Old habits dying hard

Four years ago tonight, I was sitting in the hospital awaiting the arrival of this little man.

Things have changed.
Just a few moments after he was born I wrote this:

This circle.

This huge arc that seemed to trail on into the forever of the horizon.

It is closing as you sleep in this hospital bed while I watch.


That circle continues to tighten and I can hear Johnny Cash singing “Will the circle be unbroken?” in the bar room of my mind. I do not know how tightly the years will have it spin, but I am giving legs to the conviction that I need to nurture it, and here and out loud is where it needs to be.

I’ve reinvented my online space several times over the years, and I have for the most part in recent days found the most solace within the pages of journals and with a pen in my hand. But the tide is changing a bit, and for the time being there are some things that I’d like to say out loud.

Tonight it’s simply, “Happy Birthday little man, you teach me daily what it really means to be alive.”

Stolen Poem

Stolen from Linford Detweiler, whose pen always seems to write what could have been mine.


I have to leave the city now, she said,
Or dash my soul against my will instead.

I do not wish to have the quiet part of me
That once could rest (the part
That could just be) tossed
Aside and left somewhere
For dead.

Tonight it seems to me
That what some friends call energy
Is nothing more than a phenomenon of nature known as
“Incurable Whirling Disease.”

Please, take me far from here, she said,
The buildings sting and echo
With the fumy cries of yellowjacket cars.

I took her hand in mine and said,
I’m thinking of a place now
Where I used to have to tell myself
Those are not clouds,
They’re stars.

Copyright 2007, Linford Detweiler


I am not a fatalist. I do not believe in a chess playing Creator and, contrary to so much pop-theology,  I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that brokenness and separation are real and that God, in fact, may choose to not always get what he wants.

This morning though, I feel refined by the wealth of my experiences. I feel as though my perspective has been honed and I believe that in some way, the snippets and fits and starts of my life are pieces of a holy puzzle.  A set apart portrait recognizable more and more as the days go by, but not fully until the end.