Tuesday, June 8

it was thursday.
my oldest son, home
from college for the summer.

we headed for the gym.
all my children and i love
the deliverance that a good
workout brings. taylor to the
weight room. i, to the cardio

it was a day that put a fist
in my stomach. two miles,
and i headed toward the women's
locker area. 10p.m. barely making
it to the bathroom in time
to lose every piece of food in me.
hoping no one was there, too. listening
to my sickness.

stumbling to a sink.
cold water on my face.
when looking into the mirror,
i saw this beautiful, hispanic woman.
cleaning. a crease between her eyes.

you, okay?
her two english words.

i threw my arms around her neck.
buried my hot, wet face into her
shoulder. two women. miles and
miles apart; yet, at this exact moment,
we were bound by love. a force so powerful.
stretched across eternity by the God of
the universe.

pushing myself away from her.
what do i smell and look like?
her face warmed by kindness
and concern.

oh! love of God.
beautiful. amazing. enduring.
bound by pure, untarnished sacrifice.
the Cross. Redemption.

sing, Jesus, sing.
wipe away the darkness and
corruption. until our boundaries
are erased. and music resounds
to the breadth and magnitude of
God's passion.

i was done for the night.
sitting in the downstair's
area of the gym lobby.
beat. demolished. empty
of all pride. my feet no longer
resounding the torch of rhythm.

i see the same hispanic
woman. straightening chairs.
she looks up, and sees me.
her face breaks the universe
with love pulsing from her.

i return the smile. she,
motionless, and i.
miles and pain and
corruption all around us...
but cleansed.

two women.
apart. but bonded...with
powerful oneness. all because
of Jesus. His glory. His

"For I am convinced that neither
death nor life,
neither angels or demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

~Romans 8:38-39


  1. "And I am with you always, even to the end of the world." Our Jesus, the One and Only, the One who has never failed us yet! Can you remember back to 1971 and a young woman in the Young Professionals Class at First Church in Long Beach? You were my friend. It's Pam Houston, and you were at Carl and my marriage in Bob and Loretta's home, May 1, 1971. 39 years later, and we are still married. A miracle of God's grace. Our only son, a married man with 3 beautiful little girls..our "grands"! Has it been easy? No! Has it been worth it? Yes! Has the LORD ever failed us? No! Not one time....Have we failed Him? Yes. Over and over and over again. Yet, still we come in faith, in repentance and in belief, that He can renew, rebuild and repair, even broken hearts. I've watched you from afar, and never let up in prayer...and I'm proud of you in the LORD, just as I was when we were young and so full of hope. You used to sign your notes to me, "bright hope"...(never using capitals). I do have a little story to tell you...do you remember Randy and Cydney Cloud? Well, Cyd and I were roomates when she and Randy were courting and Carl and I were courting. We went opposite ways across the country, but never failed to send our greetings and newsy letters each Christmas. God brought us together again this year, the anniversary of both our 39th years of marriage! (They were married just 6 weeks after us in "Big Church".) Carl and I have served faithfully in the lay ministry all these years in Baptist life, and Randy and Cyd in Pastorate in the Nazarene Denominaton. We are now retired, and live in Buena Park,CA not far from 1st church. Pastor Cloud and Cyd pastor in Palm Springs. This summer we will meet them in South Dakota to help them with electrical wiring for their retirement home! They hope to be able to retire in 3 years...

    I want you to know your life, your words, your heart has never failed to lift and inspire, to love and encourage. REally....words say so little when hearts means so much. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being who you are and allowing God to be who He is, magnificent and yet unfathomable, light years beyond us, yet closer than the air we breathe.
    I love you in Him, and I continue to cheer you on....run the race, dear Ann, run the race.
    Pam Houston ><>
    Proverbs 3:4-5

  2. "all my children and i love
    the deliverance that a good
    workout brings." : )

    "sing, Jesus, sing.
    wipe away the darkness and
    corruption. until our boundaries
    are erased. and music resounds
    to the breadth and magnitude of
    God's passion."

    ~Romans 8:38-39