I have a love-loathe relationship with much of the technology that gets thrown at us. I love my laptop and I wish the manufacturers had chosen to make sure they were making a great mobile phone before they added all the un-phone features to it. And I don’t really get the whole Twitter thing. Those of you who know me will understand. When have I ever been able to express myself in under one hundred and forty words? Tonight, however, I am thankful for the technology that makes Facebook possible because I have found great comfort there.

    My mother had surgery on Thursday. The sentence in itself is not remarkable; my mother has had more surgeries than I can count. When we lived in Boston, I used to tease that she was much like the USS Constitution: still in commission and only about twenty percent original material. My mother is also the most tenacious person I know. She is undaunted by difficulty and determined to push through and keep going. So when the call came last night that the surgery itself was successful, in that they were able to do the necessary repair, but her heart was not keeping a normal rhythm, the news landed hard here at our house. I sat down and posted a few sentences on Facebook asking for prayer and within minutes – literally – the responses began to come. By this morning there were over forty, words of hope and solidarity from most every chapter of my life:

    high school friends from Nairobi, Fort Worth, and Houston;
    childhood friends;
    church folks from Westbury Baptist, where Dad pastored;
    folks from the youth and college groups at University Baptist;
    friends from Dallas days;
    Baylor friends;
    seminary friends;
    Boston and Winchester and Marshfield and Hanover friends;
    Durham friends;
    and blog friends,
    to name a few.

    Reflecting on a youth camp experience, my friend Billy Crockett wrote a song years ago called, “Lines,” that sets to music what I saw happening on my screen and in my heart over the last twenty-four hours:

    A spider spins the lines from leaf to ladder
    A trellis spans the canyon to Katmandu
    A transatlantic cable carries transatlantic chatter
    And there are lines that run from me to you

    Lines that run from vine to branches
    Lines that carry love’s advances
    For those who try
    To find their place in time
    There are lines … lines

    There are lines and I can see them. I am trusting they are strong as we head for Texas in the morning to be with my mother and my family. Some of you I may get to see face to face over the next few days; most of you I will not. But I am leaning hard on the promise that life and faith are team sports, that we are in this together, and that nothing – NOTHING – separates us from Love.

    Lines that run from vine to branches
    Lines that carry love’s advances
    For those who try
    To find their place in time
    And for those who long
    To know that they belong
    For those who pray
    And those who up and walk away
    There are lines … lines

    I feel loved. I feel connected. I feel grateful.


    P.S. — This is a link to an old recipe, but it is one that we had for lunch today in honor of my mother.


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