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My instructions is to write for 15 minutes on picture #14 from a photo album. Write on all the feelingsit makes me feel without censorship.

One of the iconic buildings in the Chicago skyline was featured in an 80’s movie called, “Adventures in babysitting.” I don’t really remember much about the movie, except some of the kids end up on the side of the building in the climax. The building iscommonly referred to as the “Diamond Building,” which is currently owned by Smurfit-stone.

My picture #14 features my best friend Kevin Stanfield standing in Millennium park, with the Diamond Building behind him in the background. I love this picture for a variety of reasons:
– It’s Chicago. I have similar pictures of each of my children standing in approximately the same spot with same background.
– It’s Kevin. This guy has stuck with me as one of my closest friends for 20 years. We were in each other’s weddings. I’ve visited him on the mission field in Africa. He is on my Board of Directors with Exago (a ministry I helped launch).
– It was a special trip. Kevin and I don’t usually get much time together outside of Skype. When your best friend lives in Africa and you live in Arkansas, getting coffee or doing just about any other thing together is impossible most of the time. Kevin and I intentionally planned to meet in Chicago in early July, as he was on a brief trip back to the U.S. We had an amazing time for eating, hanging out, seeing U2 in concert a Soldier Field, and numerous other epic times together that coincided with deep conversation about life, marriage, fatherhood, and ministry.

This particular trip to Chicago was Kevin’s first experience in visiting Millennium park. He used to live in the city with his wife Tonya, but that was while he was a student at Moody Bible Institute in the early 1990’s. Millennium Park wasn’t actually built until 10 years later. In classic Chicago fashion, it was over budget, over time, with scandelous corruption all over the place. But the end product is gorgeous. There is an open air band shell area i the park, a reflection pool, and a huge bean shaped mirror ball that draws tourists and city residents alike. It’s an amazing place. To be in amazing place like that with my closest friend for a few days, was nourishment to my soul.

That may sound like overstating, but I had just finished spending much of the previous couple of months ministering to my wife Marque. She has serious health problems, so it was an incredible change of pace to hang out with Kevin in Chicago, rather than hanging out at the hospitals feelings helpless to do much more than pray and love on my wife.

15 minutes up.

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