Tuesday, June 30

"there is a River
that flows from Calvary....
there is a River that never
shall run dry...." old hymn

flow, River, flow.
our hearts are parched.
dried of compassion and love.
our vision is so narrow.
our thinking so small.
our fears like giants, taunting
us. and rage seeping out, and
mixing with our fake bravado.
crushing all the beauty.
shattering who we are for God.

my youngest son came home
for the week-end. my oldest, still
in college, here, too. they rented
the movie GRAN TARINO. clint eastwood.
get it. watch it.

clint is this bitter, old guy.
wife just died. spoiled, adult
children. his house gradually
surrounded by hmong families.
gang violence. he is hostile.
doesn't like anyone. annoyed
by all. loves only his dog.

his wife, before she died, made
the young, irish priest promise that
he would get her husband to confession
before he died. impossible challenge one.

it is subtle. the story line.
brick upon brick. ultimately, this old
guy cannot help himself. the love of
two hmong teenagers (brother/sister)begins
to crack eastwood's brittle exterior.

he feels more loved by his hmong neighbors
than his own, superficial, disrespecting adult
children. a hmong gang takes on this brother/
sister team. it fires eastwood up. he tackles
it first with violence. beats a gang member
brutally. pulls out his gun. his mind travels
back to vietnam, and the scourge of soul
when he had to kill.

without divulging
the brilliant evolvement
of love, let me just say "dirty harry"
was able, again, to produce a great
movie. though no spiritual thread was
woven into the story, it brought me back
to love.

"to write the love
of God above, would drain
the ocean dry. nor could the
scroll contain the whole...though
stretched from sky to sky." hymn

one of my children from boston...
a boy i utterly loved from the ghetto.
went with me and 11 other children
as my guests to israel to run my very
first marathon..found me on facebook.
from nine and ten years of age to now
42 yrs.. married with two children.

his mother was a woman who worked
in my neighborhood. someone i led
to Jesus. she, too, found me on facebook.
devout Christian. connected again after at
least 25 years ago. River flow. River flow.

a couple has been moving in
next door today. 107degrees.
it is 9:30p.m., and it hits me that
maybe they need taylor, my son, to
help. and me. i tear off my night-gown.
pull on shorts and teeshirt.
run next door and knock. they are basically
done for today. but we meet. and i had only
been home minutes when the knock comes
to my front door. the washing machine.
help? please? taylor runs over. they get
the job done. a new bridge built.

love transforms us.
takes the hardness and coldness
out of our hearts, and washes the rigidity
and sarcasm with purity. changes our
world view.

River come.
oh, River, come.
in the glistening waters
of your Blood, wash over

sir, can i help you?
hey, kid, you want to play catch?
oh, what beautiful eyes you have.

spontaneous moments.
unheralded. authentic.
Jesus' Blood. our River.

oh, River, drench our desolation.
wash us. that your love, in us,
will change the world.


  1. I love that old hymn. I like the "river flow" theme through out this entry. I think you would enjoy the book "one thousand gifts" by ann voskamp. blessings on your day.

  2. i laughed and wept my way through Gran Tarino. i agree, the climax does so wonderfully illustrate love. Could i do the same for a friend or a neighbour? My courage is not that great but Jesus showed us we need to lay down our life for others.