The told story is not the whole story. We tend to grasp onto moments as the whole. In a culture obsessed with tiny tweets and shiny surfaces, it's easier to outrage or comfort ourselves with sound bytes that echo the thoughts between our ears, daily dulling our curiosity. We take the smallest sliver for the encompassing everything. But look closer. Deeper. Longer. What you see or hear or read is never the whole story. We hear this exhortation to empathy often now, in our dealings with loved ones and strangers alike. To remember that so much hides below the surface, that you never know the depths of another's struggles. But every story holds this same mystery. Take one small line from Scripture. Did you ever notice that Mary and Elizabeth spent a whole trimester together? The Visitation was not a mere afternoon or a split second of joy. It lasted three long months. Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. (Luke 1:56) A single … [Read more...] about the whole story
"Here is your ice cream cone," he declares. Satisfied and soapy, he hands me a cup full of bubbles. He eyes me intently, underneath wet curls. "What flavor is it?" I know to ask. The joy sparks: she sees it, too! "It is chocolate-ish strawberry vanilla. It is served in a cone and a dish." "You are KIDDING," I gape. "That is my favorite flavor in the world." I slurp and snarf, devour the whole airy nothing in front of his damp beaming face, which dazzles into delight. "Ah-ha!" he shrieks, splashing. "Yes! We will make some more." He is three years old. He knows what adults have forgotten. Make-believe and truth are both sides of imagination's coin. Creation is our work of everyday. Here we are at bathtime. The Spirit still hovers over the water. Faucets are waterfalls, bubbles are beards, cups splash with soup, anything becomes a boat. Too often adults are mere spectators, flimsy facsimiles of what it means to witness. Distracted by phones, anxious … [Read more...] about childhood & creation: this sacred everyday
As newly bereaved parents, we hear this all the time. I can't imagine what you're going through. I can't imagine what you're feeling. I can't imagine what this is like. I can't imagine. I understand this sentiment completely. People want to be respectful of the terrible loss we have experienced. They don't want to assume that they know how it feels. They want to tell us that they see the depth of our pain and they respect the tragedy we have experienced. But as a writer who relies on imagination daily, I want to tell them - and you - that there is an important clarification to be made here. You can imagine how we are feeling. What you mean is that you can only imagine. (And that you may not want to imagine.) The difference between these statements matters deeply. . . . The gift of imagination is one of the most powerful tools we have in our relationships. It is a fundamental part of what makes us human. Our minds can move from the present here and now … [Read more...] about you can imagine. let me help you.