Thinking About Poverty

homeless-man-sleeping-with-his-bible1What better time than Advent to ponder what poverty means? After all, Christ became poor for our sakes, emptying himself of his divinity as he emptied himself into our humanity.

So what does poverty mean? Here are some dictionary definitions:

Poverty (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary):

1a: the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions; b: renunciation as a member of a religious order of the right as an individual to own property; 2: scarcity, dearth 3a: debility due to malnutrition; b: lack of fertility (of the soil).

[Read more...]

It’s Advent and I’m Done Waiting

This is not an Advent post. There are enough of those out there. Writing of waiting, of expectation, of a light entering the darkness, of hope. I have heard them all before. I am done waiting.

In class, we were talking about emotions. I teach English to refugees from East Africa. Per usual, they were quick to talk about what makes them feel joyous, but were silent when it came to the negative emotions.

What makes you feel sad? I asked, not thinking about the great chasms of human experience that separate me from the class. A man who comes every day and sits in the front, quiet and smart and well read, speaks up. His eyes are wide, and his voice is low.

[Read more...]

Mantras for Advent

advent-wreathLast year at this time I wrote about suggestions my spiritual director had given me for living within Advent’s special gift. For Advent this year, I want to share some of the other ways I’ve found over the years of to observe this graced season.

Mostly, I’ve loved mantras.

At the start of each Advent, I’ve chosen a quotation that carries for me Advent’s special texture of waiting in hope; I’ve written out the quote to put on the kitchen table. Before dinner each Advent evening, my husband and I say the words together.

[Read more...]

Blow on the Coal of the Heart

candlesI light the first candle of Advent. We have no wreath. This is our first Christmas in the evergreen forests of Northern Michigan, and bringing branches inside seems redundant. Besides, there hasn’t been time. I’ve been coughing and wheezing since I caught a late September cold I can’t shake.

We have to wake before the weak winter sun rises to get our daughter to school. The roads are slick and icy and the commute into town takes twice as long as usual. There are parties and performances to attend and presents to buy and three family birthdays to observe.

The candle is an ordinary white candle, not purple or pink. I don’t know where to buy Advent supplies in town and I ran out of time to order online. [Read more...]

Going Home by a Different Way: The Image Fall Appeal

Guest post by Stuart Scadron-Wattles

Troubadour.

The word conjures up for me an image of a medieval minstrel, someone pale and languid for love, lute in hand.

But in his recent post on Image’s 25th anniversary, Greg Wolfe cites Ezra Pound’s use of the word, evoking a more active vision—and one closer to the etymology: a troubadour is someone who finds something.

Or perhaps discovers it.

When I first began working at Image, I began asking people how they encountered us. With rare exceptions, it was by human agency. The poet Betsy Sholl, for example, answered my question by recounting a visit to her sister’s house, where her brother-in-law left a copy of Image Journal next to her bed.

“I had no idea such a thing existed,” she recalled. She read through the night and at her host’s urging, took that copy with her.

After the initial discovery, however, comes the recognition that this new thing ought to exist. It both awakens a thirst and slakes it. It leaves one both satisfied and disturbed.

And twenty-five years ago, the journal was just the beginning.

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X