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On the night before he died …

  Approx. read time: 2:15 min. From my bus window I take in a sweeping view of the verdant Willamette Valley—wheat fields, vineyards, the sheep—as I travel to be with family. I have nearly two hours to do nothing but be present to this freedom of unstructured time. So I find myself recalling the words… Read more »

King Mammon and me … or, not

  Approx. read time: 2:40 min. After my Saturday morning talk, my hosts take me to lunch at a local breakfast spot. It has the vibe of “locally owned.”  It turns out, it’s a franchise. The young waiter is thoughtful, courteous. Afterward, they drop me off at a restaurant a block from the transit platform… Read more »

I await Jesus, the nonviolently subversive One

Approx. read time: 3:15 min   The prophetic and divinely subversive season of Advent slips in, I notice, while shoppers’ attention is fixed on nabbing a parking spot, a deal, and the dream of abundant merch on every shelf. A prophetic season, I say, because we can’t say we didn’t get the warning: The reign… Read more »

If I lived a life free of vulnerability

Read time: 1 minute If I lived a life free of vulnerability I’d never experience … the kindness of strangers the skill of attentiveness the art of the possible the craft of imagination the invitation of trust the hope of grace the blessing of aloneness the sense of discovery the thrill of not knowing the… Read more »

Blessed are the itinerant poor

Approx. read time: 3:25 min   I live a life of what you might call itinerant poverty. Itinerant means moving from place to place, moving to where the possibilities are. The word itinerary suggests the same. Many Dustbowl era folks lived the itinerant life, under harsher, more dire conditions than I know today. Jesus lived… Read more »

What keeps me from walking on water

Approx. read time: 3:00 min.   Lately I’ve had a hard time focusing.  Like most everyone else, I get distracted with “being busy.” “Being busy” is our culture’s code for how we prove our worth, even if only to ourselves. Being busy is easy. Being focused, I discover, is a discipline.  It means I must… Read more »

Consider the Wolf of Gubbio

  Approx. read time: 3:35 min. This week a U.S. Congressmember acknowledges, of the aggressions in Ukraine, that the United States essentially is at war with another nuclear superpower. “And it’s important that we win.” I was not ready to have my heart and my attention seized by this long-distance bloodbath, which now suddenly feels… Read more »

The grain of wheat that dies

Approx. read time: 2:40 min.   I am thinking about Jesus. I am thinking about bread. I am thinking about wheat. I am thinking about the people of Ukraine. I am thinking about Jesus. It’s a circular thought, I notice. Coherent, complete. I think about Jesus on the night of his arrest, at table. His… Read more »

I stand with the nonviolent Jesus

Approx. read time: 3:30 min.   In 7th grade I pretty much understood that I wasn’t into delivering the counterpunch. This was after I got dissed off the volleyball team. I don’t mean the school’s competitive team. I mean the one that formed at recess. The counsel I received? If they bully you, you bully… Read more »

The Infant who shook an Empire

Approx. read time: 2:30 min.   In these last, precious days of Advent my thoughts, and creative energies, are deep into the Scriptures of the Lenten season. And I notice that this Lenten immersion jolts my understanding of what I celebrate at Christmas. This is a good thing. Jesus, even in his infancy, has power… Read more »

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