Celebrating in the Unknown

As a child I loved reading the poems of Shel Silverstein, and I carried that with me into adulthood. One of my favorite of his poems is called “The Whatif’s”– you can read it here. In the poem, some Whatifs crawl into the author’s ear, and begin incessantly asking the question, “Whatif?” “Whatif I flunk […]

Good, Good Fruit

Have you ever been to an event in which someone used the phrase, “You will get out of this what you put into it”? I’m sure you’ve heard some iteration of the saying, since I feel like I can’t get away from it. At work, at the gym, at church, over and over again: “What […]

Walking on Water

As a child I spent so much of my summertime swimming. There were days when I would arrive for swim practice early in the morning and not leave until late afternoon. I remember having a high-end theological discussion one day with my best friend while we sat on the edge of the pool. She asked […]

Up Above and Down Below

One of my husband and my favorite scenes to quote is from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. In it, Michael Palin is a priest and leads a religious school in praying: “Oh, Lord. Ooooh, you are so big. So absolutely huge. Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, I can tell you. Forgive us, […]

Being a Neighbor

My nephew went through a phase of temper tantrums when he was two. As he calmed himself after one of these fitful tantrums, he sighed, and apologized saying, “I’m sorry, mommy. I just get so angry sometimes. And I don’t like people!” Don’t we all feel that way sometimes? We encounter a lawyer who expresses […]

Wining and Dining in the 1st Century

Jesus first dines with a Pharisee in Luke 7. The text says that the Pharisee invited Jesus to eat with him, and when Jesus arrived he entered the Pharisee’s home and sat down at the table (v. 36). This is normal for us, right? If I receive a dinner invitation, I usually bring something with me […]

Stand Up!

For many years now, one of my favorite gospel stories has been the healing of the paralyzed man. The first time it stood out to me I was preparing to help lead Vacation Bible School in the Dominican Republic. One of the leaders decided that we would reenact the healing of the paralytic and narrate […]

Scarcity and Abundance

Scarcity: The experience of not enough. We all encounter it as human beings, and the form it takes impacts us in drastically different ways. For example, the person who is chronically homeless faces scarcity of food, shelter, and safety. Someone with cancer feels the scarcity of health, strength, and autonomy. The person whose marriage is dissolving feels […]