Our Questions, Our Callings, Our Committments

It was a Donegal year.Before 1972 I’m sure that I never heard the name, but before the year was out, I had seen a Donegal in Pennsylvania, and another on the western coast of Ireland. Very different places, but the first an echo of the second, clearly a way for the Irish immigrants who made [Read More...]

The Stories We Live By

Most of yesterday I found myself living within the world of William Wilberforce, which has been a habit of my heart for a long time. Simply said, I have chosen to think about life in light of his hopes, his commitments, his longings— and plan to keep at that until I can’t. in the morning I [Read More...]

A Prayer for Labor Day

A prayer for labor, for the loves and the longings woven into the very work of our work. “O Lord and Maker of all things, from whose creative power the first light came forth, who looked upon the world’s first morning and saw that it was good, I praise you now for this light that [Read More...]

Head and Heart and Hands

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” From C.S. Lewis in “The Abolition of Man,” [Read More...]

Remarkable Joy, Remarkable Sadness

Sadness and joy.  Sometimes we read something, and it simply jumps off of the page. Most of 20 years ago I began reading the Lenten meditations of N.T. Wright, and these words caught my heart.  “We discover that the story of Jesus’ ministry is not only the story of what he did in history, but [Read More...]

Longing for Something More

Some evenings simply mean more.  Like one from a few weeks ago when Meg and I had dinner on Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We were there for the Kindlingsfest, a wonderful hope that has become incarnate over eight years, celebrating imagination, intellect, and faith among a [Read More...]

Over the Shoulder, Through the Heart

Over the shoulder, through the heart.  For most of my life I have thought about the ways we learn, about the ways we are formed as human beings, our habits of heart shaping who we are, and who we are shaping what we do. This past weekend I watched this very closely, drawn in as I [Read More...]

Seeing Ourselves As Implicated

“It would’ve been easier to join the garden club.” Not that she has anything against gardens, or clubs, but it was the way Mary Kay Turner explained these last years of her life. We were sitting in the living room of her home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, talking about the complicated mess of the Middle [Read More...]