In her book, Still Waiting: Hope For When God Doesn't Give You What You Want, Ann Swindell tells the biblical story of the woman healed by Jesus who had been bleeding for 12 years and makes comparisons with her own personal struggles coping with Trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder. Swindell skillfully weaves the two narratives so that the reader has a chance to walk beside the characters in their pain and gain insights and understandings that only an intimate friend might learn.
Swindell writes with vulnerability, authenticity and faith of her helplessness to overcome her condition and of the loneliness, pain, frustration and shame she experienced. Those who have struggled with difficult situations will recognize some of the feelings she describes, even if the particulars of their sources of pain are different. At times, I wanted less repetition and fewer words, but the frequent meadows of beauty of Swindell's prose and the word pictures she created made spending time l…
I wrote the following blogpost a few years ago when I worked on a contract in Washington, D.C. Reading this draft again today, the words spoke to my heart. I hope they speak to someone else as well.
Not too far from the Capitol building. Not too far from the Tidal Basin, so beautiful in spring, surrounded by fragile cherry blossoms for a short time.
Not too far from the Old Post Office tower and Smithsonian buildings and grassy Mall. I work in Washington, D.C.
A great city. Beautiful city. With powerful people, somewhere in passing cars or office buildings. Not people I know. Maybe some mingle among the people I see each day, large, small, walking, talking. Federal workers, contractors, subcontractors, business people, servers, security guards, tourists, panhandlers, joggers, students.
So many people. Can each be important in some way? Irreplaceable?
Looking around, it is easy not to feel too important in such a place. Not too powerful. Comparisons are deceptive that way sometimes.…
I enjoy helping out with grandchildren. Recently I watched
my daughter’s four youngest children in a fast-food restaurant while she bought
groceries nearby. What could happen in an hour?
Eli, four, and two-year-old Theo played with other small
children on the slide and elevated plastic tunnels. Now and then they ran to
our table to take another lick of a dripping ice cream cone. The five-month-old
twins were content to alternatively be jiggled on my lap or to stare around from
a VIP seat in their twin stroller.
When Theo needed a change, all five of us headed for the
small two-stalled women’s bathroom. I figured the oldest could use a break
I spread the door wide and pulled the twin stroller toward
the sink, wondering if I would be able to close the door with us all inside. As
the door slid shut, I saw a small woman pressed against the door to the first
stall. She blinked at me. I blinked back, and pulled the stroller an inch
closer to the sink. She smiled and quickly squeezed pa…