I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

We got back from our most recent trip to Haiti about eight hours ago. I, and three very humble, gifted, generous, funny, faithful friends had a full day of travel and retrospection. As is true after pretty much every trip the conversations kept steering to what could we do to “fix Haiti.” We didn’t use those words but that is the bottom line.

There are many responses rolling in your mind right now.

“Heal thyself” might well be one of them.

I digress.

By “fix” we are pretty much skipping over some of the greater truth to chase an economic solution.

Economic change is greatly needed there.

That’s exactly the thing we cannot fix.

To dwell on that is to come to a level of frustration that leads to spiritual stagnation that leads to defeat.

There is a line in a Book I read fairly regularly that says “the One who began a good work in you will see it to completion…”

We aren’t called to finish the job. We don’t even have a good grasp of what the beautiful result should look like. We are simply called to be participants in the project.

If we lose sight of this we also lose sight of something very sweet.

The good work is exactly that.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Anderson for that matter) but there are over 600 children going to school through the work that was begun in us. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Washington for that matter) but there is a young woman with new clothes going to college. New clothes and college weren’t even an option, not even a dream. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or even change one hair on my head) but there is a very bright young man who is back in classical (secondary) school who’d dropped out because he didn’t have the $250 for the annual tuition. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but I also can’t get the image out of my head of several people leaving our outdoor woodworking area with chairs, tables, stools, and HUGE smiles. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but there is a freshly painted building with new pews to sit on where people gather to praise and draw strength and find hope in a place where these things are as essential as air and food. That means something.

I can’t fix Haiti but I can believe in a Friend who is in the process of doing that very thing - and fixing me in the process.

I got to the church building here in Rogersville about 11 last night. I checked my messages and mail. There was a note from a sweet lady who had a serious injury and several surgeries last year. She had no money for food - or for Christmas gifts for her children. You gave generously to her. The note she sent included the words “you have no idea how much that meant to us.”

She’s right.

As our Friend and I were winding up a fairly brief stroll this morning I felt compelled to confess the part of my life that wants to see everything fixed. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“I prefer to look at the fixers.”

Your move.

Brother Pat


I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

I love Luke.

We never met, being separated by a couple of millenia as we are.

But my affection is deep for what he gave me that otherwise I wouldn’t have.

Luke, if you are wondering, wrote a right fair smart of the Book I read for comfort, challenge, and humility.

He was an outsider.

Quite likely the only outsider who got published in this way.

Without him I would never have known about the story my Friend told about the waiting parent. It’s a story that has me relating to every character in the tale.

Without Luke we’d be left with one dreadful Christmas Carol. Can you imagine the drudgery of singing 🎶We Three Kings🎶 without some relief from 🎶Joy to the World🎶?

This morning I am dwelling on another tale our Friend taught that he, and he alone, shared.

In this tale, which has infinite implications, there are a couple of fellows who clearly should have known the right thing to do but took DELIBERATE action to avoid doing it.

Then along came another fellow traveler who, by the norms of the day, could have legitimately avoided doing the right thing but took DELIBERATE action to do it.

Then our Friend narrowed the question to an obvious answer.

And closed the account by saying “do that.”

Show mercy.




As our Friend and I ambulated along we were chatting about outsiders who show up and insiders who disappear. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“Makes you wonder if old Luke had ever been robbed and beaten - and loved - doesn’t it?”

Your move.

Brother Pat

Posted 3 weeks ago