Friday, October 5, 2018


                 Can I Share the Love of God?

How does God do it? How can he make me feel so cherished and loved and still have enough to make every other child of his feel loved exclusively, too?

Artist Caitlin Connolly
Love One Another, Even As I Have Loved You

That must be the way it is.

 If I don't love you then it is harder to feel his love, right?
Love grows when it is shared.
I doubt God's love when I am miserly. How can He love me when I clutch his love tight to my chest and bury it deep within me? 
I feel it so much more when I turn outward towards you and extend my hand. 
When I show love I feel it radiate out of me and fill the space around me and even more, I feel it move towards every other human being. 

Give said the little stream.
Give oh give
Give oh give.
Give said the little stream, as it hurried down the hill. I'm small I know but wherever I go the grass grows greener still.
William Bradbury and Fanny Crosby

Friday, September 28, 2018


Neither man nor woman is perfect or complete without the other. Thus, no marriage or family, no ward or stake is likely to reach its full potential until husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, men and women work together in unity of purpose, respecting and relying upon each other's strengths. 
Sheri L. Dew

You may never have seen this couple before. Their visit to Seattle was not given any press time. Even though 49,000 people came to hear them speak and the streets of the city were lined with families leaving the baseball stadium after their addresses. 

I loved what they said but I will always remember their reliance and respect for one another. Together they have reached a new potential. Individually he was a renowned open heart surgeon, husband and father, and she was an author and family therapist. Now together they teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to people all over the world. He is the prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are servants of the Lord. And together they are magnificent. FYI, he is ninety four years young and did not even hold on to the railing as he came up to the podium. 

The Lord will provide and sustain.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Chapter 4- the Gymnopédist

I came very young into a world that was very old.
     Erik Satie

When Mrs. Hanson introduced Miguel to the composer Erik Satie he found a kindred spirit. Very eccentric with odd tastes, Satie was even called a complete lunatic by some music critics. Miguel memorized all three Gymnopédies and loved the dance like qualities of these pieces. He visualized Satie walking a wire wearing his chestnut colored corduroy suit with matching hat carrying an umbrella, the first Gymnopédie playing in the background.

Reggie walked out of the house behind Stevie. He stepped over the cracks in the cement sidewalk. The street was quiet but it felt to him that they were being observed. He glanced over to the neighbors house. Several rusty vehicles were parked in the driveway. One had a flat tire and the other was missing a front bumper. A flash of red in the window looked like a woman. As he squinted to get a clearer view the blinds dropped shut. 
Stevie got into the passenger side. Reggie fumbled into his pocket to see if he had keys. Stevie drove them to Rosa’s house but something was bothering her and now she was not going to drive. He opened the door and moved into the driver’s seat. 
“Can I have the keys?” Reggie asked.
Stevie pulled them out of her pants pocket. 
“I think we need to go back to the Highland police station and report on what we’ve done.”   Reggie said.
Stevie was still quiet and he glanced over at her. She was staring straight ahead. 
“What’s up?” He said putting the keys into the ignition but not turning the car on.
He waited but still Stevie refused to talk. 
“Okay, I don’t know what you thought you were doing in there but I need to tell you that we missed a real opportunity to gather information. When Detective Mullins finds out that the older brother Pablo Cervantes was there with his mother he will want to know what we found out when we questioned him. Stevie, why didn’t we question him? He obviously knew more about his brother.”
“I wasn’t there to do an interrogation. I was there to give the news of a son’s death to a mother who works in my home. Sometimes she picks up my underwear on the floor of my room, for God’s sake.” Stevie’s voice shook with emotion.
“At what point do you lose your objectivity and forget you are an officer of the law?” Reggie adjusted his position in the seat and moved the seat backwards.
“Perhaps it is when I realize that the murdered boy sits at my piano while my mother gives him piano lessons. My God, Reggie, I can’t be dispassionate about this.” 
A single tear rolled down Stevie’s face and Reggie watched her brush it away. He didn’t know what to do. He wondered if this would play out to bite him in the butt. He started the car and headed towards the Highland police station.

