The Connecting River

As she drives from Atlanta, away from a city church in the city lights, the darkness frames a distant memory: stars.  Not just the dippers, but “stars between stars, a virtual curtain of stardust upon which the larger constellations were hung.” She’s following these stars to a one-room white clapboard church where she will become its first female rector.  She’s also driving away from a certain striving – which it turns out, will follow her anywhere.

LeavingChurchThis beautiful book by Barbara Brown Taylor (BBT) offers a rare transparency from a person inside the clerical robes.  The countryside speaks to her faith. Its pages are full of spiritual honesty and earthy appreciation, as if Henri Nouwen were lost on a nature walk with Mary Oliver. Continue reading “The Connecting River”

Unbundling My Bias

“Let me first say that I am biased now and always will be,” Rob said, after I finally found the guts to call him.  It seemed safe to confide in him since he lived so far away.

I called hoping Rob would know how I felt – since he had also spent time in a close-knit Christian community that didn’t – on paper – approve of his daughter’s sexual orientation.  I was still in the early stages then, not yet talking locally about it but needing to know I wasn’t alone.

He did know how I felt, and talked me through it.  Continue reading “Unbundling My Bias”

Who You Are

In the grand scheme of things, I’d only just found you, but today was our day. At age 24, I could barely call myself a man as I woke up for the last time as a single person.  Just out of college, I’d had a trip to South America, a year-long city plunge in L.A., and a summer camp job bizarrely combining night security and children’s music.

I was finding myself, as they say.  I wanted to leave all Continue reading “Who You Are”

10,000

I’ve been feeling out of control lately.  Increasingly aware that loving someone means part of my heart is strapped into the passenger seat of their car.  Though seat-belted, there is nothing safe about it.  They are at the wheel, and their impulses affect my outcomes.

There is much in life I can control.  I like those things.  Even if they involve hard work. I can study to learn a skill that takes my career in a new direction.   I can, with help from a good counselor, learn to speak up for myself and break the cycle of people pleasing.  I can save some money, buy a map, and go on a trip to Ecuador.

Lately though, I’ve felt so out of control that I’ve done something desperate:  Continue reading “10,000”

The Wall

It’s time, again, to go out.  Out beyond the known walls.  This has meant so much more than a Sunday change.  It’s about hearing new voices, meeting and listening to new people, reading new authors, engaging and participating: not as one with an agenda but as one who has a lot to learn.

I could have written this as a 21-year old finishing college, and I daresay I did. I went off my security grid and into a gritty part of LA, listening to lives as different from my own as I could imagine.  Teens in the neighborhood didn’t give a damn about Continue reading “The Wall”

Living the Painting: Advent Week Four

If the Return of the Prodigal Son were a theater production, which part would I audition for?  After spending Advent immersed in the story, I know I could play either son well.  But do I have what it takes to play the father?

I set out on this writing project without knowing it would end where it started:    Continue reading “Living the Painting: Advent Week Four”