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As We See It

Step by Step

When our sons were young, we put up the tree each Thanksgiving weekend, hanging the flotsam and jetsam of our growing history. It wasn’t gorgeous, but it was ours, and it satisficed. Now that we are empty nesters and without their youthful Thanksgiving enthusiasm, I’m a reluctant Christmas decorator. Last year, knowing we would be gone over the holidays, I left the Christmas boxes untouched in our cement-walled storage room. This Thanksgiving weekend, those boxes stayed unopened again. The project…
Carol Van Klompenburg
October 31, 2015
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Singing a New Song

As I sing the servant song during evening worship, a familiar image recurs. In my imagination, I am standing on a dock, reaching down to help someone from dangerous water. Whenever I sing, "Lord, let me lift up those who are weak," this image occurs--with variations. Sometimes I am on shore, sometimes at the edge of quicksand. And sometimes cynicism tempts me. I wonder as I sing, "If God put us on earth to help others, what on earth did…
Carol Van Klompenburg
November 16, 2006
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On Buses: Three Scenes and an Epilogue

On the first day of kindergarten Miss Primus assigned us to sit in groups of six at quarter-scale tables in midget chairs. At my table was a girl named Robin. How strange, I thought. Is she embarrassed to have a bird's name? She didn't seem to be.But that was in the old days--last fall when we colored orange pumpkins. I colored with gentle, even pressure to prevent streaks, and I was careful to stay inside the lines. Now it is…
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Remember the Sounds and Silence

At four, I am visiting my Aunt Minnie's farm for the day. Cobs crackle in the black kitchen stove. The wind whines above the mutter of thunder."Hailstones!" calls my cousin Hank from the porch.Hailstones? I taste the word. Hail . . . stones. What are hail . . . stones?I join his two brothers in running to the porch. We peer at green-black sky, whipping branches, and falling balls of ice.Balls of ice--hailstones!Thunder cracks. My ears hurt. "Wow, that was…
Carol Van Klompenburg
November 16, 2003