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 [...]

The Stories One Family Told Me

By | June 10th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Courageous People of Lancaster, Faith and Doubt|

As soon as I walked into the house, I could tell everyone was nervous. Polite, but nervous. And maybe a little skeptical. I shook hands with each of the ten people sitting in the dining room and then took a seat at the head of the table. I thanked them [...]

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The Most Important Word

By | June 2nd, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

Last week I had the honor of stepping into Seth Haines' recovery room to talk about my vocation and all the little voices constantly jabbering in my head. The real struggle for me has been more practical–how does one navigate a life when your income fluctuates so severely from one [...]

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My Friend Died Last Week

By | April 27th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Courageous People of Lancaster, Faith and Doubt|

Photo by Marleen Trommelen via Unsplash My friend died last week. He was a good man, in every sense. I found out about his passing on Facebook, and when I first saw his name, I kept repeating it over and over again to myself because surely my brain [...]

Five Things I Do Instead of Blowing Up My Life and Starting Over

By | March 24th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity|

Last week I was working. I had my laptop with me in bed, I was wearing my sweatpants, a hoodie, and I was obsessing over whether or not a publisher is going to pick up The Day the Angels Fell (commercial break - you can purchase it for your Kindle [...]