Sand in the Gears

Of mice and men

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 Posted in Faith and Life, The Sermons | No Comments »

The mice think I am a god. Not the God, but definitely a god. Their tithe is a fresh-hollowed hazelnut, rolled into the center of my floor every morning. The nuts come, no doubt, from the two-pound bag they stole last ...

The poor fisherman

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life | Comments Off on The poor fisherman

From my latest essay at the Image Good Letters site: I am a tense and irritable man with occasional bouts of cheerfulness tempered by fatalism. I am a hard man with whom to live. I spent yesterday griping at my kids ...

Legos in the Deep

Friday, May 1st, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life | 2 Comments »

Like many, I passed this spring through Lent. It felt longer than in past years, because there has been a kind of Lenten work being done within me, it seems, since last fall. Nothing terrible, nothing traumatic, just a gradual ...

When He is Silent

Friday, January 30th, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life | 27 Comments »

A reader whose younger sister recently died wrote me to ask how I endured, during the time of my daughter's sickness and death, the silence of God. It's something I've written about here and here, and in my book. I've talked ...

Temple of bones

Monday, January 19th, 2015 Posted in The Sermons | 10 Comments »

Every baptism in the Orthodox Church entails an exorcism, as I learned last Easter when I was baptized into the Church. It was nothing desperate and dramatic like some of us remember from The Exorcist; in truth the devil and ...

Fair

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life, The Sermons | 17 Comments »

I've been working on contentment, which mostly means I've been praying for God to help me be content in whatever circumstances I find myself, then griping at him when I face trials that might help me learn contentment. But I'm ...

Lament

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 Posted in Faith and Life, The Sermons | 26 Comments »

When we tucked what remained of that little girl into the earth, I was relieved it was over. I was filled with something that felt like transcendence. We had weathered the storm, we had kept the faith, we had given ...

The sickness

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 Posted in The Sermons | 33 Comments »

I write this on the day Fred Phelps, pretender to ministry, hater of gays, vitriolic picketer of soldiers' funerals, has gone forth into the Judgement he welcomed for others. In the days leading up to his demise there was talk ...

Past where legs can carry

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 Posted in Faith and Life | 21 Comments »

The day after an amazingly talented actor pushed heroin into his vein and died, I saw yet another study purporting to show that we live in the best of times. It's hard to disagree. Infant mortality and poverty are plummeting. Our ...

On feeling Godforsaken

Friday, March 29th, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life, The Sermons | 3 Comments »

Some of you might like my meditation on what Good Friday means to the parent of a dead child. Here's an excerpt: "It is a great mystery to me, how God can know what it means to be forsaken, and because ...

The Shape of Eleven

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007 Posted in Faith and Life | Comments Off on The Shape of Eleven

She would have been eleven today. I would have made her favorite meal, which is spaghetti, and we would have had cake, probably something with pink frosting, and I would have eaten a slice even though I gave up sugar ...

A Glass of Water

Friday, February 9th, 2007 Posted in The Sermons | Comments Off on A Glass of Water

Several people asked me yesterday if I had heard the news that Anna Nicole Smith was dead. It was as if the whole world had been there to see her collapse, and had no one left to tell, which is ...

A Whisper

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 Posted in Faith and Life, Greatest Hits | Comments Off on A Whisper

The day after I wrote about the miraculous recovery of Caleb's goldfish, the damn thing up and died. We had a funeral service in the back yard, beside a tiny redbud sapling. I decided to make it a dual funeral, ...