I enjoy the writing I do for various Christian publications. As each deadline approaches I pray that I’ll be given something worthwhile to say, which will in some way give glory to God.
I am increasingly convinced that good gossip is a strong antidote to the cumulative build-up of bad news stories. By good gossip I mean telling each story about positive things, kind things, pleasant surprises that we’ve experienced directly. Good gossip often relates the “splendor in the ordinary,” the commonplace world of small things that make our lives bearable and hopeful.
I’ve been talking about sleep a lot lately. I’ve been getting plenty myself these days, but it seems a lot of my students haven’t. So when they come to my office feeling panicky, stressed and overwhelmed, one of the first things I ask them is “how are you sleeping?”
This is how a baby acquires language: she begins with an unwitting exploration of the sounds her mouth can form and then attaches meaning to them, syllable by syllable, as she hears them repeated by the people around her.
“Our job is to listen.” That’s how Margaret Johnston-Jones summarizes the role of the chaplain in the hospital. It’s not about preaching to people or trying to convert them.
I’ve noticed one of the popular themes lately is something called “mindful eating.” The idea is that rather than absent-mindedly jamming food into one’s mouth, we take the time to unplug from our assorted electronics, sit down and actually pay attention to the food we’re consuming.
A yoga studio is about as common as a Starbucks in New York City. When I moved to New York to fulfill my call as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, I passed each studio with some skepticism for two reasons.
Bobbing in her pool this summer, a friend and I discussed our culture’s repressed and castigated emotions. She and her husband started several orphanages in Africa, and she tried to describe an unusual practice she encountered there: ululation.
This summer our family has been focusing on the importance of rest and quietness. In a culture that seems to be increasing in busyness, learning what it means to be still and know that the Lord is good is very important.
Have you ever had a season in your life that was excruciatingly hard?
Do you ever feel like no one understands you? Does it seem as if the minister is always praying for those who have physical struggles and forgets about mental illness?
All becomes concentrated these last weeks or days. The care offered is very focused. Earthly possessions are reduced to a quilt and some key photographs. Affairs are put in order; conversations more pointed and emptied of dross. All becomes distilled