Pristine Lives

Today I had an unexpected encounter. Under my prayer bench I found a yellow toy dump truck. I don’t remember how it got down here, but there it was, crusted with leaves and fir needles.

And then, without warning, I thought of my tiny unborn grandson who I never got a chance to meet. I saw him down here with me playing with that yellow truck. I wondered if he would have been a cuddler. Would he climb on my lap and sit for a few moments before going back to his excavation? How strange to grieve over a life that never was. Caught me off guard.

I know that “why” is a foolish question. This world is a dangerous place, especially to our most vulnerable, even in what should be the safety of a mother’s womb. As I frequently say, “this ain’t heaven.” I suppose grief is the most appropriate response to a dangerous world–Jesus wept over Jerusalem and outside a tomb. Grief, I suppose, is a fitting acknowledgment of the world east of Eden.

At the same time, we would not know what the garden is like if we didn’t have this world as a contrast. There is enough love and beauty in this world to assure us there is a heaven; and enough grief to remind us it’s not here. We recognize the wrongness of this world because we have, deep down in our soul, the picture of a garden where death has no victory and life springs eternal. I wonder how many unlived lives will be living there? Will heaven contain only those that opened the womb, or will we be surrounded with pristine lives never touched by the ravages of sin and never robbed of life before it began?



There are moments.

Gently,  I think of you and smile.

Let us rest in one another’s arms

Not hurry from the warmth.

 Wrap our memories together

Live them each again

Rediscover what we have found

Be grateful for love.




Alone by the tree.

I miss you.



Warm like your hand

Touching my cheek.

Leaves touch

Whispering secrets.


Closing my eyes,

I see you.



Warm like my hand

Touching your hair.

Lips touch.

Whispering secrets.

Love Without Thunder

Dan -Open_Window_H

When did I know I loved you?

A flash of lightning?



No. Or surely I would have remembered.

Not thunder or earthquake. 

An awakening.

Dawn on a summer day.

An open window.

A breeze in the early morning.

When the air should be still

There was love.








I met her in a dream this morning.

We must have been college students.

She had dark hair, I think.

Working on some project or another,

I thanked her for helping me.


And she, leaning at my shoulder,

As I sat at table or desk,

Drew near and our lips touched.

Not a kiss, wet and passionate.

A touching.



A moment of wondering.

My hand touched her arm.



Then she was gone.


Awakening, I remembered life,

New and fragrant with possibility.

When friendship may have been love. 


I wonder what she would think of me now,

after all these years.

Would she remember?

Silly old man.

I only met her this morning,

In a dream.

Until we meet

We agree to be alone.

You drift away

Carried by wind and wave-song

And I sit, still and silent

Unhurried and thought-filled.



We drink aloneness


Until it has emptied us

Until we find each other

Exhausted by solitude

Aching quietly for the touch of hands

And we are together … full.