We Matter: How to see as the divine sees

“Mama?” my six-year-old son asked, turning toward me. “Why don’t we just give him money to buy a house?” Solid reasoning, I thought, having just tiptoed across a browning lawn to a man who lay bundled in blankets. He was asleep on a large circular air vent in the shadows of one of the most prestigious universities in the nation. My son did not want to wake him. Neither did I.

Here, Now: Any moment can be holy

I went to the willows today. And found God. I slipped the long, leafy tendrils in between my fingers. I’d set out for a short hike, hoping to take my mind off my worries before picking up my son, when a field of tall yellow wildflowers yielded to a cluster of willow trees on the bank of a wide pond. A nearby heron sunned itself in the still waters.

Grace Beyond Limits: And the power of our love

man walking alone on a long road

I drive past the same man in his drab olive coat. He’s standing on a thin slice of cement in the middle of the road near the entrance to the freeway. He’s a young man with a goatee. In the summer his dark wavy hair brushes against his shoulders. In the winter it’s hidden under his hat. His cardboard sign remains the same: Homeless. Need help. Thanks.

Limits of Our Imagination: Trusting that love will show up again

two hands holding each other

“It will show up,” is my standard line after something has gone missing in our home. My favorite baseball cap, my son’s action figure, my cell phone. Some things require a bit more intense intervention, like, well, my phone. But for others, I have learned to stop searching and trust that one day, without any effort at all, we will stumble upon the hidden treasure.

Unexpected: How the sacred calls to us

“Ant!” my four-year old son yells as he grabs two empty yogurt containers from a bottom drawer in the kitchen. He turns and runs back to the ant, placing the containers on the floor and trying dutifully to coax the ant into one of them. I taught him how to save ants when we had a massive infestation in my kitchen last spring.

Lying Fallow: How to rest in the sacred

colorful pots with soil in them

The plants in my home are dying. One by one, their demise is stretching out across the long winter days. I wish I could blame it on the shock of having no heat during a single-digit freeze. But several plants died before that, and three more are dropping leaves as if they are no longer related. My attempts to revitalize them, and dare I add, maybe even bloom, are not working.

Lifesaving 101: Experiencing the divine in new ways

I remember my high school lifesaving course more than any other class. The smell of chlorine. The high-paned windows frosted in the winter. The circa 1950 blue and white bathing suit and cap we were required to wear which was rather unflattering in 1986. My all-girls high school mandated that we take swimming for three of our four years. Why I chose lifesaving my junior year, I really don’t know.

Keep the Light On: Making room for the holy in our midst

a candle burning inside of snow-covered lantern

“We have no available rooms,” the hotel manager told me. It was 3 a.m. My college friend and I were road-tripping from Minneapolis to Houston where I was going to teach second grade. Michele convinced me it’d be more fun to take the back roads, and so we were somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma.