Don’t Turn Out the Lights

The way it works when people meet:
At first you don’t like each other; a stranger becomes a brother
The way it works when people meet:
Iron sharpens iron; you give advice and then it’s my turn

We’ve come so far together, haven’t we? Side by side, brothers-in-arms. Some otherworldly force brought us together, and now we part with heavy hearts.

You’re moving on. The force calls you to another mission. Though we hurt for losing you, we’ll keep on believing and keep on helping. We’ll heal the brokenhearted and mend their wounds. We’ll look after the orphans and widows.

Don’t turn out the lights when you go on. Keep your fire burning and we’ll keep our torches lit. We’ll be reunited once again, and hold on to every willing heart.

This goodbye’s a tough one. Let none go missing when the final count is made.


Don’t Turn Out the Lights

From Jacob, With Love

Dearest Rachel,

I’m beset by thoughts of a distant you. Your rich almond eyes speak deep and mysterious soul-truths. Your visage grips me. You are the fuel that feeds my fire and yet you consume me. My heart aches with longing for the next time I’ll see you.

I wait with the patience of a thousand ancient hills, and no hope is too distant. But these hills tremble with a deep, groaning shudder. My whole earth shakes under the burden of this heavy, hungry heart.

Be with me soon, my love.

One of the oldest love stories in written history. See Genesis 29:18-20 for context. 


From Jacob, With Love

On the Road: Day One

At first, maybe unimpressive. Just some guy singing part of some unknown song in front of a Joshua Tree. A few mistakes, some hesitant vocals, and the sound of birds and wind in the microphone at the end. So what’s the big deal?

This is a snapshot of change.

Something happened out there in the desert. I took that long, slow trip across the Mojave with no agenda but to eventually arrive in the mountains. Guitar in trunk, and having no idea how it would sound and look, I sang just to see what it would feel like. And it felt great.

Wishing I’d put more into it, I kept the video and started a fun new hobby: playing live music on the internet. Within weeks, this eclectic exercise in performance art showed me things about living that I would never let go. And I’m still learning.

But the big secret of this all, the one that would take me months to share with anyone, is that I knew I was facing the greatest challenge of my life. The physical pain and other effects of an accident nearly three years earlier was growing heavier and harder to bear. This was the day I started to understand the strength within myself just wouldn’t be enough.

And I started to see differently the many others who are lost and forgotten by the wayside.

I learned something new about what that felt like.

We can’t get through this alone.

We all need others.


On the Road: Day One

Stand Tall. It’s Better for Everyone.

I’m supposed to be about 6’5″ and straight as an arrow. But a few bad habits and one bad fall has me coming in a few inches short nowadays. My chiropractor has an opinion about this. “Stand tall. It’s better for everyone.”

Sure, there may have been a subconscious intent to lower my height to help even the balance in conversations. Some see this as polite, to others it’s patronizing. But what is it when it’s unintentional? It’s bad for everyone.

When I stand tall, he urged me, others will look upward and improve their own posture. It’s better for everyone.

What can we learn?

Rather than debase ourselves to make others feel more comfortable with their lesser height or health or wisdom, we can be the better example. Stand tall in your faith, and as others’ eyes are drawn upward, you can help them look higher still.

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32)

If you want to tell others what you know about God, draw eyes upward.

Encourage others to stand tall, to look outward and above. It’s better for everyone.

Stand Tall. It’s Better for Everyone.