Why Art Matters

I grew up believing art was the least important thing in life.  Music, reading, writing—they all had to wait. Homework came first. I had to help with chores. The dog (or other pet-of-the-month) needed attention. Art sat securely at the bottom of my revolving to-do list.  Don’t get me wrong, those other things were important. […]

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Real Family

Ugh. It’s Valentine’s Day again. The time when everyone worships at the altar of dating, romance and marriage. The time when talk of ‘family’ means you have to have a partner (and usually children too). I can’t stand it.  And I’m one of the marrieds.  My heart goes out to single people this time of […]

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Costly Worship

Have you ever worshiped God in the midst of tragedy?  Or while you’re sick?  Or in the throes of anxiety?  Or in the middle of a pandemic?  If so, you understand the cost of worship. You have paid the price of putting your own genuine needs aside in order to serve others. You know what […]

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Blessed Are…

Blessed are the bin collectors For as they clean our filth And remove our baggage, So God will cleanse their hearts And remove their sins from them. Blessed are those who care for others Behind closed doors, in bathrooms, at the breakfast table For even though they are not Mother Theresa, And have not her […]

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Am I Selfish?

Pop Francis recently got into hot water over his comments that people without children or ‘just one’ child are ‘selfish’, and that having pets instead of children ‘diminishes us, it takes away our humanity’ (see the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/05/pope-couples-choose-pets-children-selfish). This provoked an onslaught of outraged online responses, particularly from the childless and childfree communities. Including […]

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An Invitation to Stillness

I have just finished devouring Julia Baird’s luscious book, Phosphorescence. One of the highlights for me—beyond the allure of ‘forest bathing’; beyond the call to authenticity and connection; beyond the notion of my own bioluminescence—was the invitation to stillness.  Stillness, or silence, is not necessarily the absence of noise. On the contrary, it can include natural […]

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I Resolve to Retreat

I’m not setting any goals for this year.  Living in a pandemic, I have learned that one can set goals that seem totally realistic one week but which can mutate into something completely impossible the next. My personal goals around publishing books, travel and even self-care plans have been decimated over the past two years.  […]

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Christmas and Caterpillar Soup

I pity the caterpillar. He spends his existence crawling around, eating leaves, only to eventually enter a cocoon where his body completely disintegrates. He liquifies. He turns into caterpillar soup. Of course, he then emerges as a beautiful butterfly, and a new chapter begins.  But I wonder how he feels as he approaches the cocoon. […]

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I Don’t Want to Be a Piano Teacher

‘I really wanted to teach my daughter piano,’ I said to my friend.  She looked thoughtful. ‘You know what,’ she ventured, ‘There are probably lots of kids in your church who would love to learn piano.’  ‘Oh yes, there are,’ I agreed. ‘Although I’m not sure I have the experience to teach them piano. And […]

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Cards and Conversations

‘My wife has drifted from the Lord,’ the man said softly. ‘Would you say a prayer for her?’  ‘Of course I will.’  I wrote down the man’s name and the name of his wife in my little notebook, the one I always carry to book signings. The man bought a copy of my book and […]

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