Golden Boy

gold

Last night was my turn in the food bank, along with Tara. It turned out to be a lovely summer evening, with a steady stream of homeless, mothers and sons, itinerant bike-riders, coming for their paper bags full of canned chili and corn flakes and macaroni and cheese. It was the sort of night that gave us time to chat. Sometimes, it’s so busy, you fill a bag and give a bag and fill another bag. Not last night. It was pleasant. We were comrades—bag-fillers and bag-takers alike—in the fight against … [Read more...]

A Wee Little Man and a Big Insight

zaccheus

Last weekend Priscilla and I flew to Dallas to teach in an organization called United Methodist Women. We’d written the 2014 spiritual growth study, How Is It with Your Soul?, so they asked us to teach. We had a wonderful time with a remarkable group of people who share an equal amount of hunger for scripture and for justice.I arrived late. Priscilla and I were scheduled to leave at 6:45 AM on Thursday, but it was not to be. Jeremy graduated on Father’s Day, and our whole family, one by one, … [Read more...]

A Memorial Service, Memory, and the Eventual Gifts of Suffering

spu webpage

Last night was the memorial service, not just for Paul Lee, who died on Thursday, but for everyone affected by the SPU shooting. My twenty-two year old daughter and I came straight from the gym. We arrived about five minutes early, and the place was packed, so our friend Celeste said we could sit on the stage, facing out. So Chloe walked sheepishly up in her t-shirt, gym shorts and flip flops, and I toddled up, to lend a speck of grey to the young heads of hair on the stage.Being on the … [Read more...]

Christian Prayer as Media Event

spu webpage

My colleague, Rick Steele, wrote this essay for TIME magazine online in the aftermath of the shooting at Seattle Pacific University. It is significant, so I reproduce it here in full.  ___________________________________________________________________________________________Last Thursday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., a senseless act of violence visited Seattle Pacific University, where I teach. Within minutes, squad cars, fire engines, ambulances, helicopters, and TV news trucks had con … [Read more...]

Seattle Pacific University as Our Place and the Poetry of Wendell Berry

spu webpage

As faculty, staff, and students grapple with the goings on at SPU, we discover gems. My colleague, Doug Koskela, read this bit of Wendell Berry's poem to his students this morning. He sent it to us with a few words of explanation, which I include as preface to the poem.______________________________________________________________________________________In comments from students, colleagues, and alumni over the last few days, I've noticed the theme of particularity of place coming up a … [Read more...]

After the Shooting at SPU: Consolation, Desolation–and Hope

spu webpage

On the day of the shooting at SPU, the religion editor at Huffington Post asked me to write. I didn't think I could, but I woke up early on Friday to see if the young woman in surgery had survived. I started to write. I kept writing. This is what I wrote:____________________________I expected the shock of an earthquake--not a shooting. In fact, they're retrofitting our oldest building, Alexander Hall, to prevent earthquake damage. How do we retrofit Otto Miller Hall lobby, where y … [Read more...]