One Morning On Miller Street

The hot August air sat heavy on the street, as though too tired to stir.   Brooklyn, East New York, with few trees, just ripples in asphalt.  The window fans whirred.  Mama’s sat on fire escapes dabbing their forehead, watching children scurry after bubbles. I was here with Joy, a college sophomore from Minnesota, who was…

A Father Again

Clouds hung low, spitting light rain mixed with sleet. The weatherman predicted a brown slushy holiday. He had promised a mom he would visit today. He had met her son that fall, but he was slipping, headed for the streets. Jesus, you are enough to save from the pull of easy money, aren’t you? As…

Walter,’Never at the Altar’

My partner for the ‘afternoon of outreach’ was Daniel, a high school student from Brooklyn. It was a first for him, this ‘going out and talking to perfect strangers.’ He was nervous, visibly. Later, he confided that for the past couple of years atheists, who challenged his every belief, had bullied him. The weekend retreat…

When God Breaks In…

He was a doctor of internal medicine, and his words were a jaded iceberg, admittedly desensitized by the dying he sees every day. “There are no miracles for someone in stage four cancer… at least I’ve never seen one,” he said. “My mom passed away about eight years ago. She was only 55, and at…

Backwash of Grace

It all played out while I was in the womb. My parents were living in a trailer in Chester New Jersey, on Van Allen’s farm. But the town didn’t like it, because it was violating a zoning ordinance. My father, a very soft spoken, humble and pliable man had to go down to the town…