Category Archives: Character

The Cock Crows

At the heart of the “Greatest Story Ever Told” is a betrayal. No one would call their child Judas. The name is slimed with centuries of condemnation: the lily-livered turncoat who betrayed an innocent man for thirty pieces of silver. We might understand how the crowd could turn on Jesus, but how could someone from…

The Crossing Guard Who Rules the World

In my town, there is a school crossing guard who stands at the corner of Noroton and Clock Avenues. She wears a crisp blue uniform and a limey yellow reflector vest.  Under a black felt policewoman’s hat, her platinum grey hair drops straight to the nape of her neck. I am clipping down Noroton Avenue,…

Twenty Four Tributes: For My Father Turning 94

On Saturday my father, Gerald Anderson, turned 94. My brother wrote a birthday email and copied all seven of us siblings and all the in-laws. He ended by listing five gifts that Dad has passed on to all of us. 1. That you know yourself to be loved by God, 2. That you have lived in…

The Lantern Never Lies

On the odyssey of life we need some way of knowing where we are, and whether we’re headed the right direction. In English, to be “oriented” is to know where east is. Historically, church buildings are situated so that the altar is on the east wall, and almost always a window opens to receive the…

Charge to a Newly Ordained

On Sunday my son-in-law, Anthony Damelio, was ordained at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. I was honored when Anthony invited me to give the “Charge to the Newly Ordained.” As your father-in-law, Anthony, my charge to you on the occasion of your ordination is born of blood, the vows of marriage, and the blessed obligation…