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A Heart Restored

The front door banged open. Breathless, my two youngest children, Joe and Bethany rushed in. "Mom. Mom. Ben's in trouble. Come quick." I plunked down my tea cup and grabbed my purse. Houses flashed by as we drove several blocks. Bethany pointed to a grassy lot off Main Street. "He's over there." The car lurched to a stop. I leaped out and rocketed toward a jeering mob of high-school kids.

A blonde-haired sixteen-year-old boy jumped in front of me. Inches from my face, he launched into a slew of profanity. Two kids darted from the scene. A red pickup peeled onto the grass. The driver yelled, "Come on. We gotta get out of here." Amidst a squeal of tires he roared off.

I dodged through a crowd of a dozen or more kids running away, until I spotted my fourteen-year-old son. Ben lay motionless on the ground ... Read more


Never Beyond His Reach

When our son, Joe, spiraled into the world of drugs and gangs at age sixteen, I wondered, Where is God? Countless times I fell to my knees broken hearted, tears streaming down my face. I pleaded, "Lord, please watch over Joe, our precious lost lamb. Protect him and keep him safe. Lord, show him the way home."

Joe's choices plunged him into a frightening culture beyond our ability to reach him. Nothing we did could pull him back, but he never escaped God's watchful eye. Powerless, we watched as drugs and gangs choked out everything decent in Joe's life. ...Read more


Picture Perfect

Several years ago during a casual conversation with my oldest son he said, "You expected me to be perfect when I was a kid."

Without pause I shot back, "Ben, that's not true."

Driving home from his house, I thought about his comment. His remark stung like a slap in the face. Though he'd laughed at the time, the hurt evident in his voice caused me to take a hard look at our family. How could he say that? Was it true? Did I really expect him to act perfect? ... Read more


Stranded

"I need Dad's help," our eighteen-year-old son, Ben, said when he called. "My truck broke down, and I can't figure out why it won't start. I'm stranded at the mall."

Loren, a mechanic by trade, could have fixed the truck with no trouble. However, Ben had taken a job working a leather booth during the Christmas season in a mall five hours from home and a state away. ...Read more


Midnight Stranger

"You're burning the candle at both ends," I said to our seventeen-year-old son, Ben. "You can't keep going like this. Your body is not a machine."

"Oh, Mom, I'm fine." Ben waved his hand through the air to brush aside my concern. "You worry too much," he added as he headed out the front door for work. I watched him climb into his pickup and seconds later barrel down the driveway in a cloud of dust. ... Read more


Piano Prayers

Bethany tugged on my arm. "Please can't we buy a piano? I could take lessons from Amy's mom."

My daughter's friend Amy lived two blocks down the street. Her mother held a degree in music and taught piano lessons to neighborhood kids after school. ...Read more