On Mutual Fear, and Veiled Women Telling Their Stories: The Iraq Journals, Part 2

By | May 3rd, 2017|Faith and Doubt, Travels Near and Far|

The road in Jordan. The drive from Amman, Jordan, north to the city of Mafraq (also in Jordan) is a journey from the (vaguely) familiar into the foreign. Amman, at first glance, is a modern city, but as you drive north, the streets begin to fade, turning gradually [...]

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Further Thoughts on Going to Iraq (or, God is not Here)

By | April 18th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity|

Poppy at her first Maundy Thursday service, her sisters washing her feet. We walked the six blocks to Saint James on Good Friday, the sun shining, a spring breeze chasing us along the sidewalks. I pushed the double-stroller – occupants varying in combination between Poppy, Leo, Sam, and [...]

Keeping My Eyes Open

By | March 16th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

I'm not sure why I went with this photo, other than it's one of the few recent photos of all of us, from Mardi Gras, and I've been wanting to work it in anyway. Eight years ago, when Maile and I were at the bottom financially (or the [...]

Making Sense of Ash Wednesday and the Crosses on my Children’s Foreheads

By | March 10th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt|

Photo by Laurie-Anne Robert via Unsplash It was a beautiful thing to do in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week, at the beginning of Lent. We crowded into our church’s small chapel, the adults in chairs, the children sitting on the large, red [...]

What I Discovered in an Old Christmas Video From 2009

By | January 12th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

Photo by Steve Halama via Unsplash Seven years ago, Maile and I had just gone through one of the most difficult holidays of our young lives. I had just turned 33. We had walked away from a failing business, left a community we loved, and moved into my [...]

What We Leave Behind

By | October 20th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity|

It’s strange, driving down a back road through farm country in October when the corn has been harvested and the trees are changing color. And it’s 85 degrees. My mind and body are connected to this land, and after 39 autumns, most of them spent in this part of the [...]

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Like Breath Over Still Water: The Arrival of a Baby

By | August 8th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Courageous People of Lancaster, Faith and Doubt, Identity, The Little People in the House|

I drive the truck faster, weaving past cars on the city streets. I nearly pull out in front of someone and hit my brakes. We are 35 minutes from the birth center, and Maile’s labor has started. I stop at a red light just as another contraction builds inside her. [...]