Contemplative Prayer-Seeing the Son of Man

On the day after my first son was born, I stood at the discharge counter; only KJ wasn’t going home.  We needed to transfer him to the children’s hospital trauma center.  The night before a kind doctor had explained to us that our son was a very sick little boy, needing 3-4 operations the first…

Contemplative Prayer-In Whose Presence?

Squeezed inside a makeshift tent in the living room, a perfect hiding place for a granddaughter’s over-worked imagination. “What’s that?” I whisper.  Her eyes widen, and a thin smile parts her lips.  My eyes mimic hers in widening fear as we stare at one another.  “The monster’s close, don’t move a muscle,” I say.  Her…

No Greater Love

An associate of mine had quoted conventional wisdom, “First your oxygen mask, then everyone else.”  However, under her breath she quickly added, “I’d probably not do that actually, because I’d put the mask on the one I love, before myself.”  Good, I thought, bravo!  Jesus is talking. I read an article this week titled Two…

Free & Fearless

The new assistant to the prime minister was nervous; he had never been around such a powerful man.  When he got to the massive entrance to the mansion, his trembling finger pushed the doorbell. He waited, heart pounding.  Suddenly, the doors swung open, and there in the foyer was the man he feared, down on…

Fire In The Belly

Lessons for the first-half crowd Subject: Fire in the Belly This is the second in a series of short letters, addressed to what I call, first-half-of-lifer’s. I grew up watching Twilight Zone and remember one episode that began with a room full of people at a masquerade ball. In his usual creepy voice, Rod Sterling…

Of Skiffs & Galleons

Not all prayer requests carry the same weight.  There are everyday prayers, call them skiffs , and then there are rarely seen ones, like Spanish galleons that cross the oceans. The skiffs carry coal into the harbor almost daily.  The galleons remain out of sight, yet when they do come, appear low in the water,…

A Walk In The Garden

“Lord, if I could dig out of your dense and diverse beauty, just a small sample, a fragment like an artifact, I promise to use every ounce of it to lift eyes to heaven, so that some who see only black sky, could see a blue moon passing Orion, on its way to morning.”  The…

This Latent Force

“This latent force.” I read this phrase in a book talking about the meaning of prayer, written in 1915. It got me thinking…. What do we do while waiting in the ‘long until.’  In other words, what is the most natural thing we can do to spend our lives until we see Him face to…

Jenna

Out front of the café, I noticed a young lady in a yellow floral dress next to an older man. He was leaning on crutches.  They both turned to look at me.  “Do you have any change?” she asked. “I typically don’t carry cash,” I responded, “but I’m getting coffee, would you like one?” Their…

A Savage Gospel

The voice on the phone sounded familiar, but his smooth street lingo was missing, now faint, halting, a whisper. “Mr. Kevin,” (long pause) “Hurry!” Mo Brown lived in Brooklyn, on a dark treeless street. We met up on his stoop, where he explained that he and his family were moving out, “tonight!” While I followed…

Climb the Stairwell

Back in the 90’s we would take our new staff into East New York, Brooklyn, for their first brush with evangelism. It never failed that the beat cops would stop our group, point to the subway and say, “leave! It’s too dangerous for you here.” We didn’t. We had an affiliate, Willie Branch, who ran…

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…