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. [...]

Regarding the Long Days Before the Baby Comes

By | August 2nd, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, The Little People in the House|

There is the tedious movement of the last few days of a pregnancy. The summer days well up like drips from a faucet, slowly gathering mass, then hanging there much longer than you thought possible. Maile's stomach drops as the baby seeks out more space. At night she reaches over [...]

The Problem With Protecting Ourselves

By | August 1st, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt|

One of the greatest temptations faced by American Christians today comes in the form of voices demanding that we, first and foremost, protect ourselves. In response to the very real dangers present in the world, these voices encourage, no, demand, that we withdraw, face inward, and put the well-being of [...]

She Convinced Us She Would Live Forever

By | July 12th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Courageous People of Lancaster, Faith and Doubt, Letters to Those We've Lost|

When the first flowers finally dry into brittle reminders, and the nurses know the names of the family members who spend every night sleeping on the tile floor, you know the vigil being kept has entered its second week. Somehow she convinced us she would live forever. The realization struck [...]

Defining Christianity in a Single Word (My Sermon at Saint James)

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

O Lord, help us to behold, to hear and to receive you in Word and Sacrament That our mouths may proclaim your praise. Amen. It was the fall of 2009, and my wife Maile and I were financially ruined. The housing bubble burst, and it left us reeling. Our house [...]

Under My Hand, the Softest Splinter (or, Hope, Even Now)

By | June 14th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, The Little People in the House|

Maile exhales in her sleep. The window that looks out onto James Street is open, the summer air still against the screen. Maile stirs in bed, pulls a pillow in under her belly, under our baby yet to be born. It is 4am, and I am awake again. A car [...]