The large Christmas tree in Macy’s department store in downtown Chicago (formerly Marshall Field’s) was lighted in a festive public ceremony on November 2, two days after Halloween and almost eight weeks before Christmas. The event made me think of an observation about Americans that Henri Nouwen made after he’d lived and taught in the United States for decades. We are not very good at waiting, Nouwen noted. In fact, most people consider waiting to be a huge waste of time. The culture says don’t just sit there—do something!
Patience is not one of our stronger characteristics. A flight delay at the airport, an unanticipated traffic jam on the freeway or a doctor’s appointment that leaves us too long in the waiting room can become an emotional and physical crisis, bringing with it stress, a racing heart and elevated blood pressure.
Charles Hefling on open communion, Chris Hoke on ministry with inmates, Suzanne Guthrie on meditation and milking.
Lord have mercy
Apr 09, 2015
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).