When I wake in the early morning I am always struck that our home is silent. There are no voices raised in conversation; no arguments, no agreements. There is no music, no sound of chopping or mixing from the kitchen, no sound of running water. Of course if I really listen I hear noise from … Continue reading Advent Reflection – Silence and Liminal Spaces
Robynn and I were recently texting about Thanksgiving. This year both of us will fill our houses and hearts with people who are hurting. These will be the tables of the broken-hearted, chairs of the grieving, glasses of the bewildered, and dessert plates of the deserted. What do we do when our tables are filled … Continue reading Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted
“Evil is real - and powerful. It has to be fought, not explained away, not fled. And God is against evil all the way. So each of us has to decide where we stand, how we're going to live our lives. We can try to persuade ourselves that evil doesn't exist; live for ourselves and … Continue reading Evil is Real – So what do we do?
Early mornings are the best. Those dawn hours when the sun has broken over the horizon but the world is still sleeping; the hours of slow wake-up, sounds of birds breaking the silence of night. It is early morning and right now it is easy for me to believe that someday this will all be redeemed. … Continue reading Until Then….
Sometimes no matter how much you drink, you're still dry and thirsty. In faith you keep drinking, knowing that one day the season will pass.
"You can cut branches of forsythia before they bloom and bring them inside and they will bloom quicker." It was Western Easter a few years ago and we were at my mom and dad's. Large branches of forsythia were in a vase on the windowsill, bright with yellow blossoms that defied the remains of winter outside. I … Continue reading Lenten Journey – On Forsythia and Hope
Every time I leave home, I'm struck by the fact that I have that choice. I'm not being forced out by violence, persecution, or a crooked landlord. I choose when to go. I choose how to go. I choose what to take. An article in the NY Times called "In a Refugee’s Bags, Memories of … Continue reading New Lives and Portable Memories
For several months I had been calling Trump’s impending presidency The Grand Unraveling. He made campaign promises that seemed horrifying to me, he boldly made declarations of things he would do, things he would undo. During those campaigning days things seemed bleak, ominous even, but most of the time I assumed he was using loud … Continue reading The Grand Unraveling
We took off from O'Hare Airport in Chicago in the early morning. On the ground the weather was cold and rainy, but as the plane ascended we flew above the thick grey into golden sunshine. It was beautiful. It's an old cliche -- that beyond the clouds is sunshine. But it's true. The sun may … Continue reading Scanning the Horizon
Since November 8th, the day that shall live on in infamy, people have started wearing little safety pins. I was unaware of this until my friend Jill explained their significance and gave me one to wear. To wear a safety pin is to make a statement. Where this began is a little uncertain. There are … Continue reading The Simple Pin
No matter where you live, you are probably completely fed up and exhausted by the U.S Election 2016. If you are a U.S. citizen, you are even more tired of it, even if you were on the winning side. So it's time to purge and detox. Like a colon cleanse, this list is designed to … Continue reading Election 2016 Detox Plan
Here at Communicating Across Boundaries we’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding the massive elephant (and the donkey) in the room. Both Marilyn and I, although this was not planned or discussed, have largely avoided politics in our writing this election season. I’m not sure what Marilyn’s reasons are but mine have been deep … Continue reading The (Political) Work of Forgiveness
I have to admit I’m really struggling this week. I’m angry at some recent news from an organization close to my heart. I’m disgusted by the political situation in the country where I live. I’m horrified by the people that excuse sexual indecency and the language of predatory sexual assault. I’m embarrassed by those Christians … Continue reading The Welcome Prayer
Ronald Rohlheiser, in his book, Sacred Fire, addressed especially to older pursuers of the faith has a short section entitled, “Be Wide in Your Embrace.” We are constantly being overwhelmed by otherness. Nothing is safe for long. More than any previous generation, we are being stretched beyond what is familiar. Often that is painful and … Continue reading Widening Our Embrace
When my parents first went to Pakistan, they traveled by boat. They would embark on the journey at New York Harbor, heading to the balcony of the ship so that they could see those they loved, family members and friends, for as long as possible. They would wave goodbye for as long as they could, … Continue reading The Frozen Sadness of Ambiguous Loss
I have the extraordinary privilege of being in Lebanon and just returned from a trip to Bekaa Valley. There are thousands of refugees in the valley and we are with a group called Heart for Lebanon. Heart for Lebanon is working with 1300 families in 13 different camps. We visited the largest camp today. … Continue reading The More I Learn, the Less I Know
I'm at A Life Overseas today where I quote my brother and sister-in-law! I read these words from their newsletter yesterday morning and immediately asked permission to use them. These are words that reflect a future and a hope. "The darkness is not winning! "The truth is that wherever the news on television has been particularly bad … Continue reading The Darkness is Not Winning – A Life Overseas
This is the first of a few stories from my time in Iraq. Thank you for reading. I met Anees in the management office of Al Amal, an unfinished building that houses internally displaced people from the Nineveh Plain in Iraq. Al Amal literally means "The Hope," and indeed, the people here embody hope. All … Continue reading Hope in Exile: A Broken Ankle