No greater love

Cantus presented a wonderful a capella concert at our little college in Orange City last night. In a chapel with great acoustics, the eight singers presented pitch-perfect, emotional pieces that touched the range of sacrifices by people in the armed services. It wasn’t sugar-coated, either. It was honest, gut-wrenching at times. Too, a few of the numbers made me smile and the audience chuckle.

The group presents a song a month on Soundcloud, the latest “Wondrous Love.” It gives a taste of how the group blends. If you click on this link, you may get something else. They post new songs regularly. The clip of their “No Greater Love” tour presents the event well.

One comment from one member of the group (I was so enthralled I didn’t note the individual. Sorry.) sticks with me. I paraphrase: What would our country be like if we all adopted the brotherhood, the desire to serve, the leadership exhibited, the camaraderie of those who invested part of their lives in the armed forces? The comment might have overstated, to some degree, but the kernel of that thought has stuck with me in an uncertain time.

Then, too, I’m in a group studying Galatians and Paul’s missive to the Galatian believers. Christ’s love is sufficient, even the pinnacle of what can be accomplished. As the Cantus concert and “Wondrous Love” clip hints, this idea still lives.



Near several towering evergreens,

the bare, squat crabapple,

practically shorn of all fruit

by agile, marauding squirrels,

cares little.

Its small whips

shine in the brightening sun

and dance in a warm wind

signalling spring.

There’s something about snow

I got the bit between my teeth this afternoon. I’ll be sore tomorrow, but for today, the pleasure of throwing snow around levered me from my keyboard and monitor.

One of my neighbors has a snowblower. He’s not exactly in the best of health, but he enjoys pointing that beast at any expanse of snow, drift or snowplow trail. And,  the John Henry side of myself thought, “I can keep pace with that.”

So, my next-door neighbor to the west and I tackled my driveway and sidewalk, then moved on to my neighbor to the east, not exactly locked in combat, as per  the old folklore, but still pitting machine versus plastic shovel.

Before we knew it, the sidewalk, front walk, driveway and compact car were cleared of snow. Had the sidewalk continued to the west, we might still be working our way down the block, one person pushing a snorting whirligig, the other flinging small amounts of snow in the general direction of the snowplow trail.

It’s a good thing, or I might have contracted an injury.

• • •

The new CIA chief is a dangerous man, according to a friend of mine with extensive experience in the Muslim world. Mike Pompeo has gained a reputation as a spokesperson for the idea that Islam is antithetical to Christianity. Now, he’s a position to seriously damage relationships between the two religious experiences.

In an atmosphere that’s tinder dry already, all we need is someone who could let preconceived notions affect judgement. And this person is head of the CIA. The tinder just gets drier. I hope the rank and file can keep him under control.