Sand in the Gears

Death in Charleston

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life | 18 Comments »

Tonight I made my way home through rain driven from a shrouded sky. It struck the scorched asphalt, and everywhere was steam. I remembered the verse, how rain falls on the just and the unjust, and as I squinted against ...

Listing

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on Listing

Here's an excerpt from my latest Image essay if you're interested: Isaiah returned to the scene of the crime to survey his work. It was a damned atrocity. Paint ran haphazardly against the grain, tacky pools of it collected on the ...

The beast without

Friday, February 20th, 2015 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 14 Comments »

"Isaac's being a jerk," my seven year-old, Isaiah, says about his older brother. They have been sledding over new-fallen snow. "Why do you say that?" "Because he keeps knocking me off my sled." "Why do you think he did that?" I ask. I've been ...

Thy kingdom come

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 Posted in The Sermons | 50 Comments »

I don't think they love their children any less than I love my own, which tells me something about what their lives must be like, to send their babies away. Their children stream northward in droves—as many as 60,000 this ...

The presence and the devil

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 Posted in Faith and Life | 1 Comment »

Some of you may appreciate my latest "Good Letters" essay, which is about redemption and communion and other heavy things. I know, a marked change for light-hearted Tony. Here's an excerpt: "I lingered at the edges of another church in the ...

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 ...

The prodigal and I

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 Posted in Faith and Life | 26 Comments »

I passed through Wichita today, which was no small thing for me, because on every corner is loss. That is the place we took our children to see a game not long before we divorced. There is the building where ...

The world we show them

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 Posted in Fatherhood | 13 Comments »

"Which world do you want to live in?" My oldest son, just days from his 14th birthday, glares back at me. Behind him in the car sit his brothers. Their hands are pressed to their faces. One of them is crying. Caleb begins ...

Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28th, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 4 Comments »

We read somewhere that the Pilgrims survived on a few kernels of corn and were thankful, so we settled on an exquisite Thanksgiving torture wherein we set bowls of steaming, buttered, gravy-addled food in front of our children who have ...

The lies in truth

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life | 21 Comments »

Michelle Obama called herself a "single mother" last week and we'll probably be hearing about it years from now. Some Obama opponents consider it evidence the president is an absentee father, others that he's gay, others simply that the Obamas ...

Heaven presses in

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 13 Comments »

I was asked to speak to some graduates last week, and so I spoke to them about finding their place in the world and about endurance in the face of suffering and about decisions that once we make them can ...

Two Anthonys

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life | 3 Comments »

I've been thinking on the incongruity of sharing a name with the saint who went into the desert to wrestle demons and aloneness and thereby work out salvation. I sat at an oval window this morning and looked on the ...

Spot of grace

Friday, August 13th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life | 5 Comments »

I stepped out onto the wet sidewalk this morning and looked up at the sky and tried to see whether the grey clouds were dissipating or gathering tighter, because sometimes on a dark day I just want to know whether ...

Walking vices

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 1 Comment »

From Anthony Esolen's "Filthy Rich: The Unnoticed Gift of Trickle-Down Decadence:" "The poor teach us what our vices mean, because we have not the self-knowledge to see through the disguises we ourselves have given them. When we see the poor doing ...

Lessons so far

Friday, December 18th, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life | 14 Comments »

So, today's my birthday. (Cue Beatles.) It might be an ill omen that Wife and the youngsters sat me down this morning so I could open one of my gifts, and I broke it within fifteen seconds. It was pretty ...

Stumbling

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life, The Sermons | 13 Comments »

You yearn for a holy place because, in the time between waking unable to recall where you are, and drifting again into the half-sleep that is all you've known for the longest time, you stand in the darkness of your ...

What would you lose to gain everything?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 Posted in Fatherhood | 6 Comments »

I had to fly last week, and while in the air I read Wendell Berry's Home Economics. I couldn't decide if that was ironic or fitting or both. I rose in the darkness, first at home, then on that cold ...

A Father’s Creed

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 Posted in Snapshots of Life, The Sermons | 6 Comments »

"Dad," Eli asks me in a whisper, "why did Abraham kill Isaac?" We are in his bed, looking out at the darkening sky and listening to crickets. In his bed across the room, our Isaac is already asleep, a lamb ...

The Least of These

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 Posted in Faith and Life | 6 Comments »

We've been adopted by a kitten. She's a scrawny black creature who darted out of the bushes a few days ago, mewling and shivering, afraid of all of us but desperately hungry. Now we have a dish for food and ...

Daddies

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 18 Comments »

I found myself on a train to the Atlanta airport weeks ago. There was an aggressive panhandler in my car, the kind who stands right up in your personal space and holds out his hand while mumbling about money for ...