Welcome!This blog is an eclectic, multi-faceted work in progress, a quilt in the making with varied hues both light and dark, irregular shapes, seemingly random impressions intermingled and placed to form my life story. It is a book in process written on the blank pages by the Master Designer. From this vantage point thru the lens of my faith-walk I will tell my stories, share my poems, and offer my personal reflections looking for joy, wonder, purpose, and hope each day along the along the way. Join me as I reflect and remember, watch and wonder.
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Category Archives: Stories
Sometimes God seems far away and tastes as dry as piece of toast made with day-old bread. At other times , he is the radiant sunshine on a dark and stormy nigh1.
I felt Andre suddenly shaking me awake, his voice unusually somber and fear-laden, telling me that WCCO weather had shown a graphic picture of a tornado headed towards Hopkins. It was at that time 15 minutes away; just enough time for us to go to the basement garage immediately.
Funnel Cloud Spotted in Hopkins As Tornado Warning Ends
The storm is moving swiftly northeast.
By James Warden, Patch Staff, September 2019Just beginning to rouse from my slumber, I looked at my bedside clock thru bleary eyes which confirmed that it was indeed 10:30 PM.
So I told Andre I needed several minutes to collect my thoughts which were a jumble of storm and packing images mixed incongruously with thoughts like “but I’m still cozy under my blanket with my cat curled at my feet.”
At that time I also heard him calling Chris with the news, telling him to get his family (that would be his peacefully sleeping wife and the two toddlers) to their basement, pronto!
I had not seen Andre this concerned except the time the kids were lost in the Russian forest “primeval” so long ago and he called all the men to form search parties. I knew he wasn’t joking.
Since this tornado was about to happen 10:45 PM, I decided to talk to God about it; after all, He’s in charge of the events of my life.
I felt fear when I looked at the lightning and wind outside. I also remembered that being in a wheelchair would present unusual challenges, as would being on the 4th floor, so I prayed that God would stop the Hopkins-bound tornado. Just like that. That there would be no tornado in Hopkins. I was lying in my Hopkins bed unable to walk and I didn’t think it was my time to go to a basement or to die.
When I calmly told Andre that I was not going because God would take care of me, I was sure. Andre tried to talk me out of it, but it didn’t work.
Just as I was dozing off again,I heard the WCCO weatherman tell us all that the Hopkins tornado had suddenly left the radar. Poof. Gone.
Sometimes My Father says “no” and I don’t understand. But every once in a while, he says a resounding “yes”. Those are the times I am to be still and know that He is God. So I am.
by Barbara LaTondresse – 5 October 2019
Images courtesy of:
When I was in grade school, I had to memorize Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride”. I still remember it. I recited parts of it from memory at a school gathering. They must have been short on talent to have someone recite a long, old poem for everyone!
I shared this bit of trivia in a FB reply to a comment a friend made about one of my blog posts, Lost Jewels Found, where I’d used a reference to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s ‘forest primeval’ to describe the Russian forest the kids were lost in.
In the spirited FB dialogue that followed, my English teacher friend suggested I should recite it for the grands!
“They’ll think Grandma is the smartest woman on the planet!” she said.
In true FB fashion in which others read your stuff, Andre had been reading my dialogue and quipped, “Grandma IS the smartest woman in the planet. And not just this one!
Anyone who knows me will find this comment to be at least half true, for a good part of my time is spend on the far side with Parkinson’s whether I find the humor in it or not.
So, here’s a bit about my other planet.
When I wake up in the morning I face a few more challenges in thatI require help with most of the ADLs (activities of daily living) like bathing, dressing, eating, chores, and health-related care.
I remember the first time I walked out of Walgreens a number of years ago using a cane and feeling like I was a stranger in a strange land. I later came to realize I was just entering the land of limitations, a land full of landmines, an unfamiliar terrain. Like a while back I hadn’t even noticed that we had an elevator at church. Now it’s the way I do church.
