Good Links (The Welcome Wagon Edition)

Amber hopped a jet to the Caribbean last Thursday, though it's not like it sounds. She and a few friends hitched their wagons to the star that is Help One Now and made their way to Haiti for the week. It should come as no surprise to you that the boys (including this boy) get restless when Mama's away. She's brings balance to this house full of testosterone, and when she's away, things sort of go the way of the man. What is the way of the man? Let's just say that my boys have eaten more meat, imbibed more root beer, watched more action movies (appropriately rated, of course), have caught numerous fish, destroyed numerous household furnishings, and have irreparably clogged one toilet.

Yes we are well aware of our frailty, so when mama returned to save the day, the welcome wagon was ready to meet her. It went down as follows:

We're glad Amber's back.

With all my free time this week, what with raising four boys, work obligations, and a community gathering or two, rounding up good links was difficult. But such as I have, I give to you. Enjoy.

BOOKS

Late last year, I had an inkling that I needed to dive into the words of St. Francis. I put off said inkling, and instead chose to rip through three novels that were not spiritual and were certainly anything other than saintly. I digress. At the prompting of a friend, I picked up a copy of Francis and Clare: The Complete Works. Grammar aside, it's busting my chops.

Know well that in the sight of God there are certain matters which are very lofty and sublime which are sometimes considered worthless and inferior by people; while there are other things cherished and esteemed by people, which are considered worthless and inferior by God.

Grab a copy.

LINKS

Tonia Peckover is one of my favorites. She's one of the rare pearls of the internet, and has been stretching her poetry across the screen these days. She posted this piece on the Rwandan genocide memorial. Warning: take a deep breath before reading.

It's Holy Week, the week Christianity commemorates the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Head on over to Deeper Story for John Blase's piece Happy Easter Chuck.

I've loved all the posts that have come from Haiti, but none more than those from Laura Tremaine. She's been honest with her misgivings and assumption. It been refreshing. She writes:

But how, then, were these children seeing us? As novelties? From the outside, did we look like poverty tourists? We had translators, but how can I know how we were actually presented? As the hours slipped by with children in my lap, it ceased to matter. The only person over-thinking this particular relationship between giver and receiver was me.

PHOTOS

Mike Rusch has been taking photos of the unsung heroes, those whose names you will never know.

Of this photo, he writes:

You'll never know his name but he works with Haitian government to accept children into Ferrier Village that were rescued from Human Trafficking. The world needs more heroes like this.

VIDEO:

Were you there?

MUSIC:

Did you dig into The Oh Hello's 2012 album, Through the Deep, Dark Valley? If you missed this one, here's your chance:

Thanks for stopping in this week. See you soon.

On the Occasion of Mike's 40th Birthday (or "Gather You Fires")

There are band of good people that I know, and Mike Rusch is the chief among them. I've penned this for him, and them, on the occasion of his 40th birthday.I promised poetry this year. Here's one of the first installments.

*****

There are kin-lights recognizable in the best brothers-- the spark of saints' names spoken, wive's held like own Aphrodites, Somali-starred stories, the memory of the frailest soul lost, the mention of village where daughters, nieces, neighbors, sisters were born into an acquired taste for air, for our wounded lungs, for the notion of forgotten, remembered.

Gather you fires-- awake in the collective-- rare though it gathers, short though it's lived, small though it seems; We are.

Lights are again and again, like the ashes of last year's Lent, and next year's, the dogged birthmarking of our natures, best and worst, together.

Gather you fires best-- awake in the collective-- in the feasting, in communion wine, and there find that we together are more than ashes. We are, a briliant, unforgettable constellation.

*For regular updates, follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page.