This category contains 32 posts

Repairing the Cosmos: Things hidden and things healed.

I heard this story by physician Rachel Naomi Remen during an On Being podcast today. It’s a story she remembers her grandfather reciting about tikkun olam, the repairing of the cosmos: In the beginning there was only the holy darkness; the Ein Sof, the source of life. And then in the course of history, at a moment … Continue reading

What Do We Need To Become?

How To Survive A Plague is a powerful story about justice, collective anger, life and death in the midst of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980‘s. It’s a story that remembers how the ACT UP community in New York City came together to research and protest in order for AIDS-infected people to be seen as … Continue reading

…mean what they say.

This quarter I am taking a directed study Seminary course on the art of reading the Bible. What I’ve come to see is that this practice also encompasses the art of being alive, of being human, and of living in relationship with others and the Other. In its simplest form I’m learning that an artful … Continue reading

What is Love?

“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.” -Rainer Maria Rilke What does love consist of? It’s a curious question. According to Rilke, love consists of two solitudes participating in an “each other” relationship. I have a friend, Jonathan, who has given up using the word love to refer to anything … Continue reading

We Are What We Eat

Bread goes through three transformations of life and death in the steps it takes to go from wheat to eat. The first is when seeds are harvested (a euphemism for death) in order to become wheat. The seeds contain potential for life and must be crushed in order to release that life. Next, the wheat, … Continue reading

Down In The Valley

Jesus spent a lot of time coming down from mountaintops: after he’s tempted, after the sermon on the mount, after the transfiguration. The valley is where he lived and acted and healed people. It’s easy to stay on top of the mountain. The view is great, you see life in this general, zoomed-out abstraction. It’s … Continue reading


Awe: an overwhelming feeling produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like. When was the last time you felt awe? If it’s been a while, slow down and open your eyes to what (and who) is around you. What was your response to being awed? Were you overcome – or maybe paralyzed – by fear? Awe is a beautiful, powerful, overwhelming experience that … Continue reading

Experience Not Freedom

From 10Am to 11PM on Saturday a group of friends and I watched all three Lord of the Rings movies (the extended versions).  We ate all the hobbit meals: second breakfast, elevensies, afternoon tea, supper, etc.  It was one of those days you always talk about doing, but never actually do it.  Well, we did, … Continue reading

In the between

“Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow.” -T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Man 15 words, 5 lines, the power and beauty of poetry.  (This is only part of the much longer poem which you can read here.) I believe that life happens in the between; in the already, … Continue reading

Inner Space

Last week at the Young Life All-Staff Celebration I learned that pastoral leaders: Experience emotion more deeply than others Offer a defensive, superlative self (a.k.a. they need to be liked) Carry a depressive trait (twice the national average) Know shame intimately Like to have their own thoughts, do their own thing, and go their own … Continue reading

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