El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Dean Kellio

I have an anxious mind that is both incredibly active and imaginative. It’s the kind of mind that isn’t really welcomed around the flickering glow of a campfire while others lay prostrate in their sleeping bags telling ghost stories in the velvet darkness. If I were some kind of clunky old car my active imagination would carelessly stall me out somewhere along Anxiety Lane. Once I rolled crooked against the curb, with all my windows down, worry would begin filling me up faster than water through a screen door on a submarine.

My perfect Sunday would start off with sleeping in until 9:30 am where I would wake without the aid of an alarm clock. Walking quickly to the closet I wouldn’t have any trouble picking out something to wear while my wife prepared a breakfast of poached eggs on sourdough toast. Shortly after a leisurely commute I would arrive at church, which would be packed with sinners eagerly waiting to receive the gospel. Every need of the church was already being met by a surplus of mature Christians who were more than eager to serve God.

The store is crowded today. I’m running behind in my schedule so I rush through the sliding doors to get ahead of several other people who were walking in front of me. While looking down at my shopping list I turn a corner sharply and bump into an elderly lady who was surveying the shelves for pickled okra. As we collide, her glasses fall to the ground.

In the beginning God created everything we see around us from nothing. He made a man in His image and then from the rib of the man created a woman to complete Him. In order to know if the man and the woman would love Him, God allowed them to be tempted by a fallen archangel. The man and the woman sin as God sets a curse on humanity but also promising to send the solution in the form of the Blessed Redeemer or Messiah.

“We prayed for a white Christmas. We had been praying for months for rain and snow and now with just a week to go before Christmas the forecast predicted eight days of sunny weather. As I finished my closing prayer to the congregation I included “but not my will but yours be done!” The service ended and I went home to enjoy a well-earned Sunday afternoon lull with my wife and daughter. 

The world can be a dark, cold place for kids whose parents’ neglect and abuse them. Max was eight years old when he was first taken away from his parents by Child Protective Services. I’m using the word “parents” here loosely and it’s a misnomer of praise to the two derelict souls who brought Max into the world. His mother was a heroin addict and his father was a violent gang banger who was in and out of prison.

 For many of us, Christmas is our most treasured and favorite season of the entire year.  With every bright light that is hung from house eve to Christmas tree, the month of December becomes further and beautifully illuminated by the hope of the child-Savior who was born in Jerusalem.

The bench sat alongside a lonely stretch of dirt road under the shadow of Gaskill Peak. Day after day horse drawn wagons passed by but their riders never bothered to stop and enjoy the breathtaking views from the bench. Many full moons passed when a woman appeared planting flowers around the wooden bench.

“Should I fall out of love, my fire in the light, to chase a feather in the wind? Within the glow that weaves a cloak of delight, there moves a thread that has no end. For many hours and days that pass ever soon, the tides have caused the flame to dim. At last the arm is straight, the hand to the loom, is this to end or just begin? All of my love, all of my love, all of my love to you. The cup is raised, the toast is made yet again, one voice is clear above the din.

I know of this church in the city where there is an enclosed stairwell in which the homeless go in search of safety and shelter. A couple of weeks ago I discovered a couple pairs of feet sticking out of the stairwell. I didn't want to wake the individuals who were attached to the feet so I went to the church’s copy room which doubles as my office and sitting down began to read my bible.