A Prayer to the God Who Fell From Heaven If you had stayedtightfisted in the skyand watched us thrashwith all the patience of a pipe smoker,I would pray like a golden bulletaimed at your heart.But the story saysyou criedand so heavy was the tearyou fell with it to earthhere like a baritone in a barit […]
Who Is Hard For You To Love? (And How Might You Love Them Anyway?)
“We love because God loved us first” (1 John 4:19). That truth is especially sublime when we hear it in Holy Week, when we watch with awe as someone embraces the whole world in love—and chooses to die rather than limiting or qualifying that love. If Jesus had recanted, if he had just admitted that, […]
Is God Omnipotent?
Most of us were taught that, along with being omniscient and omnipresent, God is omnipotent. But it’s hard to love a God Almighty. Omnipotent isn’t in the Bible. It’s a term coined by thinkers influenced by Greek philosophy, who saw God as infinitely above us, the pinnacle of perfection. He—and the omnipotent deity definitely has […]
The Yellow Falling Leaf
Question One: What more did I think I wanted? We don’t think of Ash Wednesday as a time to reflect on happiness. Isn’t it about sackcloth and guilt? But Ash Wednesday is set apart simply as a day to ponder this one fact: We came from dust, and we return to dust. When we accept […]
Meeting My Brother in the E.R.
I was already aware of him when he walked in. He was the man whose car pulled up to the door just ahead of us, and I had hopped out quickly to get ahead of him. Who knows how deep the line is inside that door. I am on vacation in a strange town. I’ve […]
The Heaven of Bread
“Can you get that bread out of the oven?” Pam calls to me. “I think it’s done.” I open the oven door and a soft cloud of heat drifts over me. Then the smell wafts out, wave after wave—the yeasty aroma, the malted perfume, the toasted whiff of . . . I don’t know—heaven. Or […]
Behold, I Make All Things New
On the first day of the New Year I find myself sanding and painting two bedside tables. This was not my idea. We got them years ago at a church rummage sale, and they were old and beat up then. Maybe just call Amazon. But Pam suggested we simply paint the tops, and the two […]
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 […]