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  • Writer's pictureTim Grissom

I was up in southwest Michigan recently, where Niecie and I lived for 14 years back in the 80s and 90s. We left there to move to our beloved south. We always thought we’d end up in Tennessee, but came to Arkansas instead. I’m just fine with that.

I’d only been back to Michigan two or three times in 26 years. It’s a hard place for me to visit—not because of bad memories but because of good ones. All four of our children were born there. We had wonderful friends. Though not without challenges (and the much too long winters), we enjoyed that stretch of our life.

Over the course of 14 years, we lived in four houses. I drove by one of them, our first one, while back in the area, but I just couldn’t go see the last one, even though it was our favorite. And I don’t think I ever will. It’s a simple three-bedroom brick ranch. Nothing elaborate, just a quiet and peaceful country setting. It was … home—and everything good that the word home implies.

A friend urged me to go see it and maybe even ask the current owners if I could come in. But as I told him, It’s a really good place in a really good past, and that’s where it needs to stay.

The past often gets a bad rap, and sometimes it deserves to. But not always. Some corners of the past hold sacred scenes of beauty, reflection, peace, and happiness. I like those places too much to disturb them by dragging them into the present.

In my mind, Memory Lane is more of a cul-de-sac than a lane. It takes me to a time and place that was and brings me back to the time and place that is, and I am better for having made the round trip. I’ve been able to connect a few dots and understand a little more of what God was doing then that matters so much now.

© 2022 by Tim Grissom. All rights reserved.

  • Writer's pictureTim Grissom

Between I know I should say this and I know I should not say this, there is I don’t know if I should say this.

So, say it or not say it … how do you decide?

Suggestion: Because we all bear the scars of words that should never have been spoken, not is the wise choice. And not yet is a good backup.

© 2022 by Tim Grissom. All rights reserved.

  • Writer's pictureTim Grissom

My heart is in Uvalde this morning, a community of some 16,000 souls; twenty-one fewer than yesterday.

I’m reluctant to write about the shooting. So many words are written and spoken at times like this, many of them carelessly, and I don’t want to add to the debris. Even so, to say nothing seems cold hearted.

I can only imagine the shock parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, and classmates are feeling. Suddenly a loved one has been taken. Violently.

If I were in Uvalde today, sitting at the table or on the porches of the grieved, I would maybe offer a cup of coffee or a glass of tea. But other than that I would just . . . be there. Be there and be quiet. Today is a day to feel—to moan, groan, cry, weep. It’s not a day for many words.

Honestly, I’d rather not even think about the dark sadness that has descended on that community. I’d much rather go on with my plans for the day, none of which included any crying or groaning. But I can’t shake a line from an old hymn (which has a sad backstory all its own):

I cannot close my heart to thee

Uvalde, you have my prayers. And my tears. My heart is with you.

© 2022 by Tim Grissom. All rights reserved.


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