What Happened on the Road

I love the walk between my house and the river. It’s a journey that’s not always pretty. Most of the tall trees are gone, since the tornado. Some days, the air stinks with exhaust and industrial pollution. Following the banks of the creek where it curves beneath the interstate, I meditate over the garbage, which… Read More

Seen and Unseen

As night fell on the first Easter evening, Jesus’ disciples gathered behind locked doors—not to celebrate, but to hide, not to plan for the future, but to grieve. That same morning, they had received incredible news. Jesus was not in the tomb. He had been raised. In the garden, he called Mary by name. She… Read More

With Fear and Great Joy

Anne Lamott says, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Mary Magdalene and the other Mary faced their fear, that first Easter morning. They went to see the tomb, to be present to their loss and the trauma of their community, to hold vigil in that cold, dark, damp space of death. They went… Read More


We say: “Our bones are dried up and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely. God says: “I am going to open your graves. I will put my spirit in you and you shall live.” Sometimes, when I think about death, I feel panic-y with grief and fear. At other times, I’m calm,… Read More


            I have eyes that work—basically—when equipped with contacts or glasses. Lately, the close-up vision is getting a bit fuzzy. Probably time for bifocals. Despite the fact that I can see, I am reminded from time to time of all that I don’t see. For instance, I never would have noticed the couple sleeping in… Read More


In the black and white family snapshot, we’re sitting on rocky ground with a snow-covered slope in the background. Our expressions are not the typical “cheese” for the camera. The youngest brother looks dazed, his eyes wide and his mouth slightly open. The middle brother’s cap casts a heavy shadow over his face and his… Read More


Several years ago I went on a trip to Puerto Vallarta with friends. One of the activities I looked forward to was fishing in the ocean. When that day came, I took a bus into town and walked down the beach until I found a secluded spot on a pile of lava rocks that jutted… Read More


“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.” These are the words of church father Saint Augustine, who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries. I think of Augustine as one of our mixed blessings. On the one hand, he championed the doctrine of original sin… Read More

Glitter and Ashes

I have to confess that one of the reasons I accepted Jane’s invitation to preach this morning is because I love anointing people with glitter. Yes, glitter. I first anointed people with glitter as part of a children’s message about the strange story that Jean just read for us. As you heard, Jesus climbed a… Read More

Making Space

Ted was my one of my grade school enemies. I was shy, awkward, and serious. I didn’t know how to stick up for myself. Ted, along with several other boys, enjoyed tormenting me. One day, our teacher was distracted, fiddling with a faulty projector. Ted saw his opportunity. “Who farted?” he blurted out in a… Read More