I Dare You! A pre-Lenten Challenge


Though they roll their eyes, I love to tell my kids about the Heidi Bowl. I was 12 at the time—November 17, 1968. The Oakland Raiders were playing the Jets--my team--with Broadway Joe Namath at the helm. At 7 PM, with a minute left, the Jets ahead 32-29, NBC cut away to the film Heidi. During that minute, the Oakland Raiders scored two touchdowns and beat the Jets 43-32. (Crazy, I know, but I had it backwards until I just looked it up on Wikipedia; I could have sworn the Jets won! Wow, am I a l … [Read more...]

Life After a Shooting: The Metamorphosis of a College Campus


Recently, I published this essay at Huffington Post. I republish it here, in case you haven't read it. It is June 5th, 2014, a Thursday night, 7 PM. My daughter and I walk onto campus. We are numb. The auditorium is packed, so we walk along the side row to the front stage, where we sit, facing out, peering over an altar of candles, at a sea of faces. They are numb, too. Just hours earlier, a shooting took place on our campus, and we have gathered to pray, to grieve, to grapple. We … [Read more...]

Passing on the Faith in a Makeshift Choir Stall

holding hands

Uncle Willie had a mellifluous voice. On Sunday mornings he could be relied on to fill our little church with sweet tones, while the rest of us screeched old, familiar gospel hymns with grainy and gritty voices, accented by the harsh sincerity of New Yorkers. Uncle Willie was old—really old, not just old from the perspective of a young boy. And how Uncle Willie could sing—he single-handedly carried our choir of six. Uncle Willie could laugh with me, as if he too were twelve years old, as we sha … [Read more...]