Tuesday, September 20, 2016

photography as a prayer

Give us this day our daily bread.  

Asher and his waffle sit in front of a candle in our pre-dawn fog.  

This was my photo prayer this morning and then the most amazing thing happened.   I have a momma-type friend who pops in unannounced from time to time.  No text or anything- she just comes by.  And after a morning (and actually a stretch of days) full of discouragement and worry and stress, she comes on in, folds mounds of my clothes, and then holds me while she prays.  And then she jets off like the angel-person that she is. 

Man, I want to be like her one day.  

She was an answer to a prayer I feel like I didn't even really pray.  

Daily bread.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

thin margins, profound miracles

On the surface, this looks like a normal, run-of-the-mill family picture- one to save for the scrapbook. Seventy "likes" on Facebook, mostly from older people and maybe that's because older people can see the miracle.  

But this is four generations of Chaney men, assembled together in one place, all smiling on Don Chaney's front porch in Clinton, Louisiana on the occasion of his 90th birthday. 

And I'll tell you why it is no ordinary picture, but rather a great miracle.  

from left to right:  Bill, Don, Jack, Asher, and Zeke Chaney,  four generations of Chaney LSU tiger fans

1.  They each were born.  

You are a miracle.  Dr. Ali Binazir wrote a fascinating article a few years ago about the chances of each of us being born as ourselves.  Turns out, the chances of even one of these guys being born as themselves is way less than one turtle in all of the oceans peeking its head through one life preserver on the first try.  Turns out, the chances are less than all the known atoms in the universe, or approximately 1 in 10 to the 2,685,000th power.   Each one of these guys is a miracle as are you.  As is every single person breathing air on Planet Earth.  

2.  They each survived until now.

PawPaw Chaney missed World War II by a thin margin.  Bill was in college for Vietnam.  Heart disease, car accidents, cancer, mental illness or any of the dangers and perils of this fallen and broken world hasn't taken them. They weren't miscarried or murdered, crippled by anger or addiction.  Here they stand.  Another statistical anomaly.

3.  They stand together in love.  

No one is estranged from the other, no hearts hardened to the point of not caring.  They care deeply for each other, are invested in one another and not one of them would disown the other.  This doesn't always happen in families because the world is hard and broken just like our hearts.  Another rarity.  

So you see, this picture is amazing.  As amazing as seeing an albino alligator on the walk into Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.  In fact, more amazing.   

It's a miracle and it's a gift.  And of course, all good gifts come down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change but changes all of our hearts from hard to soft when we let him.

a beautiful celebration

Don Chaney, 90 years old, with his four kids: Bill, Susan, Nancye, and Pat

I don't have a four generation picture from my side of the family- I wish I did.  Hopefully I will someday, but more miracles will have to be born for that to happen, so I wait.   

But if you have four generations alive and well that love one another, don't wait.  Capture it.  

Because it's a profound miracle.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

blue skies and a *little* dirt

Asher jumped off this platform over and over and over

another great Labor Day... eucharisteo.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

a little bit of them: cousin reunion 2016

I heard this song (thank you George Strait, you are the best) on my run Saturday morning- of course it was the perfect memorial song for our daddies and grandfather and grandmother we are missing this weekend as our Dent family gathered again.  If you watch it to the end and if you know our family, you might need to grab a tissue.  Grief and grace mix and both can yank a tear.

Love you, my family!  

Friday, September 2, 2016