Tag Archives: transformation

The word in your heart

“The word is near you,” Paul writes, “on your lips and in your heart” (Rom. 10:8). It’s a stunning, breath-taking idea – the word is in your heart – and the more I sit with it, the more powerful it becomes for me. Paul is writing about the word of faith he proclaims, and he’s […]

Worth waiting for

I was a lover of Rilke long before I discovered him in my summer years. Now well into autumn, he’s a staple of my literary diet. The satchel of books I would carry with me to the end surely includes his Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (specifically the translation by Barrows and Macy). […]

Changing the conversation

“What’s the point of this life?” my friend asked over dinner. No doubt, it was a rhetorical question, the kind people ask knowing there’s no completely satisfying answer. It was also, no doubt, a question that arose from a deep hunger to have an answer and from the knowledge that the only answer that counts […]

Becoming the Word

We’re still close enough to the season of commencement addresses to remember the advice of Ray Bradbury: “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. . . […]

The power of one

Have you been saved? I remember the last time someone asked me that question. It was during my undergraduate years when I was working at a funeral home – an oddly appropriate place to ask the question, don’t you think – and someone whom I vaguely knew came up to me and asked with all […]

Buffalo Dusk

Carl Sandburg died fifty years ago yesterday, on 22 July 1967, and yesterday I discovered his short poem “Buffalo Dusk.” At first I thought the title referred to my adopted hometown, Buffalo, New York, but soon found it striking closer to my heart, as you may, too, if you read it. “The buffaloes are gone,” […]

Arise

We’re hearing a big argument today – it’s not a debate but a very primitive, emotional argument – about who will next lead this nation. Who will make America great again? Who will lead us to manifest the greatness we already possess? Who will lead the social and political revolution that restores our basic values? […]

The new birth

It takes grace to change a term of ridicule into an affirmation of faith, and grace was clearly God’s gift to the revival movement that became The United Methodist Church. The methodical disciplines that 300 years ago became the hallmark of the Oxford Holy Club under the leadership of John and Charles Wesley soon became […]

You are called to become

I don’t recall when I first encountered the two questions, only that it was many years ago and that they seized me like God seized Jacob that night at the Jabbok (Gen. 32:22-32). After all these years they still won’t let me go. “If you want to identify me,” Thomas Merton wrote, “ask me not […]

On not being well adjusted

“The last thing you want to be is a well-adjusted person,” according to Lenore Bierbaum, one of my undergraduate psychology professors. “What you want to be,” she said, “is a person who adjusts well.” Life is not static; it’s dynamic, always in flux, always changing. If I’m alive, I’m adjusting. To the extent I stop […]