Sand in the Gears

A Word for Those Who Would Draw Near to Grief

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 Posted in The Sermons | 15 Comments »

An electric wire runs through her, scalp to sole, and this grief has stripped it bare. His despair inhabits him, and inside he is falling down a dark shaft, falling into himself, into the shadows there. And here you stand, and ...

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 ...

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 ...

Crafted

Monday, December 9th, 2013 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 49 Comments »

My mother died while I was at the beach and so while my children spent their days on the shore, I spoke by phone with the many professionals who position themselves between the living and the dead. My thirteen year-old wanted ...

Benediction from a bad man

Monday, April 1st, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 28 Comments »

I guess I stopped writing about personal things here because I didn't like the person I had become. I felt stupid, the faith and family writer who gets divorced. This was compounded by coming to DC and finding myself—though alongside ...

Valley’s Light

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Greatest Hits | 22 Comments »

This morning I drove past the house where she died. The light today is the way it was then, a light that doesn't warn you how peace comes at a cost this day, how once she's sleeping she won't wake ...

Sanctuary

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 21 Comments »

Sometimes I am overwhelmed, as I stand with my sons in the cathedral, by the feeling of safety. It's not something I ever felt in church as a child. In those days I felt out of place. I thought I ...

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 ...

Awaiting hope

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life | 5 Comments »

Somewhere between a speed too slow to get killed and too fast to get away, a grasshopper found himself clinging to my windshield wiper. He wrapped his thin wire legs around black metal and held on with that baleful, narrow-headed ...

The found faith

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life | 5 Comments »

Faith is this knowing in the center of you that will not leave. It has been to you a light that guides, light that illumines the worst of yourself, weight that steadies, weight that holds you where you do not ...

Weary

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life | 9 Comments »

Sometimes the words don't seem like they'll get close to the truth of anything, and so I just stop writing. That's not completely true; I'll write fiction perhaps, because those people in the stories inside my head haven't yet worked ...

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 ...