fine line between inclusion and exclusion. You notice stuff when you’re not busy filling the air with noise.


You notice the people to whom no one is talking. One man came into the room and sat down. No one greeted him or spoke to him. I wanted to say hello, make small talk, include him. But I didn’t really know him. And didn’t want to creep him out by shoving my whiteboard in front of his face. So, I sat in silence and watched the world go on around us. He soon left the room.

When you’re voiceless, you learn to sympathise with others who have no voice.

I rode the bus with the middle one into town. She had to ask the driver for a ticket for me. It’s like being one of those kids who have to speak for their parents who don’t know any English, she said. It was an uncomfortable shift of power that left both of us tired.


When you’re voiceless, it forces others to speak up for you.

But what happens if no one speaks up? If no one notices us sitting quietly on our own? If no one notices us struggling to survive?

I couldn’t say Cheers Drive as I got off the bus, so I simply gave a thumbs up sign as my offering of thanks. I wondered if the driver thought I was rude. How many times do I perceive others as impolite or disrespectful when they simply have no voice?

At the party, a young boy watched curiously from a distance. After a few minutes of observing me writing on the board to others in the group, he sidled up to me and gestured to the pen. I handed it over.

Hi, he wrote.

Hey, I wrote back. How’s school?

We continued our little conversation back and forth in silence, the only sound the scratching of the pen on the board. The middle one was nosy, and joined us. Can she hear, he asked her as if I wasn’t present. Yeah, she just lost her voice, the middle one told him. She’s not deaf.

He sighed with relief, but choose to sit with me in the silence, and continued to ‘talk’ to me via the whiteboard.

When you’re voiceless, most people choose not to engage.

It takes too much effort to talk with someone who can’t answer you at a rate faster than a tortoise. Who can’t respond unless you’re in the same room. Some people try to rush ahead of my pen and guess what I’m writing. Waiting to see what’s written takes too much effort. Sometimes it’s easier not to talk at all.

So, if you’ve got a voice, use it. Stand up for those who are voiceless. Use your eyes to listen. See the fine line between inclusion and exclusion.

Before it happens to you. And you find yourself on the opposite side of the line. The powerless one. Praying that it’s only temporary.

Never too late

It took a funeral this week to remind me that it’s never too late to live.

Granted, funerals are always times for reflection and introspection. For pulling memories from the cobwebs of our minds. For ashes and dust and tears. For thinking about endings rather than beginnings.

This one was different.


When I first met Glynis in chapel, I thought she was the same as many older Welsh women I’d met. Retired. Winding up life. Plodding along until the end. The weekly excitement a trip to Marks and Spencer or the local butcher to buy the roast for Sunday dinner.

But I misjudged her.

She was only just beginning. Only just realising that it’s never too late to live. Her life only just coming into it’s own.

Sometimes she made me uncomfortable. She was up, close, and personal. She invaded my space. I often stepped backwards and she stepped closer, a little dance between us until, one day…



I stopped stepping backwards and allowed her enthusiasm, joy, and love for life to surround me.

We were carrying buckets of water under the blazing sun in the Dominican Republic. She should have been in the comfort of her own home, slippered feet propped up, doing the crossword. But she was hot, sweaty, thirsty, and happy. Teaching Creole speakers how to say Bore Da. Insisting the pronunciation and accent was correct.

Settling for nothing less than
giving her time and energy.
Pouring out her life like a liquid offering to God
she drank from a well that never runs dry
and found her One Thing.
When most settle for plodding
she was only just beginning.

Her living put my own plodding to shame. My preoccupation with deadlines and To Do lists. Stresses and demands. Pulled in multiple directions at once, it’s so easy to cave in. We break down. Give up. Live on auto pilot. Succumb to the Can’t be bothered attitude that permeates so much of western society.

Even in her dying, Glynis makes me uncomfortable. I stand in the crematorium as the memories of her step up, close, and personal. They invade my space. I step backwards but they step even closer, a little dance until I let them surround me. Her passing from this life to the next a reminder that it’s never too late to live.

So I let the tears flow. Tears of hope and life. Tears of joy for knowing a woman who refused to give up. And I sing for Glynis and myself:

Arglwydd, dyma fi
Ar dy alwad di
Canna f’enaid yn y gwaed
A gaed ar Galfari.

I am coming Lord!
Coming now to Thee!
Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
That flowed on Calvary!

DR 484.JPG

To all of you out there who are struggling to put one step in front of the other. Who cry more than you laugh. Who don’t feel like facing another morning. To all of you plodding on, whose weekly excitement is clocking out on Friday afternoon…be like Glynis.

Settling for nothing less than
giving your time and energy.
Pouring out your life like a liquid offering to God
you drink from a well that never runs dry
and find your One Thing.
When most settle for plodding
you are only just beginning.
Because it’s never too late to live.


The Hardest Decision Ever

Sometimes the best decision is the hardest one to make.

The day my son stood in front of a room full of US church leaders and missionaries announcing –Some people choose to go overseas into missions; I didn’t have a choice—I knew something had to change.


I remember my greatest fear when I stepped on the plane to Wales nearly two decades ago: Were we doing the right thing for this beautiful baby? Would he someday live to regret our decision? Would he hold bitterness towards us for removing him from grandparents and cousins? Would he hate sounding different, hate being teased by uncles about his accent, hate growing up without everything our birth culture holds dear?

I soon forgot those fears as the beautiful lilt of the Welsh language washed over me daily. As strangers stopped on the street to admire my firstborn. As his massive smile captivated even the hardest heart.

He started walking. Made friends. Toddled off to school in his red uniform. Played with his Lego. Joined a football team.


It was a close-knit community. A place where somebody knows everybody. Where secrets get hung out to dry. Where old ladies hand out ice cream and old men tell tales of mining and war and Saturday afternoon films in the Workman’s Hall.

Our son had neighbours who made him Welsh cakes. Friends who gave him clothes and toys. Aunties who spoiled him at Christmas.

It takes a whole village to raise a child.

Our son grew tall. Found his feet and found his voice.

Some people choose to go overseas into missions; I didn’t have a choice. I was forced.

Sometimes the best decision is the hardest one to make.


P1020947We drove to a holiday cottage in the Wye Valley, took a long weekend break, and sliced our hearts open. Surrounded by hills and ancient relics and The Devil’s Pulpit, we laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed.

We grieved for the lost places of the past. We dreamed of what could be. Most of all, we gave the tall one a choice.

There are two gifts we should give to our children: one is roots and the other is wings.

In giving them wings, they discover their roots. In letting them go, we welcome them back.

And sometimes in giving them a choice, we release them to be who they always were.

Sometimes the best decision is the hardest one to make.

rooftops (1 of 1).jpg

So we packed up and moved. From the village to the city. From the comfortable to the unknown. From the secure to the uncertain. From a home to a house.

Last month the tall one stood in front of a room full of US church leaders, family, and friends and with his blended accent told stories of dreams and visions, of plans and faltering steps, of faith and a future where he is helping others to find their feet and find their voice.

Sometimes the best decision is the hardest one to make.



Stumbling into History

I was that tourist wandering down Fifth Avenue. The one who walks around looking upward instead of where she is going. The one with the camera swinging around the neck. The one who stops in the middle of the street in front of you. The one you want to avoid.

I was that tourist we all hate.

The one staring at the map on her phone, not really knowing where she is going.

I heard the cacophony of voices first but couldn’t understand what they were saying. As the placards came into view, the chant finally registered its staccato beat: Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.


I was window shopping, when I stumbled into history.

A protest march. A crowd of angry Americans. A people trying to give voice to their views. It was two days after the Charlottesville riots. I was two blocks from Trump Tower. And I was scared.

Because too often seething anger escalates to violence. I know. I’ve been that person.

Lashing out in anger. Using words that hurt or kill. Hitting people with insults.

Often ignorant to how my actions affect others.


Herding my family away from the crowds, we walked west on 54th Street and found a juice bar next to the LOVE sculpture, where we cwtched in a corner and nursed our smoothies and iced coffees, secluded from the angry world.

Within minutes the chaos found us again. Trucks arrived bringing more metal barricades. Police blocked off the side street outside the bar. The large windows no longer held back the seething wave of fury.

It was time to leave. We left the juice bar and found ourselves walking straight into the face of protest. Thousands of people marched directly towards us, surrounding the LOVE sculpture where seconds before couples had posed for posterity’s sake. Signs bore mixed messages: Lock Him Up. Health Care For All. Yes Peace, Yes Love. Trump and Pence Must Go. Refuse Fascism. Are We Great Again Yet?



Avoidance is rarely ever the best tactic. It only delays the inevitable. The lid will always fly off the pressure cooker if the steam is not regulated or released properly.

Only hours before I’d stumbled across my own history.

Raising my voice. Losing my temper. Lashing out. Shouting at the middle one when she was rabbiting on about my failure to keep the Metro card pristine. How I shouldn’t have kept it in my pocket. Shouldn’t have let the swipe bar get dented. Shouldn’t have lost the twenty-two dollars that were still on the card.

She was right. It was my fault.

But I didn’t want to hear it. Didn’t want to be reminded of my failures.

So the steam built up. The lid blew off. And we all got burned.

Our actions and words always affect others. The positive ones build up. The negative ones destroy.



Why are we so slow to learn from our mistakes? Why are we repeating history when there is no need? Why are we paying for our failures again and again?


that the ultimate price was paid once, for all

that grace knows no limits
except the ones we place there ourselves

that today can either be yesterday’s mistakes or tomorrow’s hope.

Later, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge under the black night, Manhattan’s bright lights behind us we learned the reason behind the demonstrations. Heard the helicopters approaching. Saw President Trump land in Lower Manhattan, his cavalcade of more than fifty cars and motorbikes flashing down an eerily quiet FDR Drive directly below our feet. Watched him head home to Trump Tower for the first time since his presidency started.

Standing on the bridge, looking back on where I’d come from, I attempted to capture the moment. Capture the light breaking into the darkness. Record for posterity sake a moment that my faltering mind would one day forget…


completely unaware until I flicked back through my photos sometime later that I was, once again, stumbling into history.