What We Expect, What Happens, and What We Can Do

To say the least and the obvious, 2020 hasn’t been the kind of year I imagined it would be.  On New Year’s Eve 2019, as I looked toward the possibilities and challenges of the year ahead, I didn’t see what we’re now experiencing. Sure, like a lot of other people, I...

Leading for Church Health in this Election Season

This article appears in this week’s Center for Healthy Churches Digest To say the least and the obvious, we live in a time of confusion and upheaval. It’s well-known that St. Anthony the Great, one of the church’s Desert Fathers, said: “A time is coming when...

The Presence of God in Perilous Times

(From Pixbay) To admit the obvious but often unspoken truth: a lot of us are struggling these days. How could we not be? In my conversations with folks, I’m hearing, far more often than even a few weeks ago, expressions of weariness and distress: I feel overwhelmed ....

The Gift of Responsibility

As I recover, slowly and gratefully, from heart surgery and continue to receive regular treatment for cancer, I’m thinking a lot about responsibility. Responsibility is “the ability to respond.” To say “I’m responsible” is to say “I have the will and the capacity to...

I Trust

On a day in late June, before sunrise, I was in the rocking chair passed down to me from my grandfather, having read the morning lessons and a poem or two. I was troubled, for good reasons: the rising death-toll from COVID-19; the murder of George Floyd, and the...

Interlocking Crises and Getting in Good Trouble

photo: wkrg It’s bewildering to reckon with the interlocking crises we face. To name only some of them: soaring case-rates of COVID-19 infections, overburdened hospitals, politicization of mask-wearing and school-opening, rising unemployment, nonprofits cutting staff...

Choosing Silence and Being Silenced

Often, I crave silence. I long to retreat from the noise of news, the sirens of social media, the din of demands, and the clamor of emails and text messages. I know that, if I retreated for a long time, I’d experience FOMO, the fear of missing out, but that’s not a...

Loving the Neighbor and the Neighborhood

I heard Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) for the first time when I was six years old,  during summer Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church of Conley, GA. My teacher illustrated the story with flannel-graph figures of the priest, the...

A Time for Lament

Nearly 129,000 Americans have died of COVD-19, and the number of cases is growing rapidly. Along with the pandemic of illness, there’s an epidemic of loneliness. Many people are sustaining severe economic losses. There’s intensified and justified anger about...

Jesus, the Virus, and Not Wasting an Apocalypse

(Purl’s Yarn, Asheville) I’ve written and deleted a half-dozen posts about the Covid-19 Pandemic, I’ve deleted them because you don’t need my opinions about medicine and you don’t want my political commentary. What I mostly wrote was a series of rants—cathartic,...