Category Archives: Fear

Staying Home–For Fear

If like me you loved to read Shel Silverstein to your kids (or you’re lucky enough to be doing it now), you remember “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “The Giving Tree.” Here’s another Silverstein poem I found, one I didn’t know. It’s a riff on the Pied Piper myth. It’s a poem about staying home—for…

A Choice

Jeff Schlachtenhaufen is a big-time icon for me these days. His parents are parishioners of mine, and when Jeff developed pancreatic cancer in October I got to know Jeff—though I’ve never met him in person. He lives in Chicago with his wife Susie and their four children. Jeff has a Caring Bridge website—a blog that…

Learning from Whitney Houston

When a “star” like Whitney Houston dies in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub, everyone is shocked. We shouldn’t be, of course. Whitney Houston, like so many stars and starlets before her, slid into drug abuse, did stints in rehab, and lived in an abusive marriage. She was hugely successful—selling over 55 million albums—but like every…

You’re Not Gonna Wanna Hear This

train car

“No! I told him I wasn’t coming!” The woman answering her cell phone was talking way loud. I was five rows back on the train and the noise disrupted my conversation with Pam. “I don’t care—I’m not going!” Now the whole car was awkwardly silent, forcibly listening. A young man across the aisle from the…

Christmas in the Trenches

On the day after Christmas the work of Christmas begins. If yesterday we welcomed the Prince of Peace, then today we must live under his most gracious rule. Christmas has the power to break down the walls that separate us and unite us as in our common humanity. That power was never more remarkably demonstrated…