All for God Alone

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

Will you hear my confession?

I am not one to write about current events.  I have no pulpit; I am not a public figure.  And so, usually, I consider that what I have to say about the state of the world is, well, for the small circle of those around me, family, friends, acquaintances.    I stand by my belief that we are all -- ALL -- God's children and worthy of the love that is offered us.  And yes, I know that not all are willing or capable of accepting that love and the responsibilities that come with it.  That may be, for me, the ultimate definition of the word evil -- because that…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

An arroyo is never the trail…

Last night, I enjoyed the Arena Stage production of Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel, you know the one that ends with that big song about faith and hope, You Never Walk Alone.  And before that, I spent most of the day in the recording studio editing the final cut of my version of Walk with Me, an arrangement of the two traditional songs, I Want Jesus to Walk With Me and We Must Walk This Lonesome Valley.  Methinks that I am thinking a lot about the road ahead, the path I walk, the path I am called to walk? A couple of weeks ago, I was in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, hiking.  That is not…
Read More

I will, with God’s help…

Seven years ago today, I was baptized into the community known as the Calvary Baptist Church.  Each year since then, on this date, I have taken time to reflect on that day and all that has followed, and generally, I've written something maybe meaningful, maybe...and shared it with all of you.  I really thought that I would let today pass without mention this year, but apparently that will not be the case. If there is any lesson that comes with living a few years, it is this -- that what we think to be constant and solid in our lives almost always proves to be as transitory as the dust…
Read More

Remembering joy…

Monday evening, I participated in the Service of Remembrance at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in my neighborhood.  The Service of Remembrance, or, as some call it, a "blue" service, is the seasonal service for "the rest of us" -- those of us who find the required mirth of the secular season difficult.  I am always surprised that so few people attend these services, because I know that there are so many who find this season challenging.  For me, it was an important time to stop and feel, to sit and pray, and to be with others in a like-hearted space. In one brief hour, whoever planned the service managed to…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Fifteen years, remembrance and gratitude

This day is never an easy one for me.  I, like anyone who lived in Washington DC, or New York, or a little town in Pennsylvania called Shanksville, have my personal story to tell about that day.  That, however, is not the story I want to tell today as we remember the events of 15 years ago.  I want to tell you the story of a man whose name I do not know, a man working in a TSA line, in Columbus, OH. I was in Ohio (really in Gambier not in Columbus, but that was the nearest airport) to participate in the Kenyon Institute's Beyond Walls spiritual writing program.…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More
Follow

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: