looking through me

Tag: wonder

wander or wonder

I buried myself in spreadsheets at work—grateful for a looming deadline—to distract from the barrage of the news hitting ever closer to home.

But as I left the busyness of business behind, the quiet of the commute betrayed me. My mind looped in hopeless circles.

A few weeks ago, I downloaded the newest release of one of my favorite groups, but I hadn’t listened to it enough to sing along yet. So I turned it on as I drove and focused hard on the lyrics.

A song came on about sorrow and chaos. It felt all too appropriate, but I couldn’t quite make out the chorus. Was it “but I know, I know / You remain the same / even in, even in / my wandering” or “but I know, I know / You remain the same / even in, even in / my wondering?”

One little vowel makes such a big difference. I might not be wandering right now, but, oh, I am wondering.

I wonder . . .
What if?
Why now?
If not now, when?
How long?
Why her (or him or them or us)?
Why not her (or him or them or us)?
To what end?
Does it matter?

I don’t know. All the wondering in the world won’t soothe the sorrows or still the chaos. “But I know, I know / You remain the same.”

And I hold on to that unchanging Hope in the wondering . . . and wandering.


I wrote this one year ago today. I have the same annual deadline this week, and once again I find myself grateful for the distraction and dismayed by the barrage of news that one year later has only gotten worse . . . and closer to home. But I’m still listening to that album on repeat, and Hope remains unchanged.

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give and receive

A fifteen-year-old girl nearly died on a Friday morning in California. Her father and first responders—then multiple emergency surgeries and interventions—kept her alive. She spent her sixteenth birthday in a coma. She spent thirty days balancing between life and death in a hospital waiting for a heart.

A two-year-old girl in Arkansas probably never saw the car that crossed the center line and struck her grandma’s car head on. She, too, spent days comatose. But instead of waiting for an organ to save her life, her family faced a week of agony followed by the words: brain dead. Because of their sacrificial love a six-month-old received a heart, an eight-month-old received a liver and a sixty-seven-year-old received new kidneys.

Two days later and more than 1800 miles away, the sixteen-year-old’s family learned their middle daughter would be getting a heart.

These stories intersect only in time and prayer. The families do not know one another. I never met the two-year-old who became an organ donor or the sixteen-year-old who became an organ recipient. But I’ve prayed for them, and their families, since each of them went into the hospital: one waiting to receive and one waiting to give.

Both families faced the horror and beauty of organ donation and the delicate timelines associated with it. Miracle after miracle unfolded, creased by pain.

Today, one family is burying a toddler. And another family is in the earliest, most fragile post-transplant hours praying a weary body will accept a stranger’s final gift.

And words lodge sideways in my throat because life requires death—how can that be?—my head almost grasps it, but my heart does not.

Grief and joy. They come in such quick succession they blur into an indistinguishable assault. A one-two combination. And the weight of emotion behind their punches is breath-taking.

Even as I pray for two families, the number affected is so much greater . . . in ways awful and awesome.


This was written two weeks ago today, March 6, the day of a burial in Arkansas and a successful heart transplant in California. And today, March 20, that sixteen-year-old girl still has a long road to recovery, but she is recovering well and her “new” heart has saved her life.

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