Something Other Than Chocolate

The season of Lent is underway in traditional churches, along with the tired jokes about doing without chocolate and other small excesses for the next six weeks. While giving up something can always be a useful exercise at any time, helping me see where my attachments...

Living Without Shelter

One of my Christmas gifts from a friend was a copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s newest novel Unsheltered.  Since finishing it, I find myself thinking quite a lot about a primary theme in the novel, a theme given expression in debates among the characters and in...

Spiritual Fear

More than one commentator has noted how we seem to have entered a time of not only greater fear, but a different response to fear than has usually been present. History presents us with national leaders who urged people to be brave in confronting fear, to refuse to...

When Reading Is Not Fun

I remember a conversation with a friend once when we were comparing books we had recently read that we enjoyed. At one point I mentioned a popular novel that I had plowed all the way through even though I disliked the book. Startled, she asked why on earth I would...

TRYING TO OBEY

There was a time when obedience was an element of myriad relationships, from married couples in which wives promised to obey husbands, to feudal relationships in which those who were poor were expected to obey their wealthy superiors, to families in which children...

Too Much of an Other

I recently delved into a theological article on our current national state of polarization, hoping to read insights that would help me understand—and, yes, get the better of—those who I see fueling the polarization with inflammatory and intolerant attitudes.  Much to...