real hope

ascending at your friend’s house

before jesus ascended into heaven, he took a walk. he led his followers to bethany on the eastern slope of the mount of olives, a sabbath day’s journey, about a half mile. he blessed them, lifted his hands and bye. mary, martha and the resurrected […]

jesus died for you and other sentences that don’t mean anything

“i’ve heard so many teachings on why he had to die, but it never seems to stick in my head.” i’m looking out at the frozen neighborhood. sentences can freeze and crack, too. the meaning they once held is nowhere to be found. they are […]

the ghosts of october

we drive from orchard to orchard, yellow leaves falling and we end up in a nursing home, cider and donuts in hand. my grandfather was born in october and this year he turned ninety. his wife died twenty nine years ago in another october, three days […]

seasonal help

there is a prayer and it goes this way; “lord, i do not feel like i used to feel.” it doesn’t worry god too terribly much though. because god’s not interested in “used to.”  not one little bit. god is always, “look!  see!  i’m doing […]

psalm 34:18

the lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed. our friend tells us that he’s been tore up ever since his mother died and i’m thinking that he doesn’t know how right he is. the words brokenhearted in the bible translate […]

when lent gets in the way

lent is a little tough for me. it can seem like a further cementing of the basic misunderstanding of god’s heart for relationship. that misunderstanding goes like this: if you give up the things you really like and settle for a life where you’re always wishing […]

detroit is smarter than you

well, not too many of you picked up the gauntlet to write your own stories out.  i feel a little like i did that day with the friend i wrote about.  telling you my deep, dark secrets only to be met with silence. but that’s […]

in the girl there’s a room

i’ve started to believe a lie. the one that says my daughter is unreachable. that would be the one. that she is happy, content, with her routines and habits and phrases. that’s enough. it’s good enough. that classroom there. the one showing movies everyday. the […]

sugar maple

i drive down ohio roads.  i drink in the rolling southern ohio landscape like water.  i don’t know what it is about coming up over a slow curve to find a white, paint-peeling church with it’s faithful buried along side of it. it does my […]

i got nothing

i really don’t know what to tell you. i don’t have words and the words i have i don’t like. i feel like detroit. all the people are gone.  the people who come around aren’t good enough.  and the ones who never left?  well, i’m […]