Rendering Regret, Receiving Redemptive Grace

Lying in a hospital bed, he looked at me sitting across from him. With a pale and sunken face, white hair and dark pupils, he looked at me with confusion even though I softly explained who I was and what I was doing in his room. “Tell…her…I…am…sorry,” he said while gasping for breath. “She needs … [Read more…]

Remaking Life After Loss

Stepping into my father’s bathroom during a trip home from college, I could not help but notice the tacky blue walls and the ceramic fish that hung off of them. In a way, it resembled a questionable seafood restaurant you would find along the Florida interstate. But at the same time, the particle board walls poorly painted … [Read more…]

Such A Sweet, Sweet Spirit

In the hall is where I would find her. Sometimes she would be moping the floor, other times helping fold sheets or pushing a cart of dirty laundry. Yet, whatever the task she was doing, she would always be talking with the other hospital workers ranging from the hospital administrators to those who worked in … [Read more…]

Recapturing The Gift of Christmas

As a child, visiting my grandparents on Christmas Day was special to me. While my grandfather never had many memories of celebrating Christmas as a boy since he grew up in various foster homes, he found ways to make the season joyful for his grandchildren. From the lights decorated on his small home in the … [Read more…]

Embracing the Unexpected Detours

It was one of the most difficult decisions I had to ever make. After spending a year struggling in the ordination process to become a Presbyterian minister, I came to the conclusion that while I still felt called to be a minister, it wasn’t going to be in the denomination where I had been raised … [Read more…]

The Beloved Community

Last spring, members of my church spent a day volunteering to help build a house for “Habitat For Humanity” in our town. Given hammers, nails, tape measures, and saws, our church was specifically tasked with installing a kitchen floor in the home we were building. While I like to think I am good at carpentry … [Read more…]

Seeking Justice, Pursuing It

Last week, I found myself working an early morning shift at a local store where I work part time two days a week. During my shift while the store was still closed, I was at the front counter organizing order forms while talking with two of my co-workers. The one co-worker is a young African-American … [Read more…]

Finding Affirmation, Despite All Doubts

Standing in front of me, I could see my face in the reflection of his aviator sunglasses. Even though we shared the same height, his muscular physique and intimidating posture was enough for me to shake in my poorly laced boots. “Your boot laces are a mess, Lieutenant!” he shouted in a deep voice with … [Read more…]

The Gift of Forgiveness

Accompanying my dad and grandfather to close our family cottage every October as a teenager was something of a tradition. Taking place usually on a Saturday, the three of us would end the summer in Conneaut Lake, PA by putting up storm windows, draining the hot water tank, and yes, even draining the toilets in … [Read more…]

Cleansing Of The Spiritual Soul

It was about seven years ago that I picked up running as an exercise. One summer in my early 20s while back home in Western Pennsylvania, I can recall running on a dusty dirt trail on an overcast and humid day. With cramps forming on my side and aches in my back, I found myself … [Read more…]