Now I also know a bit more about getting around in this land of limitations since my wheel chair is a vital part in my daily routine. It enables me to bump over uneven thresholds; navigate heavy doors w/o getting ‘banged’ by the closing; courageously enter, exit, and ride contraptions which provide ancient or archaic examples of primitive lifts.
Grandsons #2 , love to try to dismantle the footrests and Grandson#1 still tries to sit on my lap but wheel chairs are kind of hard to get or give a hug or kiss whether a grandson or adult friend.
On this far side there are also new paths to create.This week, for example, my dear husband is wading thru our Long-Term Care policy to jump thru the hoops necessary to get and use our money which is stored there out for my care. So far this has required two long and detailed phone calls. It will also require a home visit to verify my eligibility, and paperwork for my Doctor to fill out, as well as paper work to verify specific claims. They don’t make it easy or fun.
I do have some ‘happies’ in this far side land of mine. My beloved ‘duck’ that lives in my cellphone is one. He is only a nuisance when some stranger in a restaurant seated near me or fellow, harried shopper at check-out begins to ask everyone in the vicinity if they hear a duck quacking. At that point, I will quickly find him in my purse and turn him off.
All in all, this far side planet is not one I would have chosen, but since I’m in the land of limitations and I have decided to bloom where I’m planted, I may as well take time to smell the roses.By Barbara LaTondresse
14 August 2019
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A long time ago in a country far away our children got lost.
Our family was attending a staff conference, in a small retreat center outside of St. Petersburg, Russia bordered on one side by a primeval forest and on the other by the Baltic sea. The region was relatively remote although we had arrived using a nearby train and there were several villages scattered nearby.
Our group had gathered for dinner and was just getting settled down when I noticed that Andre was uncharacteristically quiet. He was also a somber shade of gray. Just as I leaned over to a ask him if he was “OK”, he jumped to his feet and mounted a nearby chair.
“Chris, Claire, and Emily are missing. They haven’t come back from hiking this afternoon. It’s getting dark. We need to organize search parties immediately and go find them before night falls.”An uneasy urgency, especially since they were all under age ten, set the tone as the men divided up. Emily’s father, Blake, and Andre went to the nearest police station to report the kids as being lost where police began to place phone calls to neighboring village police stations to inquire about the kids, the search parties went out, and the rest of us went to a nearby room upstairs to pray.
It’s almost funny, I thought, how I made my two children wear fanny belts containing copies of their passports, visas, some Russian money, and the address
of wherever we were staying just in case. They hated this but I could only hope that they had the right stuff with them and hadn’t removed it while playing.We had heard scary stories about the courageous attempt’s folks made in years past to wade thru the boggy, soggy, dense forest to find their way to freedom thru Finland’s border crossing nearby. Some people died there. It reminded me of how Longfellow’s mysterious “forest primeval” must have looked with “the murmuring pines and the hemlocks, bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, stand like Druids of old.”
As we prayed it was as if God said to me “Put out your hand.” So, I did. He placed my children as jewels in my hand, and I covered them to protect them, but I immediately sensed God telling me that was not what He wanted me to do. He wanted me to open my hand instead and give them back to Him, so I slowly opened my hand and said, “They’re yours! Take them if that’s best.”
After what seemed like hours, He replied,” No, you keep them for a while’’ and He closed my hand over them once again. From that moment I knew they would be well. Shortly after that, we heard voices from first floor, affirming words: WE FOUND THEM! THEY’RE OK!
Our children had been a-drift in a Russian bog/forest surrounded by wild dogs that because of answered prayers didn’t attack.
Then by another miracle they came upon a road and followed it in the dark for about ten miles to a nearby village and its Russian police station where the phone rang while the kids were there.
The call was from the local police near our conference center who just happened to call the village station while our kids were present. The kids weren’t given a cordial welcome being told to “speak in Russian or not speak at all.” But, much to the surprise of everyone, they spoke in Russian.
