Essays and Sermons

Dust

Between her kitchen and the front room she leans against the doorframe wearily, watching her small son build a tower of blocks. He sits on the varnished wood floor, legs bent at the knees like folded wings. Before him, a small triumph — two blocks with alphabet letters long faded, stacked one atop the...

God’s Desire?

As I page turn the glossy pages of the art book, one photograph stops me. I look again. The image is of bolts of coarse, white cloth clean as a blank page "seated” on a molded bench in an ultra modern airport. I think - installation art. Cloth, dipped in plaster of...

Himself

“He didn’t mean it,” my father said. And he blushed. The red rising from his neck, a tide of shame rolling upward to those high, prominent cheekbones. It was something I had never seen before – my father, embarrassed, looking away uneasily. We were out for lunch,...

Eyes To See

I first walked through the doors of this church, more than thirty years ago, bringing my daughter Nicole to her first day of pre-school. My son Dominique also attended here, four years later. I came again in the late present a Montessori based, Christian education program at the heart of which were the Parable stories that Jesus told -and especially the Parable of the Good...

Do You Do Well to Be Angry?

In a polarized political world so fraught with angry people - it's worth asking "Do You Do Well to Be Angry?" A question God once asked the Hebrew prophet Jonah. Sadly - what makes the biblical stories still relevant is that too many human weaknesses never change. We humans need to be reminded over and over, generation after generation, that foundational to our Judeo-Christian faith is the call to love our neighbors as...

What if I Can’t Remember My Locker Combination?

Here’s the scene. Charlie Brown is blissfully asleep, the bed covers tucked up under his chin, the bedroom middle-of-the-night black. Sally, his little sister, enters the room, nudging him awake. “Hey, Big Brother, Wake up!” “What’s the matter?” “I want to ask you...

Going

I know who I am. I am Russ. I forget other names, but not my own. Russ. I remember how it was with Ma, how it was with Ethel, my sister. At the end, they didn’t know their names. I remember that. I don’t want to forget my name. I remember it again. Russ. I am sitting in a chair on the sun porch. I know that. I know where I am. My children are here, and my wife. They are looking at me. I don’t like...

Eye of the Beholder

At the Villa Borghese in Rome, there is a statue of Apollo and Daphne by the late Renaissance artist Bernini, that is — to date — the most beautiful sculpture I have ever seen. When I saw it for the first time — it took my breath away.  To refresh your memory of the Greek myth or in case you don’t know the story, Apollo makes the grave mistake of offending Cupid, that diminutive son of Venus, the goddess of love. Cupid’s revenge is to draw two arrows from his...

Trillium

These days I walk the Indian Trail alone. When the children were young and we walked this trail together, “Indian Trail” was the name we gave it. In the thick of the woods, along the crest of a hill, it was easy to imagine the Indians, who in an earlier time, might have walked these same paths. Easy too for the children to imagine that they were Indians in stealthy pursuit of wild prey — though the stealthy part almost always eluded them. After all these years, the name has...

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