The detectives were gathered around Bart Mullins when Reggie and Stevie walked in.
“The Seattle elite are back.” The sniggering was expected but still bothered Reggie. 
“So what did you find out from the family when you delivered the news?” A burly, roundish detective asked from his desk. The name on his desk indicated that he was Roger Simmons. Reggie remembered him from the crime scene earlier. 
“We talked to a devastated mother who had no idea her son was wire walking in his spare time. The older son Pablo knew he was out early that morning with Jorge but claimed ignorance as to the where abouts of the boys.” Stevie spoke clearly and distinctly to Roger Simmons. 
“So what else did you find out when you questioned Pablo Cervantes?” Stevie turned to Bart Mullins when he asked the question.
“We were there to deliver a death notice, Detective Mullins. It felt inappropriate to question her son.” Stevie did not break eye contact with Mullins. Reggie felt the hair on his neck rise up. Here it comes, he thought. 
Mullins moved around his desk and came to stand in front of Stevie. 
“You were in the home of a Cervantes gang member, a higher up bastard I might add, and you did not interrogate him?” Mullins was so close to Stevie’s face that Reggie saw spittle land on her face. She did not flinch.
“I volunteered to deliver the death notice sir. And that is what we did.”
Mullins moved away from Stevie and turned to his detectives. 
“They call themselves detectives, boys. What are we going to do with these Seattle amateurs? Simmons, tell us what the investigation team found out about the cut wire.”
He sat down pompously at his desk and looked expectantly at his detective.
Simmons rose causing his chair to tip over. He grabbed for an armrest and righted the chair before it tumbled to the ground. He moved to the front of the room. Reggie smiled, secretly thinking that there were signs of amateurs amongst Mullins own team.
Fumbling with a remote, Simmons projected a picture of the wire found at the crime scene onto a screen at the front of the room. It was magnified two hundred percent and Reggie studied the unraveled wire.
“This wire had three lengths of twisted steel wrapped around each other. You’ll notice the inner wire looks like a straight cut while the other two wires look frayed. They couldn’t hold together once the inner wire was separated.”
“So what are you inferring?” Reggie spoke without thought.
Simmons glance over at Mullins and then looked at Reggie carefully. 
“I’m guessing the wire was cut before the boy took it up the tower. When he stepped out onto the wire with his full weight it came undone and he lost his balance and fell to his death.”
Reggie cut him off before he could say anything else. “And you said the frayed wire was on the south tower where the Cervantes kid started his walk?”
Simmons looked unsure. “Well, yes, that is what a crime scene investigator reported.”
“Then why the hell are you holding Jorge Gonzales here?” Stevie turned toward Mullins sitting smugly at his desk. 
Mullins stood and addressed Stevie. “Because, Miss, he is likely the one that cut the wire.”
“And he has admitted to that?” Reggie’s hand went out to touch Stevie. He wanted to reel her in. 
“A gang boy is never going to admit to a murder. We will have evidence soon enough.” Mullins sneered at Stevie.
“So, you are holding him without evidence. Is that right?” 
Stevie was face to face with Mullins again. Reggie couldn’t understand her desire to alienate them. What would it serve to have these detectives hate them more?
“Look, little lady, I don’t know what the law says up in the big city but around here I can hold him for forty-eight hours without cause. It doesn’t matter if he ends up being the perpetrator or the witness.” Mullins was just a hair shorter than Stevie but he spread his chest to gain a little extra height.
“I want to interview Jorge.” Stevie spoke defiantly.
Reggie stepped up alongside Stevie and asked, “May we talk to Jorge Gonzales, please sir?” He emphasized the ‘please’ and hoped he could diffuse the tension Stevie had caused. 
Mullins turned his back on Reggie and Stevie. He looked at his detectives. Reggie could see by their faces that he was giving them a sneering smile.
He did not turn around. “Knock yourself out. We will be watching on the monitors.”

Back To Chapter Index

Friday, September 21, 2018


Complete Is Not The Same as Finished

I am intentional about watching sunrises. I drive to a looking place just minutes from my home and I wait. Each minute something changes. The clouds affect the colors, the water catches reflections of light, the birds move and take flight suddenly, and the sound of the waves make a soothing rhythm. When the sun comes over the horizon the sunrise is not finished but it is complete.

That cycle is complete. And so it us for us a children of God. We are never finished but we are complete, whole, when His grace allows us another day. I imagine what our earth looks like as it rotates around the sun. Half the time in darkness and then that return to the exposure of the sun. In German that return is called Umkehr. I picked that word to walk with me through 2018. I am always comforted by the sunrise and the return of day.

Friday, September 14, 2018


In quiet moments when you think about it, you recognize what is critically important in life and what isn't. Be wise and don't let good things crowd out those that are essential. 

Richard G. Scott

What is essential?

Loving freely those in front of me is essential. 

I worry about fixing past mistakes and somehow finding the magic words to make right all that has gone wrong. 
That is not my job.
I can do right in this moment, say kindness about today, listen with my whole heart.

The Savior of my soul can go back in time and fix the ruts in my road. He can console those I have hurt and bring joy to their lives. He can speak peace to their hearts and help me show up when it is time to ask their forgiveness. 

I just need to be sure that I hear Him calling so I don't let the good crowd out the essential.

Friday, September 7, 2018


                      The Earth Is Parched
   No matter how wealthy you are around here, watering your lawn is not kosher. In a climate of healthy rainfall when it is summer and the rains stop, we don't water. 

  Another season is coming and even little children are heard saying, "I wish it would rain." And it will. But because we are fickle human beings we will soon be saying, "It has rained continually for a week. When will it stop?"
   The children of Israel get a bad rap for being fickle. I'm sure after the 25th day of manna from heaven I might say that the meat we had in Egypt would sure be good today. I makes me sad to think that the bondage would be forgotten in a moment of wanting something new. Tomorrow the rain is forecast and I will be hanging out the window to smell the fresh earth drinking, to hear the drops rebounding off the dry earth, and to see the green push out of the brown.
   Remember, remember how it once was.

Friday, August 31, 2018


Sometimes You Are Forced To Go Slow

For one month I've been forced to go slow, very slow. Sitting on the couch and looking out the window is becoming very tedious. Rushing is impossible. I am physically limited for a time.

  I'm learning that the natural world is actually very slow. Slow but steady. The rising sun can take forever to come over a mountain. The intensity, once it is over the hill, can be blinding so the slow warm up makes an important contrast. It teaches me to see and feel the process and appreciate the moment of rising.
  Very soon I will be back into the rush. Initially I will love moving quicker and I'm sure I will feel empowered by getting back to normal. But, I hope I remember the long slow days. I had time to figure a few things out.