Category Archives: art and photography

reminder of a better way


We are a people of privilege and entitlement.
We are among the haves––
we have education,
and wealth.
Too often we are indulgent and self-sufficient consumers.
We speak of our achievements and accomplishments.
Sometimes we offer God liturgies of disregard,
litanies of selves made too big.
But we hear faint reminders of
a better way.

+ W. Brueggeman, “Well Arranged Lives”
from Prayers for a Privileged People


In remembering and in hoping
Catch us up into reality
on most days, a hard mix


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thanks, London.

I feel an increasing struggle as to what it means to be who we have each been called to be, but only in the context of a grander story, the story of the world, and even bigger than that, the story of God and what he has been all along and is now doing in the world.

It’s a struggle worth increasing struggle.

In London’s closing ceremony, all the pieces made the whole. All the pieces, faces, names, styles, dances, artists made a fascinating whole. They, with the opening ceremonies, told a story of the global mark made by individuals, groups, artists, authors, doctors, and stories. There were videos, moving sculptures, light shows…each only briefly, artistically, dramatically and perfectly making their entrance, momentary dance, and exit from the stage.

In sharp contrast to the awe-inspiring show of Beijing’s ceremonies, the spectacle was made in different ways. Beijing had the lights and the smoke and the choreography and the music, but no names, no celebrated players, no celebrated individuals making celebrated marks. A show can be made without characters, but a story cannot be told. Something no doubt was missing. But the celebration of only individuals, often our problem in the West, leaves a similar emptiness.

But a single story told by the voices of many characters… One story of humanity trying its best, with glimpses and mumblings––like the olympics––to tell a single story well together. A story of individuals making marks on a bigger storyline being written of what God is doing in and for and with the world.

Till kingdom comes.

Thanks, London.

Pine Tree

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the truth in aspirations

One of the guiding tenants of my profession, social work, and what must be a guiding tenant of the Christian faith as we are made in the image of a creative and compassionate God, is one of the lines from Saleeby’s strengths perspective which suggests that we must take the aspirations of others seriously.

We are trained, of course, to allow this to shape our imaginations in our work with clients, families and communities, no matter what the problem at hand is. At all costs, we take seriously the aspirations of those we serve.

In the case of this story, they are beautiful aspirations which allow others the opportunity to live when they are realized. It is, for me, a reminder of the serious truth in the aspirations of children, and it is a a challenge to take seriously every child’s aspirations, even if they are small, because we can also, as the guiding strength’s perspective says, assume that we do not know the upper limits of the capacities of others.


Pine Tree

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as mad as a hatter

I try to believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast. + Alice
There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.  Which luckily I am. + The Mad Hatter

The more I think about it, there is incredible power in a kingdom imagination. Weighted down by constant thoughts of what we could and couldn’t and should and shouldn’t do, our conversations twist and configure to make the kingdom about our own personal pious behavior or lack thereof instead of the whole of redemption and all things new, including our little selves…in the context of the big kingdom.

And this morning, I woke up thinking of the Mad Hatter’s words: There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.  Which luckily I am.

When Mom and Dad would go somewhere and find a little something they thought we would enjoy, whether a bag of coffee or a cd or a book or whatever, they would return and inform us they had brought back “a little happy” … an unrequested, unsolicited, undeserved, unneeded little something that only is a little happy because it hits the spot.

These are my little happys (little happies? who knows…) this morning. Enjoy.

I insist on following Christ with a holy imagination into the kingdom, but even to imagine such a place requires me to be crazy. And luckily I am.

Pine Tree


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