Category Archives: Forgiveness

The Last Family Fight

We just don’t argue anymore. I spent the weekend with my six brothers and sisters—along with all our husbands and wives, except for my brother-in-law Larry in Kuwait. We were in Knoxville for a late celebration of my father’s 94th birthday. And we didn’t argue or fight. Which is saying something in this family. Twenty…

The Coming of Justice

On March 7, 1965, 600 civil rights marchers left Selma, Alabama for Montgomery. Governor George Wallace called the march a threat to public safety and vowed to do all in is power to prevent this rabble from marching all the way to his office in Montgomery. When the 600 came to the Edmund Pettis Bridge,…

The Left-Handed Blessing of Christmas Eve

  On Christmas Eve, as I placed a piece of bread in a man’s hands, he gripped my arm and said, “29 years of sobriety. Thank you.” Normally, the communion ritual is mute, except for the words of administration. “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven.” Sometimes the recipient says only, “Amen.” So be…

Christmas After Newtown

I lit a fire in the hearth this morning and turned on the lights of the bare Christmas tree. It was six a.m., cold outside with a grey morning light. Nine days before Christmas Eve. Twenty little children have been killed in their classrooms, festooned with holiday decorations and happily cluttered with Christmas crafts. I…

The Man Who Spoils Advent

It happens every year. We get off to such a beautiful start in Advent, and then he shows up. This season of hope and expectation opens with the lighting of the first purple candle and a glorious reading from Isaiah. Then comes the second Sunday of Advent, and he makes his annual appearance, the man…