So by God’s amazing grace, timely miracles, and answered prayers
the lost gems were found.
By Barbara LaTondresse
6 August 2019
photos courtesy of:
We are not strangers to cross-cultural tides, having weathered the ins and outs of Russian life with its ‘Far Side’ propensities: everything from watching a Russian balance a refrigerator on his bike as he carried his prize home, to downing sour horse milk as lunch guests of an old, crusty Siberian in his yurt, to shivering while buying ice cream cones from old women selling outside in the frigid Siberian winters in what was affectionately called our market’s “frozen foods section,” but seeing our first Mermaid in the Ob Sea tops them all.
The event unfolded on a sweltering August day near Akademgorodok in the summer of 1992. Twelve of us very green Americans on our first short term mission trip to Russia found ourselves far from familiar anything’s that day as one by one each person inched up a rickety skinny makeshift ladder to mount a rather large, old boat. Our hosts were our Russian interpreter friends, and we were bound for a most unique R&R adventure.unfolded on a sweltering August day near Akademgorodok in the summer of 1992.
Once we were settled on-board, the skipper hoisted the anchor and we made our way out into the open sea. We were moving at a fairly good clip. The fresh breeze and fine mist spray renewed my sweaty brow.
It cooled us all down a bit. But not enough for my uninhibited, boisterous, gorgeous, interpreter friend, who at that very moment said, “I think I will get a little naked now.”
As she removed her clothes piece by piece and threw them into a messy pile in the corner of the boat, she smiled, obviously enjoying the shocked attention. And then, in an instant, our Siberian beauty twirled, hopped up over the railing, and dove majestically into the sea.
The Russians among us mostly laughed and the Americans among us mostly stood speechless, stunned by the sudden display and unsure as to what to do next.
After what seemed like the silent pause of the century, one American member of our team found his voice. “Sheeesh,” he said, almost reverently ”I didn’t know whether to spit or whistle!”
We all laughed; a few more brave souls joined our Mermaid in the water, and the rest of us found the rods and reels and went fishing.
15 March 2018,
27 June 2019 (revised)
Images courtesy of:
The “golden years” of adulthood are generally defined as the span of time between retirement and the beginning of age-imposed physical, emotional, and cognitive limitations, which would roughly fall between the ages of 65 and 80+, according to the experts.
I turned 70 this year so by that definition I should be in my ‘golden years’, that glorious age when one retires to realize some dreams, relax with the grandkids, travel, and live the life of leisure…no worries…no pains.
But the image of a cloudless blue sky above the stunning red, brown, yellow leaves melded into a kaleieoscope of fall glory, a radiant golden panorama all around, is not my current reality.
I see “twilight” instead.
“Twilight” is the name given to the period between dawn and sunrise, or between sunset and dusk, when light is still visible in the sky due to sunlight scattering off the atmosphere. The Online Etymology Dictionary goes on to explain that the word twilight comes two Old English words, twi meaning two, and the noun light.
It doesn’t mean two kinds of light or light occurring twice. Rather, it appears to refer to ‘half’ light. The Sanskrit word for ‘twilight’ samdhya means literally ‘a holding together, junction,’ [and] Middle High German ezwischerliecht literally ‘tweenlight.’
Both of these — the idea of holding together or of being between two things – are an ideal description for this in-between time of morning and evening when the sun isn’t in the sky but its light still brightens things enough for us to see, even if only just barely.
Another writer, Jayme Heimbuch, put it this way: diffused light adds a purple and pink tinge to everything, making it a magical and temporal moment at the beginning and end of each day.
Kind of like being in two opposite places at once; or the tension we speak of in our faith journeys when we know something as certain in the future but right now face dismal realities that blur our vision instead. Our Pastor Christian calls it the “already, not yet” time.
It was in December of last year that I was really feeling old and useless. Maybe it was because I had not been able to get out of my house for several weeks or maybe it was because others were going for a walk in the new fallen snow and I couldn’t join them; for whatever reason, I felt like one of the grumpy old men in the movie of the same name.
