Fighting for Community (or Fading Away)

I know what it must feel like to be a ghost. I am haunting the life I used to live but haven’t moved on yet, hanging out on the fringes of what I once called mine. I watch everyone around me go about their days as they always have but I am on the outside […]

A Reflection on Finding Community in the Church

“It’s hard to find community,” they say. I sit across from them at Starbucks or at my dining table and listen to them share about the difficulty of finding people they connect to, people with whom they can build a solid friendship and grow together in faith. “They” have been college students, single young adults, […]

When We Don’t Want Others To Belong

  I’m looking for spaces that are a homecoming. I’m realizing it’s not easy to find places of true belonging and it’s even harder to be a person who offers it. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to belong, but I know many who want to disconnect, to distance, to separate and […]

My Improbable Love of “Happy Birthday”

I should get bonus points when I surprise my friend Shoshana: she’s remarkably unflappable. If I’d told her I was getting a giant bat tattoo on my behind, she’d probably nod and say, “Oh, interesting.” But the other day on the phone, when I told her I love it when people sing “Happy Birthday” to […]

From Information to Transformation

I have worked in several organizations where personality tests were a common language, sometimes they became a default for conversation or the butt of many jokes. It was not uncommon to be able to identify strengths, introversion or extroversion or a myriad of other descriptors of one’s work, communication or social style. While this was […]

A Different Kind of Unity

Wherever I found religion in my life I found strife, the attempt of one individual or group to rule another in the name of God. The naked will to power seemed always to walk in the wake of a hymn. – Richard Wright   Nestled between the land masses we call Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, […]

The Comfort of Luminous Lights

“He is my God though dark my road He holds me, I shall not fall Whatever my God ordains as right To him I leave it all. Sweet comfort, sweet comfort Yet shall fill my heart” –Sandra McCracken, Sweet Comfort   The past few years have been the most difficult of my life. I’ve been […]

When Compassion is Exhausting

The first year of giving a crap, that’s the exciting one. For me, it was back in 2009 and Twitter was a twinkly new toy and microgiving was a new buzzword and everyone had a birthday campaign. “This year for my birthday, all I want is clean water for a village, all I want is […]

Come Eating and Drinking, Come Hungry

In my father’s last days, his hunger vanished.  As he shrunk like a hollowed out husk, his spirit being gathered by the very hand of God, his appetites died within him. The hospice nurse handed me a pamphlet about the stages of death and closed her palm gently over the back of my hand.  “Fluid and food […]