Over the years, I have been a steadfast devotee of NPR … and I’m not in any way a liberal. Go figure!

My favorite shows have always been Fresh Air, the show that usually focuses on interesting authors and their books. I am a book show junkie. You put Pat Conroy on a book show, audio or video or both, and I am so there!

But I am equally devoted to the show This I Believe. These testimonies are truly inspiring and spectacular. Some are from the famous, some from the routine folks like most of us. But the stories these folks have to share are anything but sublime. They truly explain clearly and succinctly what makes a person tick, or what event has profoundly shaped that individual’s actions or thinking.

Whenever I can get them on a podcast, I listen intently because more often than not, they have character lessons in them. One that I particularly remember was from James Michener talking about how his beliefs are influenced by the strength and resilience of man.

Others are equally inspiring, coming from homemakers, teachers, bus drivers. You name it. They have a story to tell. My college Journalism professor, Dr. Frank Buckley, used to tell all his students to walk out to the university quad, the gathering place for students every day, and for every person you see or touch, there is a story. He was right and when I was working in D.C., and riding the Metro from the business district to Union Station to catch the train home, I would remember his words and note that everyone standing around me had a story. Everyone. I always marveled at that.

A few years ago, I left a consulting firm in Cleveland to work for a company in Austin to be closer to family. When I left, I sent my goodbyes in an email to the staff there. In the message, I made several suggestions. Today, I was rummaging through some paperwork and came across a copy of that message. I smiled because I found that I still believed the items that I had mentioned in that message more than six years ago.

An item I did not mention in that message six years ago was having faith in God. Wouldn’t have been politically correct to do so, so you know. Now, I am not a preacher and certainly have no skills at what preachers do, but the past couple of days I have been thinking about what I truly believe.

I believe that God is in us and around us at all times. I do not believe He is boisterous or loud; but rather quiet, working on us, his children, in an unassuming manner. I believe God shows himself in every breath we take. I believe He is most successful when His touch is subtle and delicate.


Long's Peak near Boulder, Colorado

Years ago, I was hiking in Rocky Mountain State Park, trying to climb Long’s Peak, one of the tallest peaks in Colorado. I was well above treeline and moving slowly. I was not as acclimated as I should have been to take on such a climb. But there I was, slowly walking up the trail. I could see clearly below to the treeline but all around me were large fragments of rock, slag and shale everywhere I looked. All was either black, dark gray, gray or dark brown.


Except for one spot. Up ahead, just about 10 yards off the trail, I could see a spot of color. I walked over and saw that between these two huge boulders a small flower had wedged its way to the sunshine from beneath these stones. These rocks were the size that I could not move them in any way, even if I wasn’t tired.

I stood there and looked around for other flowers or anything else distinctive. Nothing.

At that point, I was convinced that God was there, showing His strength in the fact this flower had pushed its way between two huge boulders, and His soft, gentle manner by showing me that this delicate flower was there to bloom and flourish, even in rather adverse conditions.

He shows Himself in quiet breezes that cause fallen autumn leaves to dance along an asphalt road. He shows us His presence and magnitude in snowfall where no two flakes look alike.

I celebrate a graceful God. This I believe.