30 August 2009

remember that time sam went to college?

this is when sam drives.

when sam pretends to be a lazy hippie.

when i take a gratuitous self portrait.

when sam makes her crazyface.

when sam pretends to be literate.

when sam is pretty.

when dad is displeased.

when mom is happy.

when sam tries to electrocute the baby.

hannah at dinner. (sam and hannah have known each other since they were tiny babies in memphis.)

papaw. (papaw was our next-door neighbor/grandfather growing up.)

taylorday. (a friend ive known since i was about two.)

mother and daughter. (laura and layla at dinner.)

sam and hannah.

23 August 2009

lesotho, part 3

john stokes the coal fire one evening when the temperature drops below freezing.

therron reads and reflects on a sunday morning before church.

the guys have a ton of time for reading. it is like a winter sabbatical, surrounded by beauty and the company of good thinkers.

john plays football with some of the village children before church.

john holds a young girl as they wait for her parents to get home.

22 August 2009

lesotho, part 2

i think this is my favorite image from this coverage. therron shows a young girl how to blow a dandelion.

john and therron work in the corn fields with a local pastor.

john throws an ear of corn into the harvest pile.

john plays with a little boy, swinging him around in circles, before church on a sunday morning.

john and therron spend some time talking to a man on their way home from visiting shepherds at the top of the mountain.

21 August 2009

lesotho, part 1

while i was in lesotho a couple months ago (difficult to believe it was a that long ago), we met three men serving as "winter missionaries" serving in a remote area of the kingdom.

john, drew and therron spent their summer living in a village in the mountains. they went with a commission: "be jesus in that place."

no electricity, no running water and very cold nights. they spent their days working in the fields with the men, playing with children from the village, helping build gardens. at night drank tea and hot chocolate, reading the saints by candlelight: merton and tozer and lewis and all of the rest.

the guys lived in the small house next to the local baptist church.

drew, wrapped in a sleeping bag and several blankets, sleeps on the floor of the small shack. on sunday mornings, the guys sleep in, reading and enjoying some down time before church.

the guys share morning coffee and reading on a very cold sunday morning.

the guys hike up a mountain early one morning to spend time with the shepherds who stay there.

drew and john make their way back down the mountain

more tomorrow. (maybe.)

19 August 2009

Please Call Me By My True Names
Thich Nhat Hanh

Don't say that I will depart tomorrow --
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.