Tag Archives: faith

Faith on the brink

Especially since November I’ve returned regularly to one of my favorite hymns, one that was unfortunately dropped in the 1989 hymnal. Unfortunately, because it’s perfect for times like these when the faith of so many of us is strained and tested. Here are two of its stanzas: O for a faith that will not shrink, […]

It runs in the family

“What happens to a dream deferred?” the poet Langston Hughes wondered. What happens when the life you’ve dreamed about gets put on hold or snatched away or interrupted by circumstance, and you realize it may be forever beyond your reach? “Does it dry up,” Hughes wondered, “like a raisin in the sun? / Or fester […]

The power of faith

If you know the secret of the universe, “you will come to know how you can have, be, or do anything you want.” You will be healed of chronic pain, depression, disease, or injury and will accumulate large sums of money. You can have the perfect home, life partner, car, and job. You will even […]

Stepping into the deep (Into the Sea)

“The last thing you want to be is a well-adjusted person.” Those may be some of the only words I remember verbatim from my undergraduate education. They came from Lenore Bierbaum, one of my psychology professors, and they certainly got my attention. But then she went on to say, “What you want to be is […]

Responsiveness

The first three pillars of my faith – silence, presence, and attentiveness – would, I suspect, quickly become little more than self-indulgent navel gazing were it not for the fourth pillar: responsiveness. Allowing silence, in which the music of the spheres might whisper; returning and being fully present to the here-and-now; attending with all my […]

The power of surrender

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Just what sort of power is it that St. Paul understood is made perfect in weakness – is made complete, full-grown, mature; achieves its purpose? What ultimate success is attained in weakness? Paul was not using language that people […]

When trials come

“Terror holds me in its grip,” the psalmist wrote, “trembling seizes me. If I had wings like a dove, I would fly far away and rest, fly away to the quiet of the wilderness to escape the raging storm” (Ps. 55:6-9 icel alt.). Am I the only one who ever thinks of running away from […]

God is faithful

Singing for joy is so much of what this season is about, it’s difficult for most of us not to sing, in our heads if not with our voices. Even nature seems to pick up the chorus. “Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! / Let all their songs employ; / while fields and floods, […]

Remember Your Roots

You know a song is more than ordinary when it speaks to people of all ages, goes viral on Youtube, and steals the show from pop-media icons at professional sporting events. The song that was never supposed to be released as a single has taken on a life of its own because of its message […]

Who do you say he is?

“Tell us a story!” That’s the way I would begin the earliest conversations I remember having with my grandmother. When my sister and cousins and I were in her presence, someone would inevitably ask her to tell us a story from her childhood. Then we would gather around wherever we could find room and listen […]