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 [...]

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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