I Have an Appointment with April

A week ago Pam and I went out into the church grounds and clipped tall branches of brilliant yellow forsythia. We were hosting a dinner at the rectory, and we wanted to brighten the house with flowers—without spending all that money. There’s a bank of forsythia running fifty feet along the church driveway, a riot…

The Power of the Act

Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “The act teaches you the meaning of the act.” This is pure wisdom, but we have mostly counseled its reverse. We have tried to teach people the meaning first to see if we might coax them into the act. If we taught people to believe that God calls us to love…

Letting Beliefs Go

This morning I read this: A broad group of scholars is beginning to demonstrate that religious belief and factual belief are indeed different kinds of mental creatures. First of all, they have noticed that the very language people use changes when they talk about religious beings, and the changes mean that they think about their…

Fear of Falling

My father was afraid to fall. With good reason: he is 96 years old. Almost a year ago his blood pressure was so low he got dizzy and collapsed. Luckily he wasn’t injured, but he got it in his head—The most important thing is: Do Not Fall. Dad got a walker and wheelchair. He didn’t…

Monday, Monday

Easter Monday is always like the day after Christmas. The party is over. The leftover lamb is sitting forlorn on the counter top; it was not put away last night. The children’s plastic eggs lie empty and raided on the floor. The sun comes in the window a little harsh. That great victory over death…