• A Second Look: Riding out the storms of life

    I often wonder how many times I have talked a good game while playing it poorly. I speak of faith and faithfulness, love and loving, justice and mercy, compassion and charity. I falter, fail, and fall into their exact opposites. Those are the moments when I know I am struggling to gain the capacity for riding out the storms of life.

  • A Second Look: To love is to seek, to stay and sometimes to weep

    Love is a word too often bandied about and used frivolously to describe emotions defying explanation. We say chocolate — dark or light — is our love, or a temperate day with low humidity, or a walk on the beach. Each of us can add our own ‘loves’ of the day. They might include cute little babies and feisty old ladies, a winning game or a special treat. The list is endless and creative. It also challenges us to ask “Is this all there is to love?” Obviously, I am offering more to consider. 

  • A Second Look: A pilgrimage can be taken while sheltering in place

    When I mentioned to one of my Beacon buddies that I would be spending five days immersed in a Bible study, the response I heard was, “We’ll be waiting for a column.”

  • A Second Look: Telling the tale of a shocking journey on the path of redemptive hope

    For a few years, the president and CEO of Novant Health, Carl Amato, has promoted Novant Health Reads. This is an incentive to read and discuss a variety of books that impact a deeper understanding of the medical field and its subsequent ideologies and practices. The latest read, written by Dr. Rana Awdish, can be applicable far beyond any narrow scope of medicine. At least, that is the conclusion I drew upon reading it and literally inhaling the breathtaking story of Dr. Awdish’s journey from death, a recovery enhanced by her comprehension of the redemptive power of hope.

  • A Second Look: The adventure of finding church in the most unusual places

    In many major cities, even those not so major but rather large ones, storefront churches abound. Some were once the sites for unsavory activities, at least in the sight of those who would never dare to set foot within their walls. Others may well have been long since lost Mom and Pop grocery stores where one could find ordinary items at extraordinary prices. No matter the origin, the spots are now declared to be sites for holiness preached and, hopefully, practiced. 

  • A Second Look: Hang on … and be exploded out of control

    How many times have you heard the words “hang on!” and felt a serious intake of breath and an equally serious sense of mortality, if not terror?

    “Hang on!” cries the driver as s/he speeds out of the range of an oncoming car whose driver had misjudged both speed and distance. And hearts beat faster.

    “Hang on!” says the preacher who is about to deliver good news which, on the surface, seems to be more pressing a challenge than we can handle.

  • A Second Look: The Green Book evokes the power of relationship

    I love to go to the movies. The only challenge is my inability to sit in the dark while trying to take notes on what hits my heart or mind or need in order to enable a later recording what I now see.

  • Wisdom living involves growing pains

    Last week, I wrote about doing time with a promise of another aspect of becoming wise and wonder-filled. This involves the inevitability of growing pains.

    Fr. James Martin labels it “praying in times of division” and mentions that those dividing moments are more than today’s dilemma. They have been part and parcel of becoming church since the days when the apostles tried to spread the news of resurrection from death into life.

  • To be alive is to go beyond doing time

    I am always amazed when I stumble upon essays or books or articles that both intrigue me and cause me to stop, reflect, ponder and pray. Two such items fairly exploded into my hands as I was making sure I had read the opening sections in the May issue of “Give Us This Day.” Typically I begin the month with an entry into the initial wisdom pieces. Somehow the routine escaped me, so here I was, nearly at month’s end, without having placed even a wandering eye on the aforementioned words. 

  • A Second Look: When graduation becomes commencement into new life

    As usual, Hubby Dear had an idea for a column. He was reading a section from the book he’d received for his birthday when he declared it would be a great column for this graduation season. Also, as usual, I read the passage but was inspired to go a different route.