Tag: Grief

A Tattooed Heart

A Tattooed Heart

Short Stories
I’m an artist whether you like it or not. My brushes are needles and my canvas is skin. You can call me Red or don’t call me anything at all, I don’t really care. Or at least I didn’t until a few weeks ago. Most folks want their skin art to say something, to mean something. Sometimes rebellious, sometimes tribal, occasionally cute, and yes, sometimes stupid. They think that a band of barbed wire around their biceps makes them strong. Or a flower makes them attractive. The worst, of course, is the Chinese characters that don’t mean anything close to what they think it does. But hey, who am I to judge. Sign the papers, pay the money, and I’ll ink you with whatever, well almost whatever, you want. A few weeks ago I was just finishing up an ankle rose for a “don’t tell my mommy” but old
They Shall Be Comforted – Part 1

They Shall Be Comforted – Part 1

Beatitudes, Series
When we began this series I had no idea that when it came time to write the article on the second beatitude - blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted - that I’d be attending a funeral. In a few hours family and friends will gather to pay their respects, share memories, and offer comfort to each other at the passing of my grandmother, Hulda Heinold. Perhaps on another day I’ll share more about Grandma Heinold, her love of Jesus, and her gentleness of spirit. Today it is better to take up the second promise of Jesus. The promise of comfort for those who mourn extends to all those who have suffered loss in their lives. The death of a loved one is the most obvious but other losses are also included. Loss of a job, loss of health, and financial disaster all create the feel
Where Does It Hurt?

Where Does It Hurt?

Encouragment, Forgiveness
If you've spent any time around young children you've seen “the moment.” Something happens, a young child perhaps just beginning to walk or maybe a few years older and able to race around the yard, trips on a toy or falls off of a swing. There is this moment when they look to see how Mom or Dad are reacting to their tumble. It's almost like they’re asking “am I hurt or am I ok?” They can be perfectly fine but if someone reacts with concern they cry or if someone (seeing that they are not really hurt) reacts with laughter or celebration they smile and go about their business. They haven’t yet learned to interpret pain. Pain is a part of our everyday lives. It's like the red warning light on our dashboard telling us that something is wrong although we may not understand what that somethin
Stumbling in Shadowlands

Stumbling in Shadowlands

Encouragment, Stuck
There are times in our lives when we walk in shadowlands. Times when we feel vulnerable and alone. Times when justice, fairness, and rightness, seem corrupt. Days when we feel rejected by God just when we need Him the most. When shadows of darkness, mourning, and oppression press against our soul. These are the shadowlands. Dark times where we stumble about like a drunken sailor that has lost their eyeglasses.  Some folks arrive at the shadowlands without knowing why or how they got there. But most know well the door they entered by choice or by force of circumstance.  Many are the keys that open the door to the Shadowlands. Keys that take the shapes of grief, loss, rejection, being bullied, invaded, robbed, fear, sin, doubt, unbelief, failure, and addiction. Our first inclination in th
Angel’s Breath

Angel’s Breath

Christmas, Short Stories
Angel’s Breath Dale Heinold - Christmas 2014 “The Christmas Pageant will begin in five minutes,” a nurse announces through the PA system. My daughter, Angel, has been typecast, beautifully and rightly so, as one of the Christmas angels. “Alright, let’s see, wings?” “Check,” she replies. “Golden thing that kind of sort of looks like a robe?” “Check“ “Halo on straight?” “Check, um I think?” “What are your lines?” “Daddy, I’ve been saying them all morning,” she pleads. “Come on, one more time.” “O that’s terrible,” she moans. “Your forgot your lines? That’s ok the first one is…” “No the TV,” she says as she grabs the remote to turn up the volume. On the screen is a video of a manger scene without a Baby Jesus. The scrolling banner under the reporter proclai
Book Review: Through a Season of Grief

Book Review: Through a Season of Grief

Archive
Through a Season of Grief is edited by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard and includes insights from over thirty Christian professionals and pastors. It is based on the lessons used for GriefShare groups.  The book provides 365 devotional readings for those in a season of grief.  It covers the promises of God, provides comfort, and encourages understanding of the grieving process.  I have used both the GriefShare material and this book to walk with folks through their time of grief and found both resources to be very helpful. This is one of those books you cannot help but pass on.  My wife and I gave one to an older acquaintance when her husband of 50+ years passed. She has thanked us several times for the book and has purchased it for others who have also experienced loss. I heartily recommen
The Oak Leaf: A Story of Memories

The Oak Leaf: A Story of Memories

Short Stories
“One more shelf Emily and we’ll be done” Dad encourages.  While not grueling work cleaning out Mom’s closet is emotionally draining. It took Dad a few years to be ready for it, I know that I’m not. We are both a little wary of this last shelf, its where she stored her keepsakes.  The home of her most treasured memories. We carefully remove each box and explore its contents.  Several are filled with greeting cards, both store-bought and handmade. Some of them make us laugh, a few make us cry. Another box contains trinkets from various destinations around the country. A thimble from the Grand Canyon.  A silver spoon from Wall Drug Store.  A Minnie Mouse hat - somewhere there’s a picture of Mom and me sporting our hats. The last shoe box I pull from the shelf is so light I thought it may be