Plenty of people, especially near the end of life, claim they have no regrets. We ought to feel sorry for them. To regret something we’ve done is to acknowledge a higher principle than we were able to live up to. Regret can strengthen our moral character: Never again will I do something like that. If […]
Are You The Person You Say You Are?
A few weeks before her mother died, my wife Pam discovered that her mother had been married—and divorced—before she met and married Pam’s father. It was a shock to Pam because, as an only child, she wondered how her mother could have withheld the story of her life. And then, of course, in the light […]
How Can We Get Beyond The Bitterness and Division In Our World?
The virulent conflict we experience in our world is fueled by a need on both sides to win at all costs, to be right and—even more important—to prove others wrong. We all have the “talking points” committed to memory. We can rally the facts and marshal the stats to “take down” another person. Yet even […]
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 […]