I just read this description of a scientist doing field research in the 1800s: “Wallace plunged into the jungles along the Rio Negro and spent the next four years doggedly collecting specimens. The challenges he faced were numberless. Insects made his life a torment. He broke his glasses, on which he was highly dependent, during … [Read more]
“I believe I am a happy person.” Songwriter Oscar Hammerstein makes this simple statement in an essay he read aloud in a radio series called This I Believe. I’ve been listening to the series on CD as I drive around town. It pulls together statements from people both obscure and famous, apple farmers and pizza … [Read more]
Becoming a Christian is like reaching the end of a hundred-mile backpacking trip and taking off your forty-pound pack to just get a hug and a cup of hot cocoa from a best friend.
Our daughter sighed in a dreamy voice, “I want this vacation to last forever.” Those were strong words, considering how unlike the typical Disney-Mecca Pilgrimage our vacation had been. Her favorite entertainment had been tossing around a watermelon in a pond, sleeping on friends’ floors, and stopping at a playground with a bucket of store-bought … [Read more]
I have been known to obsess over growing things. In Nicaragua, it was a garden I fought for and defended through drought, chickens, pigs, and the stares of our skeptical neighbors. In a tiny apartment in Oshkosh, Wisconsin it was a table of houseplants inspired by my reading of House Plants for Dummies. In a … [Read more]
Last night we heard that a friend of a friend had taken her own life. Some hours later in the night, our rabbit disappeared. I’m not saying the two are of any comparable significance, but somehow pet deaths seem to stack up on human tragedies in ways that help me grapple with what’s going on … [Read more]
This post stems from a question asked on a previous post about fragile baby chicks. I remember the morning when my daughter, then still barely learning to walk, toddled around the corner of our home to find a dead bird on the ground. She could see clearly that it was a bird, but that it … [Read more]
Three centuries ago, back when Europe was called Christendom and everyone figured they were Christian (however syncretistic or nominal), something started shifting. It’s a shift that got us to the place we are today, where belief is an option, and not a very easy one at that. The shift? Life got practical. I’ve been reading … [Read more]
Here’s our Relevant column today, with more about my dead chickens, gardening, and hope in hard times. Read “Rain, Chickens and other Foolish Hopes” here on Relevant.
So speaking of guest blogs, here’s one I’ve been looking forward to sharing. My friend Jess Fick, who blogs at http://sidewalktheologian.com/, recently shared with me the text of a talk she gave about weathering life’s storms. I loved it so much I asked to share some of it with you. In fact, I put the … [Read more]