Selected posts from around our network of affiliated bloggers
My garden is cranking again this summer, and one of the most remarkable things about a garden is just how much it varies year to year. You'd think, given how much remains the same, that a garden would be a consistent thing.
A week ago I led a memorial service, a celebration of life, for a two-day old. It was excruciating, as you might imagine. It was also stunning and beautiful, as you might not imagine. Pain was real and evident, but more present was the love that surrounded these two parents and these three grandparents. That service came on the tail of four other deaths in our congregation, all women in their nineties.
“What’s happening to America?” I’ve overheard such comments, exasperated and worried, frequently of late. Baton Rouge, Minnesota, Dallas, Nice, Baton Rouge again: “Has the world lost its mind?”
Pharaoh trembled at the growing Hebrew population; at the thought that these slaves might realize their oppression and realize their power. He demanded that the Egyptians throw all of the Hebrew baby boys into the Nile River. Herod trembled at the report from the eastern scholars of a child who had been born King of the Jews; at the prospect of Jewish rebellion and an end to his tenuous hold on power.
Writing used to be easy. Now, nothing seems easy. Leaning in, I just stare at the screen. Occasionally, I try to type something. Despite my desperation to write, my mind is held captive to a former place. Bloody films never leave you.
Ten years ago we started being married. It is the vow that started our vocation. But what does it mean when a vow becomes an everyday verb? When a calling is shared as a single story?
Recent news, as so often is the case, has brought images and descriptions of young black men shot by police officers. The narrative is sickeningly familiar: a young person dies; protests take place; authorities promise a full and fair investigation and, if warranted, consequences for the officers involved; journalists and community leaders remind us of the long series of these deaths; voices call for mutual respect and genuine collaboration between minority communities and law enforcement agencies, and insist on reform of the justice system. Hardly anything changes.
A couple of days ago I tried to make a point about #AllLivesMatter drawing on the biblical prophets. This week, a Facebook friend made a similar point in relation to Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Plain in Luke’s Gospel.
Eric Adams describes his experience as an African American citizen and father as well as a police officer in blue uniform in this guest column; what can only be a painful intersection every day has become searing this week.