My study, where I read and write and pray, is set on a cliff overlooking a mountain lake. Each morning I sit at my window and watch the lake fill up with light. It is a quiet place and spacious. A mountain chickadee and red-breasted nuthatch show up most mornings, embroidering the silence with their chatter.
I have often been compared to my father. Though I neither look nor sound like him, I seem to have his temperament, some of his intellectual gifts and some of his vices. We have also followed a similar trajectory in our vocations.
He was sitting quietly, almost impassively, as I talked to a group of people gathered in Zagreb at the launching of the Croatian translation of my book Exclusion and Embrace. The forcefulness and impatience with which he asked his question as he brought the book to be signed took me by surprise. "But where does that will come from, that will to embrace the enemy?"
A couple of weeks ago I rode the subway to the Atlanta airport. It is not a proper subway, since much of the track lies above ground. But now that I live in the country the subway is my favorite mode of transport when I go to town--in the first place, because I have lost the nerve required to drive a car in the city, and in the second place, because I like to look at people.
I grew up in a Christian home with good parents. I was told the story of Jesus and instructed in the right way to live. I was loved and treated well. Childhood in my memory was a fair approximation of the garden of Eden--a good and wonderful creation.