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Where the Streets Have No Name

A Homage to the Brave

Sometimes the bravest people are the quietest, the ones who fight private wars no one sees.

Several years ago, one song became my repeat soundtrack.  The  original video for that song, “Where the Streets have No Name,” was filmed up on a city rooftop, with a very young U2 (say, Edge with a ponytail).  Interestingly, during the band’s attempt to record that live performance, local authorities and police showed up and threatened to shut down the project. The bold open-air idea almost didn’t happen.  Which, is usually true when you choose to attempt a new way, to step out on a new path.


But the guys carried on, and sang their lyric commitment to follow uncharted paths. They belted pulsing sound out over neighborhood streets.  Music spilled down to the sidewalks.  Frustrated law enforcement worked to stop the process.  Gathering crowds danced. And the drama only made the scene more true to life.  Chances are good, when your life sings loudly of freedom, the closest bystanders are either going to protest … or be inspired.

I have been inspired lately.

This is my homage to the brave, to my friends who are pursuing daunting new paths.  I watch with tears, reverance, and prayer as they are delivered — out of addiction, out of bondage to past wounds, out of tangled webs of shame and lies.

This (more recent) video is my motion to dance with those of you who are choosing to step out of known bondage, into unknown ways of Holy freedom; one step at a time, in spite of resistance, on streets with no names.

With you, and for you, I dance.

Don’t give up.

Tear down the walls. Reach for the flame.



Flight and the Truest Savior

I used to be a bird holding a helium balloon.

I trusted my own ability to compensate, to live, to fly on my own.

Sin management.

No more.


I am learning a new form of walking, breathing, and talking, living faith.

Balloons released to the sky.


I fly differently now.

What have you trusted besides God?

Do you have any balloons to release?


Bird Image by Marc Johns



“Is the turtle dead?” I ask, again.

Initially I relied on Lucas for vital stats on our sometimes dead-looking new pet. Now I just ask to bother him a bit — and let him feel smarter than me.

No, Mom,” my fourteen-year-old rolls his eyes, exasperated and a little amused,  “and he wasn’t dead the last time you asked.”

I smile, relieved.

Turns out, it’s hard to tell if a heart is still functioning when somebody is wearing a hard enough shell.

Maybe that’s true for people, too.


Photo: Emlynn Photography


“The true story of one woman’s struggles and battle with darkness–from abuse and rape, to addiction, prostitution, and death–and her soul’s awakening to light and meaning found in the One who gives lif

Katie’s path is an important part of my life.   God wove her into my journey many years ago when she was a vibrant and athletic high schooler.  In order to prep our house for sale, I hired Katie to paint our tired old lath and plaster walls.  One morning she was perched precariously, painting a high wall above the back stairs.  In a grocery bag rush, I made a hasty entry through the back door and soundly crashed into her ladder.  I nearly sent her sprawling down the stairs into the basement (it was only funny after our adrenalin levels settled down). Later, while standing on a safer ladder in my dining room, Katie handed me a small glimpse into her darkest secrets.  She told me one part of her deepest pain.  And at that moment, when I wasn’t looking, God sewed her into my heart.

We moved to Colorado a couple months after the ladder conversation and I lost contact with my wounded and artistic friend.

Years later, her journey curved and twisted back into mine.  Next time I heard about Katie, she was in crisis.  In a sense, pain had pushed through Katie’s back door and sent her into a spiraling and destructive freefall. Through a wild set of circumstances, (a long story for another time, maybe) I became a sort of long-distance advocate for Katie.  Turns out, God had sewn her into my heart for a purpose.   And now, even though she is miles away and we rarely speak, she has become a key part of my own story of recovery and healing.

Neither of us are afraid of the dark anymore.  And that is honestly the mighty work of a saving God.

But I’m just one tiny piece of sand in this ocean of a story.  Katie has impacted so many people, in far-reaching ways. And I know she’ll continue to do so …  So I’m sharing her story with you.

Watch the video. It’ll be six minutes well spent.

Be inspired.

[ Click the picture to watch Katie’s story. ]


Better Than I

Ok. Yes. This song is embedded in a rather dated animated children’s movie.
Ok. Yes. It may be melodramatic and has a key change in the middle.

But, sometimes truth emerges from surprising places.

So, hit PLAY.  I want you to listen to this song loudly, with headphones if possible, and hear it.  In Joseph’s story, hear that God’s love is deep enough to bring freedom … even in a prison cell.  In spite of your desperate efforts, failed plans, or hopelessness, hear God’s unconditional love right where you are, no matter your circumstance, no matter what’s in your heart.  He is stronger and wiser than your pride, shame, false gods, and broken cisterns. At the bottom, at the point where you have finally given up, He is the only one who is able to save you and lead you out.

He knows better.  I believe this.

May you find something profoundly and eternally hopeful in the middle of a cartoon.


You Know Better Than I” sung by David Campbell, in “Joseph, King of Dreams

Beautiful Things


Beautiful Things

“… All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

… You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us … ”

Gungor, “Beautiful Things



“Is the turtle dead?” I ask, again.

Initially I relied on Lucas for stats on our sometimes dead-looking new pet. Now I just ask to bother him a bit, and let him feel smarter than me.

No, Mom,” my thirteen year old rolls his eyes, exasperated and a little amused,“and he wasn’t dead the last time you asked.”  I smile, relieved.

Turns out, isolating self-protection and inner-deadness are tricky to differentiate when something is wearing a hard enough shell. 


Photo: Emlynn Photography


Katie Herzig, Live at the Fillmore, “I Hurt Too”

Even though you are drowning in valleys of echoes
I believe there is peace in those hills up ahead
You will climb ‘til you find places you’ll never let go
And I will also be here praying just like I said

I hurt too, I hurt too.