The Fallen of WWII

…and the hope!

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

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more than words

It is one of my life’s greatest [guilty] pleasures to go wayyyy back back back (scrolling up up up, I spose, if we’re being directionally accurate) in my phone’s text conversations with certain people and just read about what our relationships were like way back when. And poke around in what was going on in life then. And be reminded of what kinds of questions I was asking people then.

[Pleasure] because I genuinely enjoy this — especially late at night when I’ve run out of sheep to count and new people to text. Often, I end up screenshotting whole swaths of conversations to ping over to the other person, too, reminding of what we chitchatted and bantered and emoji-ed. To drag them down to frolic along reminiscence lane with me.

“hey…look what I said to you back in 2014…”

“and hey, look what you said back…”

[Guilty] because society calls me sappy for doing this, and honestly, it’s not the healthiest thing to lose sleep just to bathe myself in yellowy memories of texts sent and forgotten.

But overall, this is a useful exercise for me, Ladison the Forgetful. It’s good for me to be reminded of how my friendship with so-and-so used to be during that one period in our lives when such-and-such was happening. And to reflect on how funny/sad/interesting it is how relationships have grown and changed. Or haven’t. All with the benefit of hindsight’s perfect vision and added wisdom. It helps me make sense and draw patterns and learn something of myself and others.

And, like any guilty pleasure, it’s just FUN and ENJOYABLE. A net positive for sure.

Today at small group, L mentioned that she deletes out her text conversations once the business at hand is taken care of. This is how she makes sure to respond to people and their texts, she said.

This made — and continues to make — me g a w k, of course, because I’m wondering: BUT HOW EVER will she read through old conversations and be reminded of those relationships and times and questions?

The answer is that she doesn’t. And, extrapolating here, that she doesn’t care that she doesn’t.

And it just makes me realize, yet again, how DIFFERENT people are from people. How different L’s brain (and probably, heart!) must be from mine for her to be able to let go of all those old nooks and crannies and the relationship dust settled within — all that dust that I sometimes like to visit in the attic, dandelion-blow through, and sift around in — just to be reminded of the texture and detail of how things used to be. My brain is really efficient at tucking away short-term memories into the wayyyy back corner of the attic. Sometimes, much to the dismay of my sister, never to be found again among the piles and stacks of things and times. It needs a little sifting through from time to time.

Maybe she just has a stellar memory.

Maybe she just isn’t a sentimental wee sap such as I.

Maybe she is an alien!

It may or may not be a combination of any of those three, and probably, more. If there’s anything that’s certain in this world, it is that there’s always more to be learned about a person. What a fascinating and frustrating and wonderful thing.

Speaking of this particular guilty pleasure, it feels especially appropriate that on this Tuesday night, I am youtube-repeating:

Crucify Him

I sing, “Hosanna!” when I want it all.
Then I crucify the Son of God.
Cause He isn’t who I always thought.
Not what I want, but what I needed.
I sing, “How great and mighty is the King!”
Just as long as He considers me
High above every other thing.
Even His glory.

Broken like a record.
Spinning round and round
Like a hurricane.
I pour out water then I disappear.
Reappearing when I fear enough,
Or need a touch from You.
I sing, “Hosanna!” once again
Then I say, “Crucify Him!”

It’s packaged differently than Pharisees.
Wrapped in sing-a-longs and Christianese.
Empty hallelujahs to the King.
When my heart is loving idols.
A man of sorrows acquainted with grief,
He had no form; He had no majesty.
How could He have the audacity
To ask me to give Him my tomorrow?

Broken like a record.
Spinning round and round
Like a hurricane.
I pour out water then I disappear.
Reappearing when I fear enough,
Or need a touch from You.
I sing, “Hosanna!” once again
Then I say, “Crucify Him!”

Forgiveness,
Forgiveness and love.


There’s something about sorrow that deepens one’s understanding of comfort. And something about sin and brokenness that deepens the meaning of grace. And something about suffering that reminds of the necessity for obedience. The necessity for worship-anyway.

There’s something about the book-end drives back and forth on a weekend trip — that was pretty great in and of itself — that underlines, again and again, in page-creasing ink, the mysterious workings of God through unassuming characters, meaningfully placed in my life.

Suffering doesn’t necessarily promise a lesson in hindsight. You’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting a be-ribboned package of life lessons waiting for you at the end of the tunnel; meaning restored and deep understanding, you may or may not come to gain. Not always. But what actually does (must) follow are these: Faith despite feelings. Obedience amidst crushing discouragement. Worship with tear-choked throats. Praise God. Praise God. Praaaise God.


I come, God, I come
Return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might know You in Your suffering

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still all that I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need