When I turned 60 I threw a big party for myself. This once-in-a-lifetime gala was a Garden Dinner Party for 40 in my backyard gardens which at the time were in their prime.
I think every person should throw at least one party for themselves during their lifetime just to celebrate the WHO and the I AM of self, but that’s another topic. Anyhow, I had my Princess Torte from Woullets and my Happy Lamps and my Champagne toasts.
It was grand. You could call it ‘golden’.
Then I got Parkinson’s and the twilight time gradually descended upon me: the in-between time of morning and evening when the sun isn’t in the sky but its light still brightens things enough for us to see, even if only just barely.
The already, but the not yet, too.
The diffused light of this reality adds a purple and pink tinge to everything, making it a magical and very temporary moment at the beginning and end of each day. Of each life?
I felt old and useless in December but then the purple-pink magic happened again.
God spoke to me and this is what he said:
Isaiah 46:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
It surprised and encouraged me. My God said there will be another chapter after 70 and He assured me that it will be lofty and grand.
Barbara LaTondresse – 11 October 2018
Some photos and thoughts and wordings taken from:
MORE THAN ONCE UPON A TIME
At Home in Hopkins – Three True LaTondresse Stories
How we found our Hobby Acres Homes
- September of 1978 to September 1993—112 East Farmdale Road (15 years)
- 1993-1997 Akademgorodok, Russia (4 years)
- October 1997 to September 2018— 309 West Wayside Road (21 years)
We have been married 42 years and we have lived here 36 of them!
July of 1978 to September 1993—112 East Farmdale Road
Andre and I were married in July of 1977 and living at Cedars of Edina where we began our first home search in the spring is 1978 looking primarily in the Edina area. Later that summer when we shared this news with our friends who had just bought a house in Hopkins, they immediately encouraged us to look in Hopkins instead. So the next Sunday, one ad in the Star Tribune that really stood out read: HOPKINS HOBBY ACRES…112 East Farmdale Road…So we left Edina & found Hopkins. We saw the “Hobby Acres” sign, & made the turn from 5th Avenue(which was also known as Hwy.169 at the time!) to Wayside Road to Farmdale Road for the first time that Sunday and felt like we’d entered the Promised Land. Above us were the majestic elm canopies over the street and around us were lovely homes nestled in this park-like gem of a neighborhood. It was love at first sight. We were home.
October 1997 to September 2018—309 West Wayside Road
When it came time to think about returning to America to live, there was no question about “where” because our roots were in Hobby Acres in Hopkins, MN. That reality did not happen by accident. Some seasoned missionary friends gave us the good advice to do our best to maintain ties with friends/family here even though located half a world away. We took their advice to heart and as a result Hobby Acre in Hopkins was the logical choice for our next USA home. But we had a few hurdles to jump.
For one thing, Hobby Acres was (and still is) a hot commodity. It’s a place where the house sells before the sign goes up (like it did when we sold 112 East Farmdale) so we knew we’d need to pray for a miracle and get creative in our search. We did both. We started asking our Hobby Acres friends to keep a lookout and the summer before we returned, when we were in the neighborhood, Andre started knocking on the doors of houses we particularly liked. As a result of that, we did have one possibility on Farmdale Road West to think about.
But that wasn’t the only one. The night before we left the neighborhood in 1996 to return to Russia we were driving west on Wayside and all of a sudden I pointed at 309 West Wayside Road and said, ”Stop and ask this house cuz I’d always liked it.” We’d gone to a Pink Flamingo there once. I remember standing in the entryway and saying to myself, “I could live here.”
