Sunday, May 3, 2009


my life is a collection
of paper

bits of time stopped
with ink

glued in books

memory remnants
placed on shelves

a Good meal

shared music
the crescent moon

dancing with Elvis

yellow labels marked
forward my mail

and life goes on

Last week we left Joshua in a parking lot with a group of fellow Marines. Someone handed him a laptop. "Here," he said. "They want you to take this." He had to re-arrange an already full backpack. A woman approached us. "Hi, I'm so-and-so, with Family Care. There are cookies and coffee in that room over there." In a few hours Josh would board a truck, then a plane. The day had been good. We ate good food together, we toured the base, saw Joshua's office, we bowled (mine was the high score of 138, shocking everyone), we roller skated (I only fell once), we had coffee at Barnes and Noble, we ate again. And, the day ended in a parking lot, on a Marine base. I looked at Joshua, now a man. Time is a strange thing. The little boy was gone, but the memories...I remember one beautiful day, Joshua was 7, or 8. We were walking the sewer canal in Memphis. After crossing under Poplar Avenue, we walked through Overton Park for, maybe fifteen minutes. It must have seemed longer to Josh. When we arrived at one of the bridges that cross the canal, we looked up to see a young, oriental couple. They were speaking in their native language. Joshua exclaimed, "Whoa, we walked all the way to China!" That was a good day.
I am praying, daily, Psalm 91 over Joshua. It is a Psalm that, for centuries, soldiers and prisoners have prayed. Yesterday Robin McMillan, one of our pastors, had a message from Psalm 91. He drew our attention to the 4 names of God in verses one and two- Elyon, Shaddai, Yahweh, and Elohim- glimpses of attributes that remind me that the God I serve cannot be contained within language, space or time. And He loves me.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the LORD, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down. "Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation."


  1. That has been one of my favorite psalms for many years. It now has new meaning for me as I remember your son in prayer. Joshua, what a powerful name for a marine. The Lord will be his strength.

  2. Who would have guessed? A Marine.

  3. Who would have guessed? A Marine. Farther than China.