Where Differences Go To Die

On Sunday morning when you go to church you are likely to be surrounded by people who are not like you.  They are not your age or gender or race.  They’re not from the same part of the country.  They talk funny.  They don’t eat grits.  Or do.  They don’t live like you live.  They’re obsessively clean or carelessly messy.  They’re always late.  Or early.  They shop at Saks.  Or The Salvation Army thrift store.  They drive a status symbol, the kind with a coveted badge on the hood.  Or they ride the bus.  Or walk. They don’t think like you think. … Read more…

To Bless or Blast

So, someone you love has made a mistake.  And not a little one like locking their keys in the car or forgetting to roll the trash to the street on collection day or coming home with a kitten.  I mean a life-altering, reputation killing, soul crushing failure.  The kind of mistake that requires modifiers like epic or monumental or even monstrous.  The kind of mistake that leaves scars and breaks hearts and changes everything.  What do you say to someone who is responsible for that kind of catastrophe?  Ancient Israel managed to jack-knife a truckload of chaos more than once.  … Read more…

Hi. I’m New Here.

The Internet is already old.  Which sounds peculiar coming from me.  I’m in that cohort that kept dimes in the ashtray on road trips so you could make calls from pay phones to let the folks back home (or at your intended destination) know where you were.  And if you got lost, you consulted a fold-up map from the glove box to navigate your way back to the correct route.  So calling “old” something that came into existence, struggled through its own awkward adolescence and reached maturity in my life time seems oddly self-incriminating. But dust accumulates much faster these days, or so it … Read more…

Better Than Perfect

If you quit going to church or gave up on prayer or, in some other way, backed away from this whole God thing because you failed in some really spectacular way and you just don’t feel comfortable being around all the “good” people any more, you need to know this story.  But if you feel pretty confident about where you are spiritually, if you often think, “Well, at least I didn’t (fill in the blank with whatever sin you haven’t committed)”, then you really need to know this story. Six centuries ago, a Japanese Shogun named Ashikaga Yoshimasa unwrapped a … Read more…