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CatoUmbrellaJune2020One afternoon last week, Cato puppy and I headed to the mailbox. Freya dog loves to run in the woods but doesn’t enjoy walking on the road—perhaps the gravel hurts her paw pads. And these days, Heathcliff dog is too old and arthritic to make the trip. So, it was just Cato and me.

Sometimes I forget the umbrella or, rather than carry the extra weight, take a chance that storm clouds will pass or the rain will wait until we return home. Sometimes the gamble pays off. Sometimes we get a little wet.

My neighbors question my sanity, as if I don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. But walking in gentle rains and foggy mists makes good sense to me. While Cato watches for squirrels and deer, I open myself to the sound of raindrops, the loamy scent of the forest, the sight of vegetation glistening wet, and the cool moisture caressing my cheek.

How like our Heavenly Father to shower us with the beauty of His creation.



BethanyFathersDay2020Yesterday was Father’s Day. The 21st of June is also our son Alex’s birthday, the first day of summer, and the anniversary of my father’s death. As I sat in church yesterday morning, looking at the Happy Father’s Day graphic on the screen and listening to Pastor’s message, I thought about these four landmarks in life: a father celebrating the birth of his son, a father’s death, our Father’s creation of the summer solstice, this year falling on the day we celebrate fathers.

Some of us have close relationships with our earthly fathers, Pastor said. He certainly does with his. But some of us have difficult relationships or grow up without fathers. I thought about what Leslie Leyland Fields wrote about her “worthless” father—not her word for him but what he called himself. If you have a few minutes, click the link below (or copy/paste the link into your browser) and listen to her voiced recording on Our American Stories: http://www.ouramericannetwork.org/story?title=Forgiving-My-Worthless-Father-Father-s-Day&fbclid=IwAR1wzGVfYtCAsrV_GcnEqhGt73vPTr8VULWrnNp0sCQ7d69XKumNay76jCA

It’s a beautiful reflection about how love can change our hearts.

How like our Heavenly Father to shower us with His grace.


Before leaving for the mailbox, I always tell Keith where I’m going. If it’s raining or threatening, I add, “Come get us if there’s a downpour.” I know he’ll jump in the car and rescue us if need be.

Keith is not the Father or my father, and I cannot control the rain. But by opening our hearts, we can receive God’s love. And, regardless of how challenging the circumstances might have been or might yet be, we can forgive.

How like our Heavenly Father to shower us with His mercy.