A little pinching of the ego

A little pinching of the ego

One measure of true accountability for church leaders is how they feel about it.  Basically, it should hurt a little…there should be things the Christian leader would like to do but can’t because colleagues and friends advise against it…  A little pinching of the ego is good for us all. Katelyn Beaty, Celebrities for Jesus … Continue reading

Haunted by joy

Haunted by joy

Light sparkled as we drove.  Filtered through the trees, shafts of golden green.  Air seemed almost misty in the paleness of the September early-evening glow. And, light falling on grassy field by my side, heart clenched.  With joy, with pain. Joy because beauty.  Joy because this, the Haunting.*  Enchanting by One who calls from beyond … Continue reading

The hard work of joy

The hard work of joy

I started 2022 chasing joy. Now, eight months later, I’ve got to thinking about it again.  I’ve become inured to the daily reminder to count my joys, app dinging its encouragement each night at 9.  And, mostly, I ignore it.  Because joy takes too much work. Joy, if I’m honest, takes too much work. It’s … Continue reading

A gift greater than gold

A gift greater than gold

…humbly ask one wise person one question: ‘Can I buy you a cup of coffee?’ Tod Bolsinger, Tempered Resilience I’ve been working on a particularly fun project this summer.  I’ve been meeting spiritual directors with a view to recommending some to students.  I begin by asking them about who they are and how they understand … Continue reading

I don’t know how to say my Yes

I don’t know how to say my Yes

You are calling me deeper into prayer.  But I don’t know what you mean.  What I thought you meant lies dashed on rocks, guts spilled out of it.  And I can talk about intention and attention: the practices by which we attend to you repeatedly, in order that our lives might intend you.  I can … Continue reading

Butterfly pinned

Butterfly pinned

Like Martha, we may prefer to work rather than feel. Bonnie Gray, Whispers of Rest Her words skewer me.  Last of the pins by which butterfly wings laid out for display.  Emotion has been offline, feeling its pain a risk I dare not take.   First of pins came in January: priest’s suggestion that John’s dark … Continue reading

Now, with God, not impossible

Now, with God, not impossible

If a person is to enter the second dwelling places, it is important that he strive to give up unnecessary things and business affairs. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle, I.2.14 I started reading Teresa again last night.  As you do.  Or as, in fact, I really don’t.  Normally, I read her in order to … Continue reading

Silence winnows

Silence winnows

Silence has a winnowing function, separating carefully chosen words from mere words…  If someone who is speaking becomes too caught up with words, they lose their watchfulness: of self and of their speech, of the other person, and of the other person’s response. Robin Daniels, Listening: Hearing the Heart It was eighteen minutes of silence, … Continue reading

Hello presence

Hello presence

I’m circling back round again to presence.  Spiralling, my summerhouse friend would call it.  Present to myself in order to be present to God and, out of that, present to others. I’m there because of Monday’s conversation, long and unexpected.  I’m there because of Saturday’s teaching, the topic I myself had chosen.  And, when I … Continue reading

The monster in the corner – or, boundaries part 3

The monster in the corner – or, boundaries part 3

Update me about boundaries, she said.  And my internal monologue wondered stroppily whether I had to. I was bored by boundaries, you see.  Or, perhaps more truthfully, a bit uncomfortable about the ambivalence inherent in my last month of boundary-making and boundary-keeping.  Though we’d spent many minutes talking about them last time, I’d made less … Continue reading