Threats Foreign and Domestic: a Manchester Bombing and a Maryland Murder

This is a post about terrorism. It has no artful nuance. No snarky edge, no hilarious sarcasm to offset a painful truth, and probably not even a little bit of poetic syntax to make it go down easier. I'm just going to say some things that are true.Last night, kids were killed in a terrorist bombing. Kids at a concert. This was a callous act of violence, perpetrated by extremists who have no regard for the sanctity of human life. They are blinded by their hatred and find some sick form of … [Read more...]

The World All Around: How We Can and Can’t Shield Kids From Violence

I recently wrote a post about letting our kids have their privacy and not sharing every blessed part of their lives on the internet. I stand by it. That said--I'm going to share this thing, because it is important. And not just about my kid.Last week there was a terrible shooting in our neighborhood. In what is now (finally) being called a hate crime, a man in a local bar and grill shot two Indian natives, as well as another man who tried to stop it. One of the men has since … [Read more...]

Close to Home: The Human Cost of Racist Rhetoric

Early spring in the Midwest means that my neighborhood has been a picturesque snapshot of American virtue lately. Kids riding bikes and playing basketball; families walking and running together on the trail; birdsong and jump ropes and sidewalk chalk; those first brave buds emerging, hoping not to get hammered by a mid-March blizzard.This is the kind of place where kids walk to school, people run out for an errand and leave their doors unlocked, and if you see a police car in front of a … [Read more...]

Disarming Hate: After Orlando

Another day, another mass shooting. Another opportunity for political propaganda-ing and moral posturing and "we'll keep them in our prayers-ing" that amounts to exactly nothing, as long as they are all too cowardly to stand up to the gun lobby that is the boss of everything.This cowardice, for the record, is a bipartisan sin.Yesterday's shooting in Orlando is the biggest in U.S. history, which is not the kind of superlative you want to be winning, not by a long shot, but it is truly … [Read more...]

Changing the Conversation: 7 Ways to End Violence While Keeping Your Guns

I’m tired of hearing “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”I’m tired of conversations full of soundbites from everyone’s favorite pro/anti organization or polarizing media outlet.And I’m tired of saying “God is present with us in tragedy and loss of life… we grieve with the families of the victims… we hope for a day in which God’s peace may be known on the earth and blah blah blah…” For love of ALL THAT IS, I am tired of preaching that sermon.Is it true? That God is with us in … [Read more...]

When Good People Say Dumb Stuff

In the wake of a tragedy like yesterday's bombing, we ask the age-old question: why do bad things happen to good people?And in the hours and days following such an event, we might also find ourselves wondering: why do good people say dumb things?Through our collective prayers, we seek understanding; we ask for God's comfort with the wounded and those suffering loss; we give thanks for our own loved ones, safe at home, by some stroke of grace or luck; we pray for justice and peace. These … [Read more...]

Cold News

The Phoenix area news last night was hilarious. Temperatures were to drop down in the THIRTIES overnight, and desert folk were losing their mind.I realize that if you are living through a Midwest winter, or a Plains-state winter--or pretty much any other winter that is actually winter--lows in the 30s with highs in the 50s for a week does not constitute a 'cold snap,' or a 'frigid blast.' But around here, it is the dang apocalypse.I watched neighbors run around yesterday, throwing … [Read more...]

In the Bleak Midwinter

What Are You Waiting For?We have two choices; we are either waiting for death, or we are waiting for life. We can stockpile our weapons, or we can sing into the darkness. We can live in fear of our neighbor and cling more tightly to our stuff, our answers, our 'rights.' Or, we can say, enough already; our way is not working. We can make a way in this wilderness for God to do a new thing in us, for us, maybe even with us.Into this wilderness, a child is born. A son is given. On those who … [Read more...]