Yes, it's another year-of narrative. But Esther Emery offers a moving story about the possibility of change.
For the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we asked writers to choose one formative book and tell us about it.
I was taught that my labors as a minister don’t count for my own spiritual life. Realizing that this is untrue has brought me great relief and joy.
I gobble books by musicians. Bruce Cockburn's memoir has more virtues than most.
I staggered through my house that morning, knowing I was out of coffee. I took multiple trips around the house looking for my shoes, finally settled for outrageously large climbing boots, then took multiple trips looking for my keys. I finally jumped on my motorcycle—adrenaline is a good substitute for endorphins when you get older—and broke many laws getting to the local caffeine clinic. Upon arriving I had the sinking realization that my man-purse was not in my backpack. At this point all my training as a contemplative was out the window.
Many current meanings of spirituality have nothing to do with the spiritual or the spirit, but Lucy Bregman doesn't write them off. Instead, she wants to find out what "makes spirituality so appealing."
Years ago I was very good at hope. I could hope for a more celebrated position, flatter abs, or to cross the finish of Ironman. I was also good at setting goals to achieve these ends: I put my head down and knocked them off. The elation of accomplishing these goals and garnering a little attention for my efforts was a great high, but unfortunately it did not usually last long.
There are specific and cunning temptations in silence that, if allowed to flourish, can fester and rot the whole enterprise.
I don't settle automatically into the silence of solitude. At first the silence can be as startling as noise.
As we read about the rise of the spiritual but not religious, how do we respond? Do we think of it as a threat? A challenge? Or do we resonate with the category?
“Silence gives me freedom in both real time and psychic time. When I talk less, I see more. And silence gives me time to pray.”
In this splendid book Belden Lane has made a double contribution—to the reordering of our perspectives on creation and to our understanding of the Reformed tradition as a contributor to this reordering.