Dear stranger in the popcorn aisle, do you know how much I love you? I love everything about you. I love the hair clip on the very top of your head. I love the toddler jumping at your side. I love your shopping lists and coupons. I love your walker, and the cute scooting noises it makes. I love your overalls and company jacket. I love that you came in your workout clothes. I love that you let me see you once without makeup. I love your blue bag, your yellow trench coat, and bright pink heels. I love the way you carry your lunch number – sometimes like a sword, sometimes like a rose. I love the way you melt in front of the toddler in the child’s seat – you can be seriously picking out peppers or crossing something off your list, but the next moment act like a total goofball in front of your child’s adorable face. I love your face – the laugh lines and the crow’s feet. I don’t like that you’ve smoked so much, but I still think you’re raspy voice is cute and could tell a good joke. I love looking at your fingers and thinking of what all you’ve done with them. I love your amazing white hair and the blonde highlights that fit you so well. And since we’re on the subject, you did a great job on that outside around-the-back braid this morning.

When we separated for several weeks in February, I was sure I wouldn’t miss you. Yet, when I caught a glimpse of your face in a Wal-Mart on a Saturday two weeks later, I remembered how good you looked, and I felt a pang in my heart. I really did miss you a lot, and that’s why I’m writing you this letter. So that we both don’t forget.

I hope that you keep coming to see me, that you keep liking the steaks and sausage I sell you. I hope you don’t change much over the years. You have taught me so much about life and people and my own character, and for that, your fingerprints are all over my soul. Without you, my life would be boring, and cheerless. Thank you for teaching me all kinds of things, thanks for your business, thanks for the surprising conversations, thanks for being you – interesting, creative, inspiring, energizing, beautiful, strange, you.

Imago Et Lexi | XVI


It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light faded.

And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”

And having said this he breathed his last.

Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

Luke 22:44-47

On Turning Nineteen


My eyes flutter open, and my legs swing out onto the floor. The blind goes up, and WHITE. It’s all I can see. I reach for my glasses and squint. Blink several times. Pretty! It snowed last night!

The snow wasn’t a surprise – coworkers and customers were gloomily discussing it all day yesterday. I guess we all expected the weathermen to be wrong again, like they usually are. I didn’t take the prediction seriously. But there had been a strong wind all weekend through, and I should have believed that that wind could blow in just about anything.

But when I awoke, after sleep had erased expectations, I was surprised. Wow. Okay, yeah, I should have seen this coming. I should have remembered. But anyway, cool!

This is exactly how turning nineteen feels.

The eighteenth has been the best year of my life so far. I’m a little sentimental about leaving it, but I think I’ll be okay. I was suddenly seized by a desperate desire for the future, which is comforting — because I was the eighteen-year-old at CBS making fun of the nineteen- and twenty-year-olds and all their wrinkles. I was happy in my warm blanketed age, and scared of the day I would have to embrace the new one.

So being suddenly seized by a desperate desire for the future has been a balm which has soothed my fears and tremors of growing up. All I could think about today was what’s going to happen in the next two years, and it caused great excitement! My life and the events leading up to now have been amazing and incredible. How can I think the next five years will be any less?

I’ve been told life only gets better with time. Praise the good LORD, I think they’re right.