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Rod Hugen's Posts

Time and Distance

TIME AND DISTANCE Uncle John Hugen handed me a Bible. “It was your great grandmother’s. I think you should have it You’ll appreciate it more than most.” Still, it gathers dust up on my bookshelf. In 1620 it was printed in a language. I can’t begin to understand, it becomes a comfortable, sacred relic, an odd connection to some distant past. A memory of a time I didn’t, couldn’t know.  A bespectacl...

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Things I missed…

Sunday was hard. I stayed home from the Village at the Elder’s request. It makes sense. Kathy is at high risk for getting the virus. Patients at the Veterans Hospital are at great risk and she roams all over the hospital. It is a building filled with elderly, immune compromised people. It is good for her to avoid being around lots of people. No one wants to be the person who passes the virus to so...

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Well water…

The only thing left of the farm I grew up on is the well. It is still covered by the piece of cast iron that covered it when I was a kid although the long handled red pump has been replace by an electric one. I think about it every once in a while. There was something wonderful about moving the pump handle up and down until cool clear water came running from the spout. There was an old dented tin ...

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Permanent Grief

There comes a time when grief becomes a way of life. It becomes permanent. A profound sadness envelops me. What I long to have ‘fixed’ remains forever broken. There is no fix. No answer. Obviously, there are moments of rage and anger that point to my demand for solutions and the blocked goals I have that will not be appeased. Those things must be addressed. There are moments when the hurt within t...

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Answered prayers

I pray a lot. I even have a ‘prayer tub’ thanks to the generosity of others. In my old age I’ve come to realize that praying is of primal importance. The more time I spend doing it the better life seems. I love talking with God. I love praying with, and for, others. It’s tiring and sometimes it feels like war, but most of the time I come up on the other side of a prayer time refreshed and renewed....

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Things you probably don’t know about your elderly pastor…

Things you may not know about your elderly pastor: I was once arrested for robbing a Circle K convenience store. Fortunately the store clerk said he didn’t think it was me so they released me.  The first time I was ever in an airplane I parachuted out at 12,500 feet. I didn’t get to wear a flight suit because I was too tall and I had to wear a football helmet from the local high school becaus...

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Saying Goodnight to Derek

Our son, Derek, who lives with us, went to the animal shelter eighteen years ago in order to rescue a couple kittens. The big, beautiful gray and white kitten who ran up and licked his hand when he tried to pet him was a shoo in to come to our home, but so was the tiny frightened black kitty mewling and crying the back corner of the cage. She also won his heart. There is nothing more fun than watc...

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Things that reveal my wife’s awesomeness…

My wife is awesome. Friends of mine on Facebook would know that because I often post things that reveal her awesomeness. Sometimes those things are pointing out the funny and quirky things that she does or says. Sometimes those things show the beautiful ways she engages her family and friends. What you may not know is how much she means to me. What you may not know is how much she loves her family...

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The Saddest Story

What once was verdant green turns fiery orange, crimson red, then slowly browns to death, unties from living bonds, lets go sustaining branches drifts softly to the ground, lies quiet in the darkened mud among those gone before.  All is lost in crumpled mire.  Blades and veins and midribs disappear amid the roots, degrade, decline, decay.  Soon they are no more, just dirt returning ...

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A tribute to a teacher…

He wasn’t my favorite teacher. He was intimidating and a tough grader. For a teenager with the kind of learning disabilities that make it difficult to get assignments done, he was more an arch nemesis than a friend. I was also rather lazy and preferred basketball to conjugating verbs.  I’d heard crazy stories about him from my older sister. She told of how he prowled the aisles between the de...

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Narratives in my head…

Many years ago I remember telling my friend, Wayne, that he ought not attribute motives to another person. I assured him he couldn’t possibly know what was rattling around in someone else’s head. He acknowledged my rebuke and was repentant. A short while later he confronted me about the comments I had made about someone else’s motives saying, “Aren’t you the one who told me to never attribute moti...

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On grief…

Grief comes spewing out when you least expect it. A word here. A taste there. A smell. A song. A question. Insignificant, random moments that are suddenly thrust on you and tears flow and your heart is pierced and all the loss comes falling out in a heap in the middle of God knows where. It’s not arrangeable or scheduled. It can’t be forced. It just happens.  I was at the doctor for the annua...

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Loss

They slowly slip away, one by aging one, limping down alone these ancient saints take little with them but simple, godly hearts and tattered memories.  The things they built become decrepit edifices, abandoned now by children’s children and the children after them. Beside decaying paths the old ones slowly fall away.  Soon there is no memory, no recollection they were here.  The world goes sp...

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Bridges

Cantilevered prayers, desperate floating cries, secure me to a mighty God through Spirit’s groans, bridging to the Maker who weeps of my collapse. Knowing I can’t stand alone, he spans chasm walls, extends the girders, welds beam to beam with an underpinning love  that never lets me go. In the swirling chaos where nothing solid lies, far beneath the seething waves tension and compression war....

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Religion God Accepts

Ruth died. She was my mother’s best friend and the wife of Pete who became something like a dad to us kids after our dad died in 1969. Pete would come over most weekends and do things like fix a leaking faucet or replace a water pump on Mom’s ‘88 Oldsmobile or help Mom with balancing the bank book. It was the stuff of everyday life. Ruth would most often come with him and she and Mom would chat wh...

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