Autumn is my favorite season for several reasons. Mostly because it was my dad’s favorite, too. Not only was his birthday in September, but Hunting Season started then. He said he never remembered the correct date for his birthday because it always came in the middle of hunting season, and he was more excited about that.
So I became excited about hunting, too.
On those magical autumn mornings, we’d get up early and enter the woods before the squirrels started looking for their breakfast. We’d walk as quietly as we could, though acorns continually crunched under our feet. Twigs snagged our pants. Trouncing through the ground cover, the crisp morning air would wrap around my face. My boots would get soaked from the dew. Dad would lead us to a spot—a perfect spot—where we would wait for the squirrels.
That’s how it went—every time. Every magical and perfect time.
No talking. Hunters don’t talk. Instead, we bonded over milk-coffee (mostly milk in my case) and snack crackers or the occasional piece of candy. After all, hunters needed to keep up their strength up as they watched and waited for a good shot. Continue reading →
I remember spending hours collecting soda-pop bottles from alongside the road and returning them to the store for two cents apiece. It didn’t matter how long my friends and I were out. We’d be gone on our bikes for hours with one goal in mind: to stand in front of the general store counter and peer up to all the colors and wonders that were held in the clear glass jars. Continue reading →
I felt the clamminess of my palms as I rang her doorbell. She and I had been friends years ago, but the choices I had made now separated us. Would she entertain rekindling a relationship with me again?
I went to her house to tell her I was sorry for doing the things I had done—that I hoped she could forgive me for all my foolishness and sinful behavior. I wanted to tell her I realized I hadn’t taken into consideration how others would be affected by my actions. That I had made a real mess of things—my life. I wanted to say I was sorry.
I wanted to tell her there was good news! I had learned from my mistakes. I had turned the corner. I was on the way to becoming the person God intended me to be. I had hoped she’d be happy for me. I thought she’d celebrate a Prodigal Daughter finding her way back home.
Last Saturday I spoke to several groups of inner city women on the subject of forgiveness. Days before the event, I began spending time in prayer asking God to push me out of the way so His words could be heard. I thanked Him for such a great opportunity given to me.
When Saturday came, I was pleased to see the groups of ladies signed up for our session were small enough to allow the women to feel safe in sharing their stories. We visited subjects from drug abuse to children in prison. Our conversations went from dealing with abusers to moving on from self-loathing. All subjects were cloaked in the purpose of forgiveness. Continue reading →