Reflexive God

No matter where we live or when we were born, we are part of a generation of amateur fixers. There is at least one hardware or home improvement store in almost every community that insists that we can “do-it-yourself”. Even those who lack a certain manual dexterity or have little aptitude for repairs and renovations are somehow convinced by programs that showcase home remodeling that we should be able to tackle any project, large or small. We are assured that if we just follow a few easy steps, the finished product will be perfect. To understand the flawed premise of “you can do anything yourself” marketing, one has only to stand in line at the return counter of any hardware store and look at the people with failure written all over their faces. Next to the register there is usually a discreet display of business cards for professionals with the skills to fix most any botched job. read more »

Colorblind

One of the things I remember most about my father is that he was the most colorblind person I have ever known. His eyesight was perfect, but his heart and mind simply did not recognize black or white, brown or red. He chose to be a person who would, “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8). Though my father was not a saint nor was he by any means perfect, he did not tolerate racism or bigotry of any kind. He lived in the conviction of faith that we should “love one another” (John 13:34 NRSV). Everyone. No exceptions. read more »

Hidden in Plain Sight

Sometimes a new perspective on a single word or idea can penetrate our uneven grief emotions and get our attention in an unexpected way. It is the light bulb effect, the “aha” moment when we at last understand some deeper truth that gives us unexpected insight into the nature of God. When this happens, we are strengthened and inspired to move forward in our grief. read more »

The Angel Wore Sneakers

…not just any old work shoes, but hot pink sneakers with shiny silver stripes that peeked out from the bottom of her sensible khaki pants. This particular angel had bright yellow curly hair, the perfect complement to her sunny disposition. Her job was to arrange and maintain the Christmas floral arrangements in the large gothic dining room of an historic estate house open to the public. She was the “flower lady”, responsible for artfully brightening this moody space with its soaring cathedral ceilings through the vibrant beauty of fresh seasonal flowers. read more »

Collateral Grief

We’re continuously confronted with acts of violence that are at once shocking and simply unimaginable. Often, we flounder for what it is we should be feeling. Sometimes we’re surprised by our delayed reaction when our emotions—anger, outrage, disbelief, contempt— finally bubble to the surface. Yet at the far reach of our bewilderment, we find our emotional identity with what’s happened. This is collateral grief, our most fundamental response to the pain and suffering of others, expressed as heartfelt compassion. read more »

Commonwealth Grief

Beyond its accustomed use to designate a federation of states, a commonwealth is also defined as any group of persons united by some common interest. In the face of senseless violence, tragic death, and random injury, as occurred in recent weeks and days especially in London and Manchester, those of us who are helpless bystanders are most certainly part of a commonwealth. read more »

Perfect Faithfulness

God is perfect. God is faithful. God’s perfect faithfulness is our one true guide through the valley of the shadow of death. read more »

The Orphans

There are many who grieve, especially at Christmas, who feel forgotten, abandoned, and painfully lonely. read more »

Plan

If this is the first holiday without your loved one, it's important to make a plan and structure the season accordingly. read more »

God With Us

God is with us as we grieve - as we remember, as we memorialize, as we live a life of rich, unbroken heritage in the love of those now lost to us in death. read more »

Unison

There's perhaps no experience in all of life more atonal than grief. read more »

Green Light

When we're in the throes of our deepest grief often we forget that God is for us. read more »

Where Do I Fit In?

One of the subtle shifts we experience when someone we love dies is the re-ordering of our place in life. read more »

Still Waters

The psalmist beautifully describes God's presence to us, especially when we grieve, "He leads me beside still waters" (Psalm 233:2 RSV). read more »