When Money, Fame, and Admiration Aren’t Enough

A normal night in the Smucker household. Can you find Poppy? Catch all our normal moments at my Instagram account: @shawnsmucker This post comes to you from the carpeted floor in the bedroom shared by Sam and Leo on the second floor of our row home in Lancaster, [...]

By | May 24th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Identity, On Writing|2 Comments

Where He Was Going at 11pm #RideshareConfessional

Photo by Warlen Vasco via Unsplash I pull into the parking lot of the pizza shop in the heart of a local college town. The streets are dark. The shop is almost empty. It’s nearly 11pm. A college-age kid knocks on the window, opens the door, throws a [...]

By | May 23rd, 2017|Ridesharing Confessional|2 Comments

This is the Next Generation #RideshareConfessional

Photo by Nick Herasimenka via Unsplash The kid gets into the car. I pick him up from an orthodontist outside the city. Traffic is heavy and the weekend is close. “No, man,” he says into his phone. “What about Coby? We have to invite him.” He is quiet, [...]

By | May 17th, 2017|Ridesharing Confessional|1 Comment

Now, Courage Looks Like This

Photo by Evan Dennis via Unsplash There are days when inspiration drips from the corners of my mind, when ideas crowd around and argue about which one came first, when I can type and type and type and the words just keep flowing. And then there are these [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|A Contemplative Life|5 Comments

When the Taxi Driver Asked Me if I’d Seen the Movie About the Taxi Driver Killing Everyone

A bizarre thing can happen at night when I get called out to a strange area, drop that person off, then get another call 15 or 20 minutes further away from home, take that person to their destination, and then get another call. Sometimes, I completely lose track of exactly [...]

By | May 15th, 2017|Ridesharing Confessional|Comments Off on When the Taxi Driver Asked Me if I’d Seen the Movie About the Taxi Driver Killing Everyone

The Autistic Iraqi Boy in the Hospital Bed, and the Song He Sang – The Iraq Journals, Part 4

I sat on a small stool in between two hospital beds. There were maybe twelve beds in the boys' hospital ward, which was actually a sturdy, huge, permanent tent. The tent was in the middle of an open-air trauma hospital surrounded by 12-foot-high cement blast walls topped with razor wire. [...]

By | May 11th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Travels Near and Far|4 Comments

Into Iraq – The Iraq Journals, Part 3

Erbil, Northern Iraq There was an Iraqi man sitting next to me on the plane as we approached Erbil. He motioned towards the window. “I love seeing Erbil at night,” he said, looking down on the lights. He sounded like a man talking about a woman or his [...]

By | May 4th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Travels Near and Far|2 Comments