I’m sitting at The Tea House on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, working on Cal-raven’s Ladder.

It’s the week of the Glen Workshop, my favorite week of the year. I’m surrounded by writers and artists and musicians I admire. Tonight I’m introducing novelist Bret Lott for the keynote address, so I need to compose something for the occasion.

I don’t want to go into details here, but God carried Anne and I through a rather frightful experience this weekend. So many things can go wrong on the road, and we are grateful that God carried us through this encounter unhurt and that he swept us so safely back into a house crowded with God’s creative children.

I want you all to know that I’m so grateful for the richness I find in our conversations. Whether we’re cheering for a new Pixar preview or mining the wisdom of the Inklings, whether we’re arguing about the finer points of artistic ethics or interpreting mysterious lyrics, we’re on a journey that’s full of delights and rewarding challenges. “Looking closer” is a joy, but the world’s so full of wonders that it’s sometimes hard to know where to start, and the world’s so full of demands and distractions that it’s tough to devote my attention to any one thing fully sufficiently.

In the midst of my little ordeal this weekend, I found myself hovering at a distance over my life and I realized that I have no regrets …save that I’m so easily intrigued and distracted by the glories of God’s world that I fail to spend enough to hours in stillness and receptivity to the Spirit. I’m overjoyed at the privilege of exploring the world through art, sheltered and dazzled by God’s patience, affection, and wild mercy. That I am still here to continue that journey is a blessing. I’m grateful that you’re coming along with me in this unfolding story of humbling surprises and amazing grace.

Now, back to a cup of amazing chai (It’s called Coyote Chocolate!), and back to King Cal-raven, who’s riding out into a rainstorm in search of tidings of hope to bring back to his hungry, weary people…

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