Archives for December 2009

Winter Wind

The wind slamming into the bricks of our 1917 house wakes me from a sound sleep. What is not repulsed by the walls and mortar manages to slip in through the yet uncovered window air conditioner. The dogs, banished from the comfort of the futon in the next room where the sleeping guest cat lies, […]

A Large Presence

“Did you take a look on the front porch?” Rick called up the stairs. No, I thought, why should I? I had just gotten home late in the evening after a very long day; in fact, it had been an unrelenting series of long days. So after I had walked in the side door, greeted […]

Magnificat 3

Mary’s song of rejoicing announces what some have called an “upside down world.” God will scatter the proud and look with favor on the lowly. God will bring down powerful rulers and, again, lift up the lowly. God will make sure the hungry are fed while the rich will be sent away empty. God’s promises […]

Magnificat 2

Someone has pointed out that you don’t call on a “savior” unless you are in great need of something. Mary calls God “my Savior.” She was a very young women, pregnant and unmarried. She was poor. She was uneducated. She lived in a country ruled, taxed and punished by a foreign power and corrupt governors. […]

Magnificat 1

What a joy to have someone finally believe you, be thrilled at the news of your pregnancy, while the rest in your world can only admonish, “Mary, what have you done?!” Yes, joy instead of shame. What a joy to feel a too-long-hoped-for-baby, a mysterious baptizer John baby, swim an in utero somersault in the […]

The Night Time of the Year

In ten days we enter the longest night of the year, in the northern hemisphere, that is. It seems that whenever I glance out the window it is more likely dark than light, even given the fact I sleep a part of the night away. For the past few winters I have found myself getting […]


Multitasking is the way of prayer. Praying and living at the same time, all the time. Listening to a friend and praying at the same time. Preaching (in my case) and praying at the same time. Shoveling snow and praying at the same time. Driving the car at the end of a long day and […]

Stuck in a thicket

As a young man, John Muir set off to walk from Kentucky to Florida, hoping then to sail on to Cuba and South America. (He never reached the latter on this trip.) In his pack he carried a plant press to collect specimens on his way and mail them back to his brother. He also […]