Sand in the Gears

A note about the end

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 Posted in Faith and Life | 8 Comments »

I used to write much more about my children, but they’re growing despite my best efforts to conserve groceries, and they’re online in their various ways, and so it makes sense to let them tell their own stories, in their ...

That malt shop in the sky

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 Posted in Faith and Life | 11 Comments »

Of all the reasons to cry, the “Beauty School Dropout” number from Grease probably shouldn’t make my list. Yet here I sit, surreptitiously mashing tears from the corners of my eyes just like Danny Zuko would have done, in his ...

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 ...

Eulogy for Mama

Friday, October 11th, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life, The Sermons | 13 Comments »

My mother was born on April Fool’s Day, and I know there were times when she felt like the world was playing a joke on her. A more selfish woman might have considered me such a joke. My mother was drawn ...

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 ...

More than bread

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on More than bread

When we don't think we can control some things we take charge of what we can. This is why the functionary fastidiously maintains a constant distance between his stapler and his tape dispenser, and why the abused child has a ...

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 ...

Intentional heart

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 16 Comments »

I started a garden last summer. It went to weeds, and then the weeds grew parched under the relentless Kansas sun, and then they withered and died. I traveled more than I'd anticipated, and when I was home other things ...

Prodigal

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life | 9 Comments »

Last night I had a drink with a friend, and he told me about his transformed life. He didn't call it that, but there it is, and here he is, the prodigal son returned, the lost sheep brought home to ...

The written pages

Monday, December 6th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life | 4 Comments »

I took some time off writing here because I didn't have anything to say. The truth is I went through a spate of those long, dark soul-nights, the kind where you don't sleep except for a few snatches of time, ...

Wishing homeward

Sunday, May 16th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 4 Comments »

I counted, and I've been in my office a total of fifteen minutes since sometime in April. I've been home maybe five days. DC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Detroit, DC, DC, DC. I suppose they'd all be nice to visit, if ...