Grace for a Scary Season

I’m not fond of this season. The yard displays, the masks, the gore, so much creepiness on TV. Think of what it is teaching our children. I’m not talking about Halloween. It’s mid-term election season. These days elections seem to bring out the worst in human behavior. And it’s not just “those people.” I find myself arguing with campaign commercials, or making snap judgments about … Continue reading Grace for a Scary Season

Saved on the Road

            I have a spiritual practice that helps me internalize the Scriptures and the ways of God. I imagine being one of the characters or a bystander in a biblical story, and I spin out the story as I see it. It doesn’t have to be theologically “correct,” although I try to keep it plausible.  I simply spend time wondering what it was like to … Continue reading Saved on the Road


When I unwrap the holiday ornaments the stiff snowflakes pause a moment in my hand, fashioned, starched in precise geometry by my mother, who stitched frugal threads into transcendence. Once I presented her with a bedspread from my husband’s family not quite finished, a long-forgotten interruption. She studied the pattern, dyed the thread to match someone else’s story, not unlike her dutiful life as pastor’s … Continue reading Lace

Life-Giving Sabbath

The word “Sabbath” calls up lots of ideas and feelings for different people.  As I grew up, we were expected to observe it strictly, with no unnecessary work and no homework done on Sundays. We could not patronize a swimming pool or a restaurant, because that would require other people to violate the Sabbath as they served us.  This was not altogether a negative thing. … Continue reading Life-Giving Sabbath

Practice Resurrection

Wendell Berry, dubbed the “Poet Farmer,” has spent countless hours walking through the fields and woods of his property, writing about the wonder of nature and the stories that the land would recount if it could use our language. Any farmer or gardener can identify with his delight in the process of “dead” seeds springing to life and morphing into crops, flowers and trees. It … Continue reading Practice Resurrection

Searching for Home, from Home

I welcome Char Gustafson as a guest writer today. This was written in March, 2021. Now…” ,  the big man bus driver looked at me, a scared little 8 year old and said, “Where do you belong?” Where indeed. It was March…that time of the year in Iowa where those who rented farms moved.  Leases were up.  Farms were sold.  Families, uprooted. In 1961, I … Continue reading Searching for Home, from Home

The Music Over There

I cannot put the glory into a poem. The Kyiv Chamber Choir sings “In Thy Kingdom”, their voices resonating, swelling in what I picture as a beautiful cathedral. How they cannot make this beauty now. How they are scattered and the church is a shell where the music cannot carom off its walls but its memory flies into the atmosphere as a prayer. Dissipates. How … Continue reading The Music Over There