We didn’t know the current owners, but Andre knocked anyhow and a young lady answered with her husband standing right behind her as Andre said, “Hi, we used to live in this neighborhood on Farmdale and love it. We are living overseas this year but moving back next year and we really like this house and we’re wondering if you’re thinking about moving?” The lady looked at her husband and looked at André and said, “ No we haven’t but it sounds interesting!” So our miracle happened and our God made a way where there seemed to be no way —something out of nothing—and as a result in October of 1997, 309 West Wayside Road became our second Hobby Acres home.
September 6, 2018 to Present—Our Loft. 750 Marketplace #414
We first seriously entertained the idea of moving from our beloved Wayside home this past January in the dead of winter. Winter has its charms, esp. for blue-blood Minnesotans, but, nevertheless, we began to ask the question of how much longer we’d be able to maintain this wonderful property with all the gardens, pond, and seasonal duties. Our son, who lives with his family in a nearby Hopkins, suggested the Marketplace Lofts downtown because we’d still be very close to his neighborhood and to other Hopkins treasures. I did some research which showed that most all of the recent properties there had sold off-market so we knew we’d have to have help from someone well-connected, who lived there. God brought to mind a former neighbor and friend who lived there for the last couple of years, so we called her up and invited her for lunch.
Andre and I prayed the God who’d worked spectacular miracles to give us every former house we’ve lived in would do the same kind of remarkable, spectacular ‘something out of nothing’ miracle to make the next move apparent and to show us His clear leading. He brought to my mind verses in Isaiah 46:
“Listen to me,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’”
So we invited our friend over for lunch and asked her if she could help us and she said she would. That was on March 2. Shortly after that she showed us the first of two Marketplace units which were available and empty. We saw the second unit on Good Friday, March 30. It was close to what we wanted but there were multiple offers on it. We weren’t prepared to offer, so some one else got it.
We knew then that we needed to get our act together ahead of time to be able to make an offer pronto should another unit come up —so both logistically and financially we started to get ready esp. by starting our ‘archeological dig’ at 309 W Wayside.
Then the remarkable, spectacular ‘something out of nothing’ miracle to make the next move apparent and to show us His clear leading happened!
On April 9, a realtor friend, his wife, and our loft-owner friend, met with us at our house. We invited them over to go thru our house and give us ideas of things to do to get the house ‘top dollar’ ready to sell as soon as possible.
Three of us were seated in the living room and the realtor friend was going over a few suggestions while we waited for our loft-owner friend to arrive. She soon did, and after taking off her coat and sitting down, took charge.
“This meeting isn’t just about getting your house ready to sell. I’m thinking of selling my unit and I want to sell it to you guys…! My boyfriend and I have decided to ‘cohabitate’, and we need more space than my loft has because he wants to have an art studio.”
Oh my! – We recovered quickly enough to accept that offer.
Next—what had to happen is that the boyfriend who had a place in Uptown had to sell it. HE DID.
And then the two of them had to find an acceptable place to buy–in this part of town. THEY DID.
Next we met with our loft owner friend to agree on her selling price, sign a purchase agreement, and put our house on the market pronto.
“Something out of nothing.” Many details needed doing fast. God answered our prayers so Andre had just the right helpers at key times to lighten the load since my ability is limited.
Life has a funny way of coming back around full circle.
Andre and Barbara are moving into the downtown Hopkins condo unit of their former 112 East Farmdale neighbor.
Her place is perfect for us: 2BR, 2BA, 2 fireplaces, den, large balcony, walk in closet, gourmet kitchen, pantry, washer, dryer, 2 garage stalls and handicap accessible! Of all the units possible in her building this is the one that will be ideal for us and it’s a miracle that it’s the one we’re buying.
More than ‘once upon a time’.
Home in Hopkins.
What is real?
It’s the broken leg and the cast.
It’s the wound and the band-aid.
It’s the rose and the thorns.
It’s the dead hog and the Thielen bacon.
It’s the wailing over the baby boys lost in Herod’s massacre
and it’s the wonder of the birth of the Holy infant Jesus.
It’s Christmas and Lent and Easter.
Night and Day.
Death and Life.
