Missing You

Since the time I was a teenager out in West Texas, I’ve followed basketball, football, and golf.  I have favorite teams or players like many of you do.  You may be into soccer, or bowling, opera, theater, going to movies or concerts.  During this time of world-wide crisis we have all been told to just stay home.  I have no problem with this directive.  In spite of whatever inconvenience this may impose, radical times call for radical measures.

I have to say it though, I don’t miss watching the NCAA tournament, my favorite golfers playing on the grass so green, or spring training games for my baseball team, the Texas Rangers.  This reality was quite an eye-opening experience for me, since I’ve been athletic all my life.  Yet, I still don’t miss it.

I don’t miss going out to a movie.  I certainly don’t miss Hollywood’s elite telling me how stupid I am for supporting our President.  That whole make-believe industry holds no sway over me these days.  I just don’t miss it.

“Missing you” is reserved for those of my personal family I haven’t seen in awhile, or those men and women who are part of the two Bible study times I lead.  In the incomparable words of Lowman Pauling, and Ralph Bass, and their 1971 hit, my blog today is “Dedicated to the One I Love.”  I love and miss my friends from church.  These are the folks I am connected to.  One thing we all cannot afford to do is lose the connection with our friends and family… just because we are adhering to the “stay home” element required by all of us at this time.

I remember when the telephone on the table was connected by wire to a plug on the wall.  You picked up the phone, you got a dial tone, then dialed the number of a friend and waited.  Waited until the friend answered, or until a message machine guided you to “leave a message.”  We still have the “leave a message” option on our cell phones today.  But there is so much more you can do with your cell phone than just calling someone.  Today we can “text” someone a message, or Skype or FaceTime with each other like a video conference call.

If you can send or receive an email from your mobile device, then more than likely you can also send and receive still image pictures, as well as short video clips.  All of these activities can serve to preserve the emotional and spiritual connections between people who love each other.

In addition to your cell phone, there is always the opportunity to practice a lost art: writing cards or letters to those we love.

Now think on these words of Jesus..

John 13:35
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Missing my friends should not paralyze me.  Just the opposite.  My missing people should stimulate me to be creative in the ways I try to reach out and “touch” people “virtually.”  That has been my goal for the last few days of writing these blogs.  We are all in the same boat of danger from this virus.  The phrase used by scientists is “flatten the curve of the pandemic”; that just means slowing the spread of infection.  The number one way you and I can help is “social distancing.” The current thought is to not be in a group larger than 10-15 people.  One of the greatest privileges of our time in history, is using technology to stay connected while not in the same physical space or location.

The old adage is true, and this current disruption to every facet of our lives proves it to be true:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

My version is:  I’m Missing You.

Just how serious should we take all this?  You may or may not know these statistics:

As of 8:53pm March 17th (last night), according to NPR’s Elena Renken and Daniel Wood, 6353 people in the USA have tested positive for COVID-19.  Of this number, 108 have died from complications derived from the virus.

In this same report, in Texas, 110 have tested positive as infected, and 1 person has died.

That is serious enough for me.  I want to help. I want to be actively part of the solution. So I will keep on missing you.  As more time passes before we can gather again without fearing the unknown of this virus, I will miss you more and more.

Missing you will inspire me to write more articles for this blog.  I will do my best to stay current and relevant to the things that concern us all.  The Minister of Senior Adults in our church emphasized the importance of these key activities you can do at this time:


  • Pray for God to stop this virus.
  • Pray for families to use this time to re-connect with each other and to God
  • Protect yourself
  • Pray for healing for those infected

I guess I just want to add my two-cents worth, as you miss those whom you call “friends” try to connect with them through your phone, by email, by text, or some means that you feel comfortable with.

While we wait, and trust in God, stay connected, and…

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.




Please share these blogs with friends and family in whatever way you can.

The silence in my head

via Sound


Simon & Garfunkel’s song was pounding in my headache as I awakened today. “Hello darkness, my old friend… I’ve come to talk with you again…”  Recorded in 1964 by Columbia Studios in New York City, I was only 10 years old when I heard this song on my sister’s radio.  Half a century later, clear as crystal these lyrics sang back to me from my subconscious sleep, over and over and over.  Now I need a nap, to get some rest.

Actually, I’ve had a great deal of experience with silence.  For years as a pastor, whole periods of my daily existence were completely void of sound.  While I would read, study, and write sermons and Bible studies, even the clock made no noice, it was digital. Occasionally I would hear a squirrel run across the roof, or the sound of thunder during a rainstorm, the wind howling through the leaky windows.  Mainly though, the silence was deafening.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t have called someone on the phone.  Yet there it sat, inches away, making no sound.  I could have listened to music, turned on a playlist, the radio, something.  The sound of silence had truly become comfortable for me.  During those hours of quiet contemplation and communion with God, He instilled in my mind during these times of silence, thoughts I would write then later speak.  Even now, as I write these words, the click-click-clicking of the keyboard is as loud as the framer’s hammer driving 3 inch nails into the house being built down the street.  It’s silent in my office, and I hear the cars rushing by on the street as their drivers stream toward work and school while I sit silently listening.

Last line of “The sound of silence” goes like this:

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence

The cryptic language of the song is a fascinating study in the power of lyrics and music. A neon light, thousands of people talking without speaking, hearing without listening, writing songs that no one hears, because they are never shared… these are very powerful images, but what does it all mean?  Simon said in an interview with NPR, “It wasn’t something that I was experiencing at some deep, profound level – nobody’s listening to me, nobody’s listening to anyone – it was a post-adolescent angst, but it had some level of truth to it and it resonated with millions of people. Largely because it had a simple and singable melody.”  So there you go, just a song that resonated with millions of people, because of the music and lyrics.

David the King of Israel wrote music and lyrics thousands of years ago, which people still sing.  We don’t really know what the music sounded like, so much as we know the lyrics today.  Although Amy Grant helped us all with “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” [Psalm 119:105] and other music artists along the way have captured the Psalms in their music,  I wonder if there was music accompaniment at all to some of the things David wrote.  For example, “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.” [NASB] many people my age recognize as “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” [KJV] Psalm 98:4

During my hours of study there would be times of joy and shouting, and times of weeping and silence.  In all those hours I remember fondly God’s voice “whispering in the sounds of silence.”

Be still, and know that I am God!   Psalm 46:10a