Encountering Grace

Brian’s Story: seeking peace in a losing battle

A woman with an open, engaging smile and a splendid brown hat comes toward me, holding out her hand in greeting. I’m meeting Lisa for the first time; she’s come to tell me the story of Brian, her beloved, adopted child. We’ve chosen to meet in the library on a blustery Sunday afternoon in July, and settle on a small, quiet room on the second floor with a window facing west. The sky is uncharacteristically overcast and a green-leaved canopy outside our window moves with the wind. Intermittent lightning and splashes of raindrops join in at will, but our spot is protected and cozy – a safe place to unravel a lamentable tale of heartbreak. We sit adjacent to each other and as Lisa starts to coll

Light will appear . . . and then Grace smiles

My heart is doing a little happy dance right now because I can finally delight in the beauty of light gleaming above the vast expanse of a cloud bank. My second book, … and then Grace smiles, is getting closer to its final period. I cannot end this work, however, without talking about, and to my son, Matthew, who has been with me throughout its conception and creation. Because of his presence in my life, I feel more prepared to offer the hope of Grace to other grieving hearts. Before my son died, I sent him Tim Hansel’s book, You Gotta Keep Dancin’. I thought the writer’s journey with chronic pain would somehow speak to Matt, perhaps lead him to reflect on commonalities and differences betw

Missing pieces of a heart

It’s a beautiful summer Sunday. Green lawn, lacy green leaves, and a cozy front porch, fronted by white, picket fencing and decorated with two white, wooden rockers, all welcome me to Shelbie’s home. A rabbit in the side yard wiggles a hello as I move past, heading up the walk toward her front door. I’ve found a family neighborhood – quiet, friendly, with smiling neighbors and yards full of color, trees and plants. And though I’m surrounded by a tranquil scene, I remind myself that I’m visiting a family who has been, and still is, living with heartache. Shelbie opens the door after my quick knock and I’m treated to her lovely smile and an invitation into her home. After we exchange greetings

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