Posts

Showing posts from January, 2018

Risky Business of the Thin Place

A number of years ago I drove highway 12 in Utah, which is a loop from Bryce Canyon east to Escalante then north and finally west again where it reconnects to the main highway leading to Salt Lake City. This scenic drive takes one on a winding road up to the very peak of the Rocky Mountains. One section was a mere two lane road with sheer 9,000 foot drop offs on both sides, straight down the mountain sides. I had the impression that a strong wind could blow us right off the edge. It was a terrifying yet absolutely awe inspiring drive, leaving me with the sense that I had been in the presence of our creator, experiencing the beauty of this world as God intends it to be.
I felt something similar when I lived near Lake Michigan and could walk the beaches and experience the changes of seasons in that immense body of water, from the rich deep colors of summer to the muted tones of winter with snow and ice.
Spiritually speaking experiences of God breaking into our every day lives are describe…

Where is God?

When Dan and I were first married we went to Salt Lake City for a portion of our honeymoon, where he met my extended family. One of our first days in Salt Lake we drove east to Park City. It was a beautiful August day, and we leisurely wandered through the city and then drove through  the back roads and mountain side. As the afternoon was growing late we decided to head back to Salt Lake. I felt certain, based on a vague childhood memory, that there was a back-road over the mountain that would drop us into Salt Lake City. So we wandered on this dirt road for a bit, going deeper into the wilderness and over ever more challenging terrain. We were driving a little green Gremlin, or Pinto, I don’t remember, some old car my dad had. Whatever it was it was definitely not built for the rugged terrain we were on. Sure enough we bottomed out – took out some part of the undercarriage necessary for driving. This was in 1985, no cell phones, no GPS. We were good and stranded. Thankfully some youn…

Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth?

John Lewis, a Congressman from Georgia, has written memoirs of his days working with Martin Luther King, Jr. These books reflect Lewis’ deep spirituality and describe how faith, hope, and love have been the guiding principles of his life. In his book, “Across That Bridge, Life Lessons and a Vision for Change” Lewis tells a story from the early 1960’s, which I paraphrase here:
On day Lewis entered a restaurant and ordered a meal. As a black man he was not allowed in the restaurant and was asked to leave. He gently refused and tried again and again to order his meal. Finally the waitress brought him his meal. Just as he was about to take his first bite, the waitress proceeded to pour disinfectant down his back. She then poured water all over his meal. The restaurant owner proceeded to spray Lewis with an insecticide intended to kill cockroaches. The owner sprayed Lewis until his skin was burned. All the while Lewis offered no resistance. Instead he looked them in the eye, reminding them …

Crossing the Bridge into Ordinary, Holy Work

Rabbi Jeffery Salkin, author of the book, “Being God’s Partner,”…tells this story: “A few years ago, a young taxi driver (named Mike) drove me to John F. Kennedy Airport, on Long Island. After a few minutes of conversation, I discovered that Mike had belonged to my synagogue years before I came to the community. ‘So, rabbi,’ he asked, while we sat in heavy traffic, ‘What do you say to a Jew like me who hasn’t been to a synagogue since his bar mitzvah ceremony?’ Thinking a moment, I realized that in Hassidic lore, the baal aqalah (the wagon driver) is an honored profession. So I said, ‘We could talk about your work.’ ‘What does my work have to do with religion?’ ‘Well, we choose how we look at the world and at life. You’re a taxi driver. But you are also a piece of the tissue that connects all humanity. You’re taking me to the airport. I’ll go to a different city and give a couple of lectures that might touch or help or change someone. I couldn’t have gotten there without you. You help make…