The Radical Questions of Christ

So Jesus had a knack for asking questions that threw people a little off-balance.  Questions that provoke anger, exposing his enemies, questions that stick in a person's head and poke, like irritants introduced to an oyster.  Eventually, over time, maybe that irritant will produce a pearl. As many smart people have observed, Jesus asked way…

In a World Dry as Kindling

Dear Kids, As you might have noticed, we were born in America.  We come from families with a long history of working hard to beat the odds, of excelling in all kinds of jobs—or not, as the case may be.  We have drinkers and pirates and politicians and scalawags, artists, creators, teachers, and pastors lining…

Mamas and Boys

Four mamas, nine boys between us.  The oldest is fifteen, the smallest fiercely five, and we’ve been through it.  From infertility to a whole lot of surprising fertility, from spectrums and conditions to hand-wringing and tears.  We’ve seen the inside of a lot of hospitals and churches and counselors’ offices and McDonalds, laughed and snorted…

One Small Prayer

platitude, noun:  a remark or statement (especially with moral content) that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.  Cliché. It has happened a hundred times.  At gravesides, hospital beds, over coffee.  Tears are falling, someone is looking for answers. He won’t be with us much longer.   I’m going to lose the…

Why in the world…

People sometimes want to know what it is like to live on the full-time financial support of others.  Isn't there a better way?  Grants, say, or the insurance payout from accidental dismemberment?  The very idea of raising support gives most people the heebie-jeebies, and when one's son or daughter is contemplating a life of service,…

See Eternally: Homesick, Part 2

In the waiting, do you lose heart? God is not dead, nor does he sleep. The hiddenness of God does not indicate his absence, his apathy, or even his inaction, just our own blindness. We can't see God or his host of angels any more than we can see electrons whirling around in our fingertip.…

10,000 Ways That Won’t Work

Thomas Edison is known to have said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” 10,000? Here are a few. 1. Whining doesn't work. Just makes yucky things take longer. 2. Being crabby. Ditto. 3. Being prideful. Love falling on my face, but perchance a little humility goes a long way?…

Light of the World

I live with my family in an impoverished sector of the sprawling Denver metro area. In 1995, I spent a summer here, my first summer immersed in inner-city life, inner-city ministry. I lived with 17 other college students on old mattresses in the dusty back rooms of an urban church, housed in what had been…