Grave and Glory.
We had a hard night.
It’s my new normal to wake at around 2AM, and rouse my dear André to help me do the bathroom routine which includes getting out of bed, shuffling slowly and painfully to the bathroom, doing chores, taking pills, laboriously limping back to the bed, getting in bed, the process which looks a lot like picking up the dead weight of a heavy sack of flour and heaving it four feet up and sideways where it thuds into a position allowing sleep.
But when you add moving positions twice, one more bathroom trip and adjusting pillows and covers for the tenth time, it is only a tiring, tedious, agonizing interruption too a good night’s sleep.
I was diagnosed with PK on Christmas Eve 2013. My life is now a whirl of pills, PT, falls, adjustments, compromises, broken promises and shattered dreams. It includes canes, walkers, and a wheelchair on occasion. It means great difficulty walking, doing stairs, and sitting down in a chair. It can mean not thinking or talking clearly.
It also means doing Valentine’s dinner at a Wayzata restaurant at 4 PM to
assure a peaceful, crowd-less time with my love who still buy me roses and gives me a card that reads: “for my beautiful wife…”
What is Real? Like The Skin Horse says to the Velveteen Rabbit, It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. It can hurt. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.”
I remember the day light years past when I was experiencing the new pains of PK and in denial and anger over the train wreck of life changes I could foresee coming and a friend asked me, “Are you alright?” I answered rather cynically, “That depends on which part of me you’re talking about.” In my fractured world the broken leg wasn’t even in a cast yet. It was total pain with no hope of healing.
Much is still the same now but more is different. Kind of like playing an old recital piece you’ve gone over time and again until the current version is much better due to time spent practicing but with still hints of the former propensities.
What is real now is an uncanny metamorphosis. Like the blind man at Bethsaida who came to Jesus for healing and at first was made only half-well (Mark 8:22-25)—
Sometimes I see men as trees walking.
Sometimes I see only the trees.
But always though the fog and mist
I see a Sunrise coming
That will not be denied.
I feel hope not despair, joy not sorrow, peace not pain.
Right now, today, my reality includes a warm cup of tea, toast,
Sunshine in my window, roses on my table.
Though my opposite realities collide
They also coexist and create astute beauty
Including this real piece of writing from my PK heart.
“My chains are gone, I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, amazing grace.”
15 February 2018
Amazing Grace,My chains are gone
lyrics Michael W Smith
*Note: from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary — The Difference Between ASTUTE, SHREWD, and SAGACIOUS Astute is similar in meaning to shrewd and sagacious, but there are subtle differences in connotation among them. All three suggest sharp thinking and sound judgment, but shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness and judgment (“a shrewd judge of character”), whereas sagacious implies wisdom and foresight combined with good judgment (“sagacious investors”). Astute, which derives from the Latin noun astus, meaning “craft,” suggests cleverness, mental sharpness, and diplomatic skill (“an astute player of party politics”). https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astute
**words from “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone 2007)” from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/See_the_Morning#Amazing_Grace_(My_Chains_Are_Gone) by John Newton (stanzas), “Chris” Tomlin and Louie Giglio (refrain)
*** Williams, Margery. The Velveteen Rabbit. Doubleday & Company, Inc.,1922.
pictures courtesy of:
It’s third-and-10 at the Minnesota 39-yard line with 10 seconds on the clock and the Vikings down 24-23.
All the Vikings really need to do is get the ball down the field far enough for a reasonable field-goal attempt, say inside the Saints 35-yard line, for a long one. That means get it to a receiver, get out of bounds to stop the clock, and send out Kai Forbath and the kicking team.
Sounds like a slam-dunk but not so with our Viking boys.
The Vikings have a sad history with game-winning field-goal attempts. My heart sank to familiar lows earlier in this game when Forbath missed an essential, easy one and left my mind to ponder the foreshadowing of yet another significant Vikings “snatch defeat out of victory” loss. It was almost enough to make me stop watching, but I didn’t. Resolute fan to the bitter end, I chomp my popcorn and sit on my hands in nervous frustration.
Winston Churchill would have been proud.
The clouds gather in the back of my mind as I also replay the recent back and forth of the lead. We seemed so good in the first half and then came the inevitable let down early in the second half as the Saints came alive and went ahead 24-23.
Oh my. Can’t we win a big one just once? I find myself talking mostly to the cat, but I must admit I sent up a few prayers to Father.
So on third-and-10 Keenum launches a missile of a pass and I hold my breath as Diggs hauls it in, hesitates, unbelievably regains his
balance, and takes off for the end zone.
In that split second Diggs and I both raise our hands and cross the goal line. We stand there stunned; beyond jubilant. Touchdown!
The suddenly, pleasantly surprised, victorious hometown fans see sorrow turned to joy and go wild. Instantly and dizzily awake from a mournful stupor, some laugh, cry, fall up, fall down, kiss, hug, and run in circles: no restraint in this celebration. It dries all tears; the former things are past away. Weeping endures for the night but shouts of joy come in the morning.
I don’t suppose that Stefon Diggs first after-thought was of how this most magnificent Minnesota miracle illustrates a profound spiritual reality, but I take delight in seeing TV repeats of that moment over and over, not just because it encourages us weary, forlorn Vikings fans, but, also, because it oddly enough encourages me in my faith walk.
My first after-thought was that the Minnesota Miracle is a grand reminder to me to review and thank my Almighty Father for the miracles He’s done in my life, and that this glorious Viking moment was meant to showcase three aspects of the way in which God interacts with each of His children including me (“ the birth of a vision, death of a vision, fulfillment of a vision”***).
Is it any wonder that the name of this play is ‘seventh heaven’?
19 January 2018
Images courtesy of
Psalms 30:5 and Revelations 21:4 from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.
*For a detailed explanation of this famous Winston Churchill quote go to -http://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2003/january/14163.html
**For a detailed explanation of the Biblical principle of birth, death, and fullment of a vision go to – https/::iblp.org:questions:how-does-god-work-through-birth-death-and-fulfillment-vision
*** For a detailed explanation of this Viking moment go to —–https://www.sbnation.com/2018/1/16/16892910/vikings-saints-minnesota-miracle-how-stefon-diggs-casekeenum
Where did he go?
Three hours had passed since my dear husband, Andre, left the house to keep an appointment with our family doctor. The appointment actually was for me but I was having a difficult moment and couldn’t walk so he went without me to get the doc’s signature on paperwork to facilitate a refund of my Delta air ticket thru trip insurance.
I was reaching for my phone to call him when, out of the blue, our son came in the front door. “Mom. Dad asked me to tell you in person that he was taken by ambulance to the Methodist Hospital ER with a kidney stone attack. He’s there to take a cat scan and get morphine for the pain.”
My husband was in excruciating pain in the Methodist ER. The words echoed in my muddled brain.
I was thankful that my dear son told me in person and was here to help and at the same time I was in shock. He promised he’d check back as soon as he knew anything, gave me a kiss, and left.
The house got very quiet, like the eerie calm that precedes an intense thunderstorm. I called Methodist Hospital, said I was trying to locate my husband, and asked the lady if they had admitted person by the name of ‘André LaTondresse’.
I could tell by her tone she thought it odd that I didn’t know these things but she, nevertheless, looked up his name and she found him listed in the ER, Room 9. I suppose she was trying to say that’s where I could find him if I came right over.
Pain mingles with foreboding once again as this day brings new trials on top of the old, the preceding ones in a pattern resembling the layers of an archeological dig.
Suddenly, in the midst of this most recent of quiet times when I’m asking, ‘Where are you, God?’, the front door bursts open and a tired, haggard, and somewhat ashen Andre plops into the nearly chair, looks at me, sighs, and says, “I’m home!”
11 October 2017