• word

    ash wednesday: word

    by  • February 10, 2016 • 7 Comments

    One morning as I sat with my mother in hospice I received a text from Sarah, who pastors alongside of Ginger here in Guilford, asking a question: “What is your word or song for today?” That first day I answered only with a song: “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” The next day the words...

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    the last time

    by  • February 6, 2016 • 10 Comments

    the last time you showed up, I didn’t know what to expect. you kicked in the door, filled the room with a dead chill . . . surprise attack: a stroke, a call, a funeral; and then miles of ache and absence, but not this time. she made choices; we made choices. we had...

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    my eulogy for my mother

    by  • January 24, 2016 • 18 Comments

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    Here are the words I spoke at my mother’s funeral: When my father died, I adapted a poem I had written for him a few years earlier, which allowed me to tell his story, express my feelings, and get through the whole thing without breaking down here at the podium. To my disadvantage today,...

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    my mother’s obituary

    by  • January 21, 2016 • 16 Comments

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    I have been in Texas for almost three weeks. My mother entered hospice care on January 2 and died on January 15. Here is her obituary. Barbara Schultz Cunningham of Waco, Texas died on January 15, 2016 of kidney failure. She was eighty-four. She is survived by her two sons: Milton Brasher-Cunningham (and his...

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    marking time

    by  • December 27, 2015 • 9 Comments

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    December 27th. The day after the day after. For me, it carries some significance, however. On this day ten years ago I wrote my first blog post here at Don’t Eat Alone. I was four years into coming to terms with my depression, which was still kicking my butt at that point. I was...

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    advent journal: a christmas story, again

    by  • December 24, 2015 • 3 Comments

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    I had visions of a post and even the beginnings of a poem for tonight, but the days were not accomplished to see either born this night. I will, therefore lean into an unintentional tradition on this blog of posting my Christmas story, which I appear to have done for the last few years....

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    advent journal: the things we carry

    by  • December 23, 2015 • 4 Comments

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    Today was my first day riding the train since I finished The Illusion of Separateness. As I was packing my book bag, I looked around for new literary accompaniment and saw my copy of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which I started rereading before we left Durham (I read it two or...

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    advent journal: kindling

    by  • December 22, 2015 • 2 Comments

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    I wonder what the shepherds did the year after the angels came, or how the Magi went about their business when they got back home. I wonder if the innkeeper woke in the middle of the night and sat in the barn for no reason. How did they keep the story fresh— Did they...

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    advent journal: the right punctuation

    by  • December 21, 2015 • 9 Comments

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    When I consider that the early Christians could have chosen any night to mark the one in which Jesus came into the world, I wonder why they didn’t pick this night—the longest night—to show, as John said, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it. Then again, marking the birth...

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    advent journal: links in a chain

    by  • December 20, 2015 • 2 Comments

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    Two Sundays ago, one of the men in our church stopped me after worship and asked if I wanted to be on the Christmas Tree Committee. Before I committed, I asked what it involved and he said, “Meet here next Saturday morning to go cut down the tree and put it up in the...

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    advent journal: we . . .

    by  • December 19, 2015 • 3 Comments

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    He did what they told him to do. He would have done anything they told him to do. He hid inside the pronoun we. (The Illusion of Separateness 189) Life is a team sport. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve uttered that sentence I’d have enough to take us all to...

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    advent journal: redolence

    by  • December 18, 2015 • 1 Comment

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    redolence we drove south of the city, and straight into a sunset that had no sense of time we were going nowhere together, following our noses, as the saying goes, breathing in the evening reading in a bakery,I discovered “the fragrance of our lives in the world” . . . from someone else’s words...

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