It was my dear friend Aaron’s birthday and he had no idea what surprise was in store for him: My family and I were going to drive 12 hours and show up at his house unannounced (don’t worry, we planned it with his wife, Laura). The visit was a long time coming. Aaron and I hadn’t seen each other in person for three years. The long distance, expense and our growing families made it hard to do more than talk on the phone.
I have a brother and sister who died in a plane crash when they were 10 and 14 years old. Although I only have one memory of them, I definitely felt their absence growing up. I know my father did too.
I have a brother and sister who died in a plane crash when they were 10 and 14 years old. Although I only have one memory of them, I definitely felt their absence growing up. My father will tell you that he still does.
Seven years ago, I was having a conversation at a birthday party when I suddenly felt like I was in a dream. My voice felt far off, the room looked two-dimensional, and I couldn’t get my eyes to focus. Fifteen seconds later it stopped, but that episode was only the beginning. I started having a variety of other bizarre experiences. Sometimes it seemed like I was watching a scratched DVD — other times I would lose my words mid-sentence or forget how to type.
Last Sunday, I was standing at the back of the auditorium in our church, and all of a sudden during worship, I heard a loud commotion coming from somewhere nearby. I noticed it because the praise music is pretty loud, so whoever was making the noise was doing so at a high volume.
When I was in third grade, I had this dream I still remember. I was in a red-carpeted mansion with a wide staircase going up from the foyer. A beautiful woman was walking down the stairs in a white evening gown. She was my wife, and I loved her. Then I woke up.
The other day, someone asked me to name my favorite book other than the Bible. That’s impossible for me because I have seven books that meet that standard: the ones that make up C.S. Lewis’ children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia.
I’ve had some stressful rehearsals as a worship leader in my church, but last Sunday took the cake. While my wife and I were on the stage practicing with the band, my daughters were running around the sanctuary pretending they were queens in Narnia. I noticed they were up in the balcony at one point, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. But then over the sound of the music, I thought I heard someone screaming.
The other day, I let my three-year-old daughter ride her scooter on the sidewalk in front of our house, despite my irrational fear of her suddenly being kidnapped by a random psychopath. I wasn’t especially worried about it because I was landscaping just a few feet away. Occasionally, I looked down the slope from our house to make sure she wasn’t going too far down the sidewalk.
My mother did not expect to miscarry her first child. She was young and healthy and four months pregnant. She was too far along to miscarry. Yet in the early hours of a December morning, she began experiencing severe pain in her abdomen. It was happening.
Last night, my wife and I came home and discovered that the pipes in our kitchen were frozen. For those of you who have experience with this sort of thing, you realize this is not a small problem.
Tonight, I was on my way upstairs to go to bed when I noticed a little army of ponies, dollhouse family members, and plastic toy accessories lined along the bottom step. One of my little girls had placed them there very deliberately, so I decided to leave them, rather than clean them up.
I used to be convinced I was going to spend the rest of my life in Venezuela. I had a number of friends there, I loved the culture, and the gorgeous Venezuelan ladies treated me like a celebrity when I visited during my junior year of college. So when I got back from my visit, I spent an inordinate amount of time talking about my plans for moving. And my poor mother was one of the main victims of my endless diatribes about the new life I thought I wanted.
One time I agreed to go tubing down a river with a bunch of friends, thinking it would be something akin to whitewater rafting. It wasn’t. We basically just sat in inner-tubes for several hours and took a slow-moving ride down a shallow river. It sounds easy enough, and generally it is, but the hard part is keeping up with all your friends.
A significantly modified version of this post appeared at the Boundless Blog. You can find that here. (I like them both.) I was sitting in the church service when I heard the preacher say something that made me cringe: “If you can’t remember the day you gave your heart to Jesus, then you probably never were saved in the first place.”