Despair and Fuzzy Blankets

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of hearing Miroslav Volf speak at our Diocesan Lent Day. One of the topics he touched on was despair. Drawing on the work of Alain Ehrenberg, Volf suggested that despair flourishes where “Everything is possible, and nothing is prohibited.” In other words, our modern life. Volf also spoke […]

Fear Knot

I roll along in silence between the sterile, white walls. Hospitals are like that—a bizarre blend of fear, hope, and rubbing alcohol. My brain spins in circles like the wheels on the chair beneath me. I ruminate on the blood, the pain, and the uncertainty of a happy ending. The knot cinches up tight in […]

Dismantling Dark Emotions

I am one of those people that journal religiously. I have since I can remember. And I keep them (which is miraculous considering how much crap I throw away). I used to think that buying a new journal was like New Year’s Eve: A new chance at life. But now I’m learning that it doesn’t […]

Fear Not

I sat there, sipping my mocha, while our daughter rolled a ball across the floor, back and forth, and periodically tried to escape from the little corner we had planted ourselves in, waiting for them to call the flight. I took a picture or two of father and daughter, grinning, holding each other close. And […]

Quit While You Still Love It

A number of my friends are facing a crossroads at the moment asking the same immortal question as The Clash did in 1982: Should I stay or should I go? The pattern, I observe, goes something like this:Move to a new placeSettle into new placeEnjoy the new placeRESTLESSNESS. When I first became a Christian minister […]

I Know Why They Chose to Sink

I came across a journal the other day with one of the only poems I’ve written in more than a decade. My college years were spent between literary criticism, philosophy papers, and procrastinating by writing poetry. But after life got increasingly full and more complicated, I let verse fall to the wayside. That fullness quite […]

The Burden is Light

“Even my sink is full today!” I grouched, pouring another wire basket of tomatoes into the path of the running water. There were cucumbers on the counter, beans in the garden that needed to be picked . . . and no time to do it all. I love my garden—although sometimes this is not obvious […]

Reaching Across the Edges

I kneeled on the blue mat next to Sam’s bed in the skilled-care wing of the senior care facility. My elbows were on the edge of his bed as I leaned forward to hear him better. I felt like one of those old-fashioned needle point pictures of the children praying before bed, “Now I lay […]