Category Archives: The Impossible Will Take A little While.

The Discipline of Joy: Reasons to keep feasting when you just don’t feel like it. 

10888720_10152433579301594_5445321549225627710_nThis year, my experience of the holidays was…. not ideal. In short: I just stayed sick most the time.  I ended up in bed on Thanksgiving, on Christmas and again on Epiphany.  And while I had to cancel my normal plans to stay by myself in a cabin at the State Park for Christmas, I did have some good friends who at least managed to haul my feeble body to church for Christmas eve services.  I spent most of Christmas day with the blankets up to my chin and 30 Rock on Netflix.  I could have stayed there in bed all day, occasionally checking for signs of life on FaceBook and otherwise not really needing much more than my Vicks vapor rub and my water bottle. Continue reading

Grace, Race, and Peace: Admitting there is a problem is the first step to getting help.

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Josephine Bakhita, St Martin De Porres, Mother Mary Lange, Fr. Tolton

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, or so I have been told by those who specialize in treating addiction. What they also tell me is that the correlative is true: the the greater investment we make in denial, the more the addiction feeds itself.

I was raised, as many in American were to believe that racism is a bad thing. But I was also raised to believe that racism is only a limited description of mean and ill intended choices that one person could, but should not, make. Therefore it was pretty easy for me to agree that being racist is bad, because it was pretty easy to determine that I wasn’t one. Continue reading

The Grace of Forgiving and not Forgetting: We are at the mercy of each other’s memory, for All Soul’s Day.

A detail from John Nava's tapestry of the comm...

A detail from John Nava’s tapestry of the communion of saints. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The flip of the switch between October and November is not just one, but a string of three different holidays of utter significance. Of course Halloween is the best known and, second only to Christmas, the most expensive of U.S. holidays. It is followed immediately by All Saints Day from which all hallow’s eve gets its name. But it is today, November second, that is my pick of the three: All Soul’s Day. The day, if you play along, is a day that offers a peculiar grace, and a fierce one. It is the grace of forgiving, and not forgetting. Continue reading

Ethics 101: other people exist,… and sometimes they are right.

Over the course of the past couple days I have had some fun experiences that have reminded me of some very basic things I think will make the planet a better place. The first of which I have said before, but I learned it in a new way in life recently and in fact at work yesterday: Other people exist. Continue reading

Bumper Stickers Don’t Change Hearts, and Other Reasons the Culture Wars are Hurting Everyone.

Bumper sticker car parked in Santa Cruz, Calif...

Bumper sticker car parked in Santa Cruz, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What good are bumper stickers?   So far in my life I have never seen anyone pull the car over and say to the passenger, “You know what? You CAN’T hug the world with nuclear arms, can you?” or, “I just visualized world peace and it was awesome.”

They are not really arguments, let alone compelling ones.  Bumper stickers don’t really change people’s lives.  Nevertheless it is nearly impossible to go anywhere for a short drive in just about any town and not see the simple black “W,” a Shepherd Fairey, “Hope”  illustration of Obama, a name followed by a “2012,” or a pithy statement about how just such-and-such a position makes the most obvious moral sense or that ridicules the opposition.   So I’ve been wondering, if these little traveling slogans don’t really change things, why do they keep showing up everywhere, and more importantly, what are they really trying to tell me?  Continue reading

When the Bough Breaks: A fallen limb in a friendship is not a dead tree.

Its is the second worst storm I endured since I moved to Texas, making it the second worst storm of my life.  I had been praying, trying to center, and needing to be present.  The storm hit my house exactly within the first five minutes of sitting down with someone for spiritual direction.  The wind was rattling the windows and tossing bits of the back yard around.  The whole house chilled.    I considered ending our time together because I was able to give the moment only 99% of my attention.  I was being tugged away by one haunting thought.  Will the tree hold? Continue reading

“No Wonder the Door Won’t Open, Silly. I am Already Inside.” -Three things about being a misfit in communities of grace that I keep having to re-learn.

Clearly I write from a position of someone who sits near the exit.  I love church, but sometimes I find it exhausting. I love my weirdo burner friends, and sometimes they can be a little harsh on my faith.   I long to be in Christian community, yet, depending on the community, I find myself itching to get out. I am finding that there are hidden moments of grace ready for the taking in all kinds of communities. And when I am willing to exercise a little humility and receive it, I find that that grace goes further than the edges of my life, and often finds its way into the open wild. Continue reading