Dancer posing in ornate gown

(A Truth Story…)

“Why won’t God just let me die!?” she asked in pained exasperation.

“Because He’s still waiting for you to get saved!” I retorted.

There you have it.  Now you know the kind of stuff Aunt Ruth and I used to talk about.

Aunt Ruth was neither my aunt, nor was she named “Ruth.” I named her that, and was the only person to ever use it. But she seemed to love it. And beneath her crusty exterior and sharp tongue she loved me. Except, of course, for the times she was laughing hysterically at me.  Or trying to teach me one of her “mysteries,” as she called them.  Then she was just being cruel.

Aunt Ruth was wise.  I’ve never had a relationship with anybody quite like her. We could talk about just about anything; that was rare for me in those days. I was a young pastor with an image to create and maintain. Aunt Ruth cut through all that like Sherman through Georgia. [click to continue…]


Years ago Ken Medema told the story of an experience he had at a youth function in Atlanta.  He had been invited to play for a youth party after church one night, and he entertained the kids with some of his old 50s love songs.  After his part was over, somebody fired up the record player (yes, record player) and started playing some other music, and these church kids started to dance.

Ken remained off to the side; he had been raised in a home that forbade dancing.

Soon, however, what he called “this wallflower of a girl” approached him shyly and asked, “Would you like to dance?”

I should mention at this point that Ken is completely blind.  He was horrified at the thought of being laughed out of the room for trying something so completely risky and foreign to him, and he tried to beg off.

But Miss Wallflower wasn’t taking no for an answer.  [click to continue…]


i-cant-danceI want to let you in on a poorly-kept secret.  I can’t dance.

There.  Now somebody besides, well, everybody who knows me is aware.

It’s a disappointment to my ballroom-longing wife.  It was a “you-can-get-over-it” point of conversation to my daughter when she planned her wedding reception.  I knew I couldn’t, but tried.  She insisted I would, and was grateful for the moment.  My tuxedo pants nearly fell off, and given the way the dance was going, that would have been a relief.

That said, good dancers fascinate me.  The skill.  The agility.  The confidence.  The creativity.  But dancing is one of those skills I have relegated to the pile items left off my blueprints.

There are others.  [click to continue…]