• lenten journal: symbol

    by  • March 15, 2016 • 2 Comments


    Today marks two months since my mother died. This poem found me today. symbol the old cast iron skillet has soaked up a cookbook of stories, handed down from Grandma to you and then to me. just salt—no soap— to clean it; i run my hand around the side and I feel the soft...

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    lenten journal: simple

    by  • March 14, 2016 • 2 Comments


    I started a new Wendell Berry essay this morning, knowing I didn’t really have the energy to read the whole thing, and he still got me with his opening paragraphs: A sentence of my own, written thirteen years ago, has stayed in my mind. In it, I was speaking of the connection between my...

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    lenten journal: time

    by  • March 13, 2016 • 2 Comments


    The summer between my junior and senior years at Baylor, I lived in Waco, even though I didn’t need to go to summer school, because I had a weekend pastorate at Pecan Grove Baptist Church, which sat on FM 107 between Oglesby and Mound. The church paid me enough to make my rent and...

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    lenten journal: fire

    by  • March 12, 2016 • 2 Comments


    Even before I read any of the reports of election-related happenings around the country, I felt depressed, so I am choosing to limit my intake as much as I can. Still, I am troubled. I can remember, after past elections that seemed contentious, but now pale by comparison, hearing people say we were blessed...

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    lenten journal: seasons

    by  • March 11, 2016 • 0 Comments


    Maybe it’s not exactly the right word, but I was well into my thoughts for tonight when I realized I had already used weather; seasons will have to do. We have had a couple of early spring days here on the Shoreline, and it set me to thinking of songs about wind and rain...

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    lenten journal: promise

    by  • March 10, 2016 • 1 Comment


    I come, in conclusion, to the difference between “projecting” the future and making a promise. The “projecting” of “futurologists” uses the future as the safest possible context for whatever is desired; it binds one only to selfish interest. But making a promise binds one to someone else’s future. (Wendell Berry, Standing by Words, 62)...

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    lenten journal: soundtrack

    by  • March 9, 2016 • 2 Comments


    When I was in elementary school and the first part of junior high, we lived in Lusaka, Zambia. One of my clearest memories is of our Sunday after-church ritual: we would come home and have lunch, and then Dad would wash the dishes and Miller and I would dry them. While we worked, we...

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    lenten journal: disease

    by  • March 8, 2016 • 3 Comments


    Towards the end of the day at work it fell my lot to help a woman whose phone was not working as it should. The repair was fairly straight forward and under warranty. That was not the story. Somewhere along the way, she had decided things were not going to go well. By the...

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    lenten journal: sentence

    by  • March 7, 2016 • 3 Comments


    I picked up a new traveling companion for this Lenten journey: Wendell Berry’s Standing by Words: Essays. The title essay begins, Two epidemic illnesses of our time—upon both of which virtual industries of cures have been founded—are the disintegration of communities and the disintegration of persons. (14) I added his word to my growing...

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    lenten journal: borrowed

    by  • March 6, 2016 • 2 Comments


    Tonight, as I went on a relatively futile search for words of my own to share, I found some words by others I am going to borrow tonight. These are not easy poems because they name grief quite well, and in that have offered me comfort. All three of them were new to me....

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