Confined by illness, the feminist literary scholar dove into the complete works of V.S. Naipaul and Paul Theroux.
Todd Billings weaves his struggle with a rare form of blood cancer together with probing biblical and theological reflection.
One day, as I considered my routine of pills and naps and exercises, I saw that it is not unlike praying the hours.
Christian Wiman offers further evidence that his voice is among the most compelling in contemporary poetry. These poems are filled with theological conundrums, unanswered questions, brutal answers to questions never formed, and above all, contradictions.
At 52 I was lead pastor of a large, vibrant church. Then I was diagnosed with ALS, and I began to call on my faith community in a new way.
After her bleak diagnosis, Julie Anderson Love learned that hope has nothing to do with passivity. She was, she writes, "the patient from hell."
It’s tempting to blame partisan politics for last summer’s debacle over “death panels” and the very idea of doctors and patients holding conversations about the end of life. But the truth is: these conversations are difficult. Although some people welcome them, others approach the subject of death cautiously. Many of us would rather not explore what awaits us in the final years or weeks of life. Perhaps this reluctance explains why only one in five Americans has completed an advance directive for medical care.
When I began in ministry, I'd enter a hospital room with a bit of trepidation, as if entering a strange and alien land. I wasn't sure what I'd encounter there and how I might respond. I wasn’t used to the sights and sounds and smells—the sight of someone hooked up to a tube, the occasional snoring or groaning of a roommate, the antiseptic smell that sometimes barely conceals the various human smells that infuse the air. I didn’t know the customs of this land either—for instance, whether I should stop praying when a doctor entered the room, or introduce myself to the doctor, or leave the room when the doctor begins the consultation. But now, after 25 years as a pastor, I've been in hundreds of hospital rooms, and they all look familiar.
Eight years ago, shortly before Palm Sunday, our eight-year-old son was under the weather. My husband, Lou, had volunteered to cover the doctor’s appointment and a trip to the drugstore for whatever prescription would clear up Calvin’s little infection. “Go to the gym,” he said. “You need to relieve some stress.”
I believe that prayer can heal, and I’ve witnessed miraculous healings in my own pastorates. So why was I, cast into extremis by a chainsaw, reluctant to pray?