• “How many hands does it take to wash two feet? All of ours”: One of the defining moments of my life.

    John’s body was less like mine than anyone else’s in the room.  In that room full of people with some very unique bodies and abilities, that was saying a lot.   Everything in this particular prayer service was going to have a lot to do with what bodies can and cannot do, and how we live with that.  It was this night I found and answered a new question:, “How many bodies it take to wash two feet?”  Answer: All of ours.

  • What Withered Hands Can Heal: How John’s profoundly disabled body kept me in the game.

    John’s body was less like mine than anyone else’s in the room.  In that room full of people with some very unique bodies and abilities, that was saying a lot.   It was the end of a weekend I spent on retreat with L’Arche, which is a set of communities of people with disabilities and the people who choose to build a life with them. L’Arche retreats are celebrations that, in some ways, put Burning Man to shame in creating an environment where everyone can unapologetically  be themselves.  I knew the people in room were experts in living with unique limitations and gifts, but I still could not imagine how the evening would…

  • 29 Days of Hope: Day 9, The Gift of the Mad Guy.

    “Allan” greeted me at the door with an enthusiasm that frankly would have scared me if it hadn’t made me so happy to be alive.  He was in his late fifties 6’3″ thin like a coat rack with a smile that made his eyes disappear.   This time of year I can only think to call him jolly.  Allan has a unique way of lighting up a place.    It was hard for me to believe that he was anything other than a ray of light, but he once was something else, which only makes his story that much more beautiful…

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