Thursday, November 15, 2001

After watching the World Trade Center as part of my skyline for many years, it hit pretty hard that awful September 11th to see those towers come crashing down - and thousands of lives with them. The day after the first attack on the Trade Center in 1993, I was greeted by a TV crew as I got off a flight from Newark. They asked me as a New Yorker how I felt after that bombing. "Vulnerable" - that was my answer. Well, since the events of September 11, and the days since then, I think a lot of us are feeling that way. We watched everyday people like us, doing things we do - passengers on a jetliner, folks at their jobs -suddenly wiped out en masse. We're uncertain about what a new kind of war might mean, what's going to happen economically. And some of us are trying to help our children understand what we're not sure we understand. We feel vulnerable. It's as if some of our own sense of personal security and safety came crashing down with those majestic towers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Laura Ingalls Wilder - she'd written some books that enjoyed some success - but her name became almost a household word only after her death. After "Little House on the Prairie", based on her books, became the #1 TV series in America. Even though the series has been off the air for years, you can still find it just about any given day in almost any American city. And Laura's books about her family's life on the frontier have sold far more after her death than when she was alive. And as you read those books, you find that Laura really was a gifted storyteller. In touring the home where she wrote them, we learned one of the reasons why she was such a good story teller. As the TV series portrayed, her older sister went blind as a teenager. And Pa Ingalls told Laura she now had a mission - to be her sister's eyes, to put into words what was going on around them. That gift would later help her tell the stories that would touch the lives of millions.

Thursday, November 8, 2001

I'm lucky they don't make me wear a nametag when I go to see our dentist. See, he doesn't see me all that often. It's not that I don't need to see him; it's not that I don't pay for it when I put off seeing him. Oh, I'll get around to it--later. Now, don't you think we all have this tendency to avoid appointments that may be unpleasant? Sure we do. And, in most cases, you can put off--even cancel--meetings that you don't want to have. In most cases.

Thursday, November 1, 2001

When my wife and I pulled up late to the Bed and Breakfast we were going to be staying at, I tried to be real quiet. I was afraid we might wake some people up, you know. Not a problem. That B & B was buzzing like a beehive. Inside there were ten women huddled around the dining room table, each one with a sewing machine in front of her. Now, I learned that the other guests--all women--were there that weekend for a Mystery Quilt weekend. They were each making a quilt...some for the first time. And even though I felt like I had sort of crashed a grownup slumber party, I did ask a few curious questions like, "What pattern are you following?" They didn't know. See, it turns out that one of the women there, Millie, does these quilting weekends with ladies...and she has the pattern. It's a mystery quilt because each woman only has instructions what to do with the next piece or pieces; she has no idea what all those pieces will make. The next day, one lady said to me, "I can't wait 'till I can see what all this is going to look like when it's all put together." Good thing she didn't leave early with her pile of pieces, huh? She would have never known what it all made.

Monday, October 22, 2001

You know, sometimes people just overwhelm me with their love and their kindness. Some dear people from the church I grew up in learned about some needs we've had in our home for a long time. And well, with the schedule I have, there really hasn't been much time to make some of the desperately needed improvements or repairs--not to mention the fact that I am constructionally challenged, shall we say. And with our limited budget, we haven't been able to pay anyone else to do it either. Well, in this amazing expression of God's love, a work crew from my childhood church came to our house for three intensive days of house transformation. And now we can see all over the house the wonderful results of their labors.

But while they were in the middle of that work, life got very interesting around our house. We couldn't park in the driveway. Walking through the house was like walking through a minefield of cans and tools and workers. Our clothes were out of closets and laying all over tables. Furniture that had to be moved out of the worker's way made it very exciting just to walk through the house. It was a total mess! And even though I didn't enjoy the mess, I could handle the mess--for one simple reason: they were making our house a mess in order to make it better than it's ever been before.

Friday, August 24, 2001

Our new grandson looks so tiny and fragile - and my grandfather's heart just hates to hear him cry, especially when he's really hurting, and the crying is long and intense. Like the other day when his parents took him to the doctor for some preventive inoculations. Now they've decided that's a step they wanted to take to protect their son from things like polio and measles and other harmful diseases. Of course, those loving reasons are a little hard to explain to a three-month-old. "You see little guy, there are all these nasty germs, and this shot will help immunize you." Forget it! It just hurts, and he doesn't understand why.

It was just one of those shocker stories on the evening news. An American airplane had been shot down by a Peruvian jet fighter. But it wasn't a drug plane like some the Peruvian Air Force has shot down in recent years - it was a missionary plane carrying a young missionary family. The gunfire killed the mother, Ronnie Bowers, instantly, along with their baby girl seated on her lap. The plane went down and, miraculously, the pilot, along with Jim Bowers and his son, managed to survive. Their escape from the crash and the river was amazing - but no more amazing than what happened at Ronnie Bowers' memorial service a few days later. Jim Bowers stood before a packed church and summarized in two words what he was feeling in the midst of this horrible loss and ordeal. In his words - "inexplicable peace."

My friend Don is a wonderful family doctor. But some of the greatest moments of his life have been spent, not in a doctor's office, but on the river - preferably a river with some very challenging white water. He's a veteran kayaker and river rafter - with some fascinating tips for us folks who don't have his experience. He told me that, as a teenager, during his first days on the river, he was amazed to see canoes and kayaks just "hanging out" in the middle of these raging rapids. Then he learned the secret of this amazing feat - there are quiet eddies behind some of the big rocks in the rapids. And those canoeists and kayakers had found a place to rest in very turbulent waters - behind a big rock.

First it was the D-Day Invasion. Then, it was Pearl Harbor. Hollywood's latest attempts to make blockbuster movies based on decisive historical events that are almost unknown to a younger generation. Now, thanks to the movie "Pearl Harbor" and countless books and TV specials about it, millions of people have either remembered or learned about the deadly events of December 7, 1941. The Japanese invasion of America's Pacific base at Pearl Harbor left thousands dead and wounded and the American fleet severely crippled. It was a surprise, an attack no one knew was coming. And that's why it was so damaging.

The other day in the airport, I saw a mother and her daughter hustling to make a plane. But the little girl's face was covered with a mask that was basically a screen - she could see through it, but it was protecting her face. In just a glance, I could see that her face had been badly burned. She had long sleeves and long pants on, but my guess is that she probably had burns on other parts of her body, too. I really felt for her - and for her mother. She appeared to be a burn victim, doing all she could to heal and recover.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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