A Personal Word...

This is the third anniversary of the "quake" that rocked our world - when my amazing Karen was suddenly called Home. It was - as a major loss is in so many families - a redefining moment for all of us.

This week, three years later, is strangely reminiscent of that week. That year - and this year - a grandson graduates from the local high school as valedictorian. Then and now, our grandson gives a Christ-honoring graduation speech. Then and now, I speak for their school's baccalaureate service. But this time, Karen won't be there.

But my journey through this "valley of the shadow" continues to show me Jesus as I've never seen Him before. My prayer is that these reflections will give hope to someone who may just be starting this journey. I can only say that when your life is anchored in a relationship with Jesus, the anchor holds. In spite of the storm.

I had the last handful of dirt. Many of our dear Native American friends had led the way. They really loved my Karen.

As I threw mine into that six-foot hole, I spoke the three words engraved inside our wedding rings. "Til Jesus comes." And then, quietly - "See you soon, baby."

I know I will.

It's a stunner. They call it Firefall. For a few nights in February, Horsetail Falls at Yosemite National Park appears to have turned into cascading molten lava!

In reality, it's a phenomenon created as the setting sun reaches just the right angle to shine on that waterfall. And that reflection creates a breathtaking "firefall."

A ten-year-old boy who never should have waded out in Lake Michigan without knowing how to swim. Me. I can still remember the terror and helplessness of going under for the second time.

I'm alive today because someone on the shore saw me drowning. He jumped in and saved my life.

Then there were those 33 Chilean miners, trapped for 69 days in a collapsed mine a half mile down. Until that rescue capsule was lowered down that newly-created shaft. The rescuers brought every miner out alive.

Our boys wore clothes with labels way outside my budget. Because of the generosity of a local doctor and his wife. He had first been a major medical blessing to us with the excellent care he provided. Then he and his wife blew us away with these bags full of cool clothes that their boys had outgrown.

There was a special connection that led to us being dinner guests in each other's home. I don't remember the dinner at their house, but I'll never forget the conversation.

I can walk faster than Hurricane Florence moved at times. Two miles an hour!I can walk faster than Hurricane Florence moved at times. Two miles an hour!

Some hurricanes roar in for a brief but destructive visit. Not Florence. She crawled through the Carolinas, overwhelming historic rainfall totals. And caused flooding where floods have never gone before. The storm is gone. The floods are still coming. Leaving shattered lives we need to care about long after the cameras have moved on.

Senator John McCain said it pretty well not long before his passing: "The world is in greater turmoil than at any time in my lifetime."

No matter where you live in the world, you're feeling that "the times, they are a'changin'." There's a lot that's broken. And problems so complex that every solution seems to create another problem.

Mine is in my shoulder, from replacement surgery. Our grandson's is in his chest from heart surgery.

Country singer, Carrie Underwood's was on her face from a bad fall and 40 stitches.

But most of ours are deep inside, where no one can see them.

I think it started at our grandson's two-year birthday party. With Cassie. That cute little Shetland pony that the party lady brought for the kids to ride in a little circle.

That's when my wife said, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could have Cassie at our place for him to ride?" So how can I say no to a pony for our then-only grandchild?

Not long after we bought Cassie, my honey casually commented, "You know horses are social animals. They really need company." Four horses later, they had plenty of company. Somehow, people kept coming up with horses for my horsie-lady.

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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