Speaking of her early stage of faith, writer and retreat leader Paula D’Arcy shared a dream in which the kitchen table of her childhood disappeared. That table symbolized the beautiful security of her early years. It was the heart of her childhood home, where she learned her Baltimore Catechism, mastered every question, and came to […]
What is Jesus’ ‘Theory of Change’?
Jesus did not try to change one person. He certainly didn’t set out to change the world. We hear a lot these days about “theory of change.” It’s a term in non-profit, philanthropy and development that describes the organization’s goal of social change and the step-by-step process for achieving it. I’m sure it does all […]
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 […]
As a priest, I’ve officiated at hundreds of weddings, but Friday I attended my first Nigerian wedding. If you remember the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, when the conservative, understated parents of the WASPy groom first meet the bride’s big, boisterous Greek family, you know how I felt walking into the banquet hall. […]
Falling Down a Wormhole
I’ve been away for a while. Some of you have asked where I’ve been. The thing is, I’m not sure. I do know that almost exactly one year ago my first grandchild was born, and for a wonderful time Dashiell and his parents lived with us during maternity leave. About the time they moved back […]
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 […]
The Power of Simple Touch
He lay there with only his diaper on, my grandson Dashiell. It was seven o’clock, time for his bedtime rituals. My wife, who adores this eight week-old child, is ready to give Dash his massage. She dips her hands in coconut oil and begins to stroke his stomach. She rubs his legs and presses her […]
Judgers and Blessers
Priests and ministers get calls from the local funeral home all the time. Someone has died. They may have been Methodist or Lutheran or Episcopalian, whatever the denomination of your church, but that’s the only, tenuous connection. Would you come and do a service? I walked into the funeral home and met the two daughters. […]