The Flooding

Take an empty glass. Set it in the sink, under the tap. Now turn on the water.  No matter how much you open the spigot, the glass will eventually brim over. Leave the water running and plug the drain. What will happen? The sink will begin to fill from the overflow. If left long enough, the level of water will exceed the …

The Field Trip

There is something enchanting about getting out of the classroom and onto the streets, no matter your age. Even as an adult, I welcomed a break from reading characters and learning sentence patterns. Living internationally for 30 days had raised plenty of questions, and Rebecca’s field trips proved magical.  Whenever we were together, I peppered my Taiwanese guide with cultural …

The Darkroom

Darkness welcomed me as I walked through the door. Pausing to allow my eyes to adjust to the red low-wattage glow, I smiled, anticipating the day. Although working in the darkroom sometimes meant no light at all, I liked the discoveries I knew lay ahead. Chemicals, wash, paper—all were light-sensitive but the best images resulted from the dark. The room was a …

The Treehouse

Book-satchel in tow, I scrambled off the dusty, yellow school bus onto where the farm-to-market road comes to a “T.” Finally home, I was glad to leave the hand-clapping game in the front of the bus and the loud kissing in the back. My second-grade stomach grumbled loudly, anticipating the brownies my mother promised to bake. As I rounded the …

Finding Courage for the Day

The first time I saw it was in 1980. Stamped with a singular Chinese character, I recognized its meaning from the triangular yellow sign. “Yield,” I said aloud, pleased with my first translation of the ten-week trip. Eight years later, I found this same character on a page in my language school textbook. “讓 (ràng) — to let, allow, offer, or permit,” the author …

Your Pilot Light of Prayer

Before time existed, the Fire burned. This blazing Fire ignites character, consuming one and sparking another into a warm glow. Those that stand the test of fire kindle into a pinpoint of light to shine within darkness. They themselves are not the Fire but re-present the Flame, like an ever-ready pilot light. You are that pilot light. Small but unquenchable, …

Waiting for your ‘Until’

God doesn’t always say what I want to hear. He often begins our dialog with the state of my heart rather than the solution to my problem. The Joseph of multi-colored-coat fame knew this well. When recounting Joseph’s life, the Psalmist points out, “Until the time that His Word came to pass, the Word of the Lord tested him ” (Psalm 105:19). Tested him? Yes, …

Bonbons from Heaven

The height and depth and breadth of parables happen around us all the time. But sometimes, you must wait a lifetime to realize the significance of the moment. Kernels of truth dropped in mundane soil will bear fruit only when given space in your memory. My parable starts with a sticky preschooler I knew well and was trying to raise …

Going Metron

The bakery started as a small hole-in-the-wall, hidden behind a single glass door along a narrow Taiwanese alley. This mom-and-pop shop smelled of freshly baked bread the moment you opened the door. Joint-owned by a Kiwi chef and his Chinese wife, Chef Dereke named it Finga’s, for everything within was handmade. In time, Dereke and his wife Lily were no …