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From the Editor -
Randy Chambers
Just Between Men
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By Randy Chambers

"Read me a story Daddy."

Seems so long ago since I heard those words from my own children. But those are days that, no matter how hard we embrace them, seem to fade so quickly. Like so many other fathers, I wouldn’t give up any of the times I share with my children, now that they are older. Yet there are still so many things I miss from those earlier times.

For instance, I cannot begin to put into words the feeling that came over me when I was woken at two in the morning by the sound of a hungry baby—and knowing it was my turn to get up. Sure, at first it was something I dreaded. But over time, it became something I would not have exchanged for the world.

Each time seemed very much the same as the last. We would get up, start heating the bottle (thank the Lord for microwaves), put on a fresh diaper, get the warmed bottle, and finally get comfortable and ready to eat, and burp, and eat some more.

That’s when it would happen. That’s about the time I would sit and gaze into that wonderful little face. I could not get over how small she was—so very fragile. Her eyes remained closed most of the time. Her little hands would stretch and move and clasp at the air, or the edge of her blanket.
THE SEPULCHER
By John Hunt

I cringed as I walked throughout the dark, cavernous sepulcher – a sepulcher so distant, so dank, and so desolate, that it seemed to be on the edge of nowhere. Succinctly put, the place was anything but hospitable – a place as ugly and cold as I had ever known. If I were to say that my senses were assaulted, that would be, quite simply, fallacious. Actually, it was the extreme absence of any sensory input – a kind of sensory deprivation, if you will – that marked this place. No, I didn’t like this place at all. All I wanted to do was to leave, to abscond out the entrance from whence I came, but somehow I was constrained to stay. A morbid fascination had consumed me.

Carefully, I listened as I walked through the vast expanse. There was no sound – no creatures scurrying, no resonance from water droplets falling, and no cavernous echoes from my footsteps. I became disturbed. Intentionally, I slapped my feet on the ground to see if I could elicit a sound. No sound was heard. I shouted out. Silence.

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Her face sometimes wrinkled in peculiar ways, as if she was contemplating some deep and interesting thought.

"What are you thinking about?" I asked her so softly I could barely hear myself. She replied with tiny grunts and moans, undisturbed by my presence while she concentrated so seriously on her dinner.

Every so often, she would open her eyes for a little while, and then—it was all over.

"What’s that honey? What do you want?" I knew. Anything she wanted at that moment was hers. I would deny her nothing … which was why it was a very good thing she hadn’t yet learned how to ask.

Her eyes locked with mine, and flared. It was like she was drinking me in. It seemed she looked at me just the way I was looking at her—studying every feature—every facial curve.

"Wow," we both thought. "Look what God did." We would sit there amazed until the minutes faded and the bottle emptied.

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." (Romans 11:33-36 NIV)

It was in times like those with my children that I also pondered the face of God. I desired to look into His eyes—to see every feature—every facial curve. I wanted to know what it is like to look full into His face and be drawn in, as if to drink in all of Him I possibly could.

And what about Him? If I, an earthly father, could be so moved by the catching eyes of an infant, what of Him? How much does He desire to look into the face of each of His children, and watch them—and see their eyes lock onto Him?

We’ve moved well beyond the years wherein I once read bedtime stories to my children. And my teenagers don’t sit close to me and gaze deeply into my eyes (unless it’s a staring contest). I know my daughter loves me, but she seems to be satisfied to spend considerable time away from dad. But that’s ok. I am still drawn to her and to God each time I see her sing to God in church. I may not be the apple of her eye these days, but I am delighted to see her eyes flare and sparkle when she looks up to another Father—a Father we will both hold dearly—and so dearly be held by as well.
Randy Chambers began writing at the age of seven, and more seriously when he began a wonderful walk with Christ at the age of 26. A husband and father of two, Randy served ten years in the U. S. Air Force before following God’s call to go to school full time at the age of 30. He graduated four years later with a B. S. in Psychology, a minor in Counseling, and a minor in Christian Discipleship. Randy has written numerous poems, some short stories, and a devotional series for his Day by Day daily devotion website at: http://www.daybyday.org