Author: Gaye Clark

I Still Do

More than 28 years ago, Jim knelt beside me, fought back his tears, and read from Ephesians. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” He reached for my hands and held them tightly. “I could never be all the things that are in this passage, but . . . ” “I do” came within the year. My bridesmaid whispered to me at the reception, “When I saw the way he looked at you when he said his vows, I just about died. Oh, to have a godly man look at me like...

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When You Don’t Want to Go to Church

Suffering can be unspeakably isolating. It can feel pointless and drive us toward depression. Depression, in turn, can drive us toward despair. And despair often keeps us from corporate worship. Two years after my husband’s passing, the merciless cascade of grief tempted me to skip church. One Sunday I almost didn’t go because I couldn’t stop crying. Then I remembered it was communion Sunday, something my pastor called a means of grace. The possibility of grace nagged at me until I got out of bed and looked in the mirror. My swollen eyelids told me I could use all the...

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The Hidden Gift of Followership

What impression does the word follower conjure up? Ordinary? Our elitist culture has developed the notion that leadership is the inevitable goal for talented folks. How many bestsellers celebrate the merits of followership as opposed to leadership? What college enjoys record enrollment with Training Tomorrow’s Followers as its banner? Fiction has excellent examples of followers who don’t fit the stereotype. J. R. R. Tolkien described his famous follower, Sam Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this way: “One tiny Hobbit against all the evil the world could muster. A sane being would have given up, but Samwise...

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The Day Work Became Personal

The Day Work Became Personal I’ve worked as a cardiac nurse for more than 25 years but never defibrillated anything except a manikin. Never stopped at an accident and saved someone in the nick of time. Never jumped up at a restaurant to apply the Heimlich maneuver to a choking child. Perhaps I should have been something else, or would I feel just as mediocre in that role too? I spent most of my nursing career praying and planning to leave it. Work was a means to an end. I couldn’t see what God was doing through my coworkers,...

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A Soft Answer Which Turns Away Wrath

Many years ago, when my children were small but energetic, I, a chronically exhausted mamma, would head to bed right after them. Sleep was an idol in my life in those days. One night, about 2 in the morning, my 5-year-old son, Nathan, came into my room and tapped his sleeping mother on the head. “This lady keeps talking and she won’t shut up.” I didn’t sit up or even open my eyes. It was just a ploy for my attention. I wasn’t buying it. “Go back to bed, Nathan.” He let out a whimper and headed to his...

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