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  • 3 Ways to Keep Company with Jesus

    On Wednesday, October 28 th, 2009

    At top of the church stairs I mumble words, apparently aloud and louder than intended, as the woman two stairs ahead of me turns, asks with arched eyebrows, “Pardon me? Were you speaking to me?” The awkwardness, it burns up the neck, scorches the tongue and I stammer out ashen words. “Oh, no. Just talking… to myself.” Laugh, feeble, it’s all ...

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  • Slow Down: To Seek

    On Wednesday, October 14 th, 2009

    She loses what’s hers and comes plaintive, begging where it might be, and I send her looking under chairs, the second shelf of my library closet, perhaps under our bed, her father’s far side? And her mournful cry, bay of hound on the hunt, draws out the brothers, and she tugs one end of the couch and he grunts the other. Only a few stray dust bunnies, lost too. She&...

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  • Dare to be a Daniel: A Pilgrimage in Prayer

    On Wednesday, October 07 th, 2009

    I didn’t find that envelope with her Edwardian script all across the backside until I had ranted and raved myself raw. It had been lying on the floor all that time, her looped Ts and swaggering Ss, somber witness, and I’m certain she grieved me more in that moment than I her, her with the grave growing slow moss over her in steady October rain. There had only been ...

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  • The Simplicity of Prayer for Beginners

    On Wednesday, September 23 rd, 2009

    She comes for me in dawn, light coming up in slipping night, and when her body curls next to mine, morning tendril, her hands reach and she whispers, “I need your face. Turn to me?” I roll towards her and, always her way, since she first was, her fingertips, they trace my lips, her palm strokes my cheek, and morning seeps in and we lay bare face to bare face. “Kiss me ag...

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  • Ugly Prayer

    On Wednesday, September 09 th, 2009

    He was leaning up against the doors I walk through every Sunday, when the words crossed his lips. He was looking me right in the eye. “I know it for sure. This is my Africa.” The topography slides. I leave him at the chapel doors. I drive home. Home to the middle of northeast North America, east of where the buffalo roamed, far north of the Mason-Dixon line. The...

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  • How to Build a House of Prayer

    On Wednesday, September 02 nd, 2009

    I sort darks from the lights and rifle through soul laundry, the swoop, the motion, the quiet aloneness, lending itself to the inner washing. Again, the return always to this: “It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be a house of prayer‘” (Luke 19:46). Christ dwells in the houses of prayer. I load grimy jeans into machine, murmur h...

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  • What Could Change Everything: A Pilgrimage into Prayer

    On Tuesday, August 25 th, 2009

    I read it in a book, one line, and carry it around with me for days, a new map: “The literal translation for the words ‘pray always’ is ‘come to rest’.” Somewhere along the line I got the idea that He needs hands more than He needs knees. Knees are so hidden, hands so laudable. We know which we like. Bellies bloat hunger in Uganda and women d...

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  • Prayer: Why We Struggle (and how not to)

    On Wednesday, August 19 th, 2009

    The only reason we fail to pray is because we’ve made an idol out of self. I discover it on a Thursday picking up errant crayons, scattered legos, swiping up crumbs. I can’t stop. I’d like to. I keep glancing at the clock, knowing it’s time to rest, to close my eyes and pause for morning prayer. Pray like Jesus and all Jews did through the centuries, li...

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  • A Pilgrimage in Prayer: Close Your Eyes

    On Wednesday, August 12 th, 2009

    Water trickles down rocks of front porch table fountain and socks ferment in the laundry basket, aging like molding cheese. The porch door swings and I can hear her, that water falling, chuckling out there, happy invitation to come rest, rock the swing to the rhythm of quiet. I almost laugh right back at her. Who can sit when laundry ferments and weeds, of the animal variety, ...

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  • Journaling: Being Soul Brave

    On Wednesday, July 08 th, 2009

    So we carry about pen and paper and collect bits of our lives, clippings and cuttings, rubbings and wrappings, and lay it down between leaves, a pressing out of our lives. We may shun photograph pixels tracing a sag here, a saunch there, disdain video recordings of our pitch and a bit of a paunch, but we brave the paper. We unbutton a soul, for we know what we are made of....

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  • Journaling as a Spiritual Discipline: 8 Reasons to Journal (& some inspiration)

    On Wednesday, July 01 st, 2009

    My longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.” ~Ps. 38:9 1. Because journaling is a place to be unmasked and meet God So we lay ourselves out on the page…. “A journal can become a sacred place,” writes Magaret Feinberg. “Mere blank pages are transformed into a site where you can record the most intimate parts of your soul. A place...

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  • Journaling as a Spiritual Discipline: An Act of Prayer

    On Wednesday, June 24 th, 2009

    This is praying time, and the act of listening in prayer is the same act as listening in writing.” ~Madeleine L’Engle I read Scripture. I listen. I pray. I pick up pen. I listen. I pray. This writing becomes prayer, heart stretched right out, poems laid bare. One of my held-close, always-come-with-me journals is my Prayer-Poem Journal. It is, like nearly all end...

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