What does it mean to be labeled a “religious poet” in the twenty-first century? The term’s undoubtedly fraught, but “fraught” is perhaps the best word to describe the current relationship between religion and pretty much everything. Small wonder, though, if one accepts the argument of scholars such as Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Talal Asad, and Brent…Read More
I intermittently check in with an online social media group interested in the reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox churches. It will seem a fringe concern to some, but I’m rarely in the peak of the bell curve when it comes to such things. The group page offers a mixed bag of links to incisive…Read More
The verbal dustup between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and journalist Ta-Nahesi Coates that flashed across the country’s television and computer screens last month has faded into blogospheric obscurity, with what passes for national discourse having long since moved on to fresher nodes of rancor and resentment. The occasion, you may recall, was a US…Read More
Under the circumstances, we had given them all we could: our time, our presence, our attention. We visited them in their home. We listened to their stories. We stood in witness. We carry them in memory.
In a brief intersection of radically different lives, we acknowledged one another’s frail humanity. That was our therapy, a word from the Greek, therapon, “one who attends.” As medical professionals, we’d come wanting to do so much more.
It’s precisely then that presence is needed: a practice to banish distraction, dial down emotion, return attention to the exchange happening right now, and note my responses—mental and physical. That’s when I live into the role of attending physician. . . Without practices of attentive presence, the patient’s real concerns will be overlooked, important information remain hidden, diagnoses missed, and complex therapies wasted.Read More
This post was made possible through the support of a grant from The BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution and Christian Faith program. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BioLogos. Though I’ve heard it said otherwise, the Great Wall of China is not the only evidence of human…Read More
Humanity is readily divisible into two groups: those who divide humanity into groups and those who don’t. The wise—even those among the dividers—learn to hold their tongue among the former. More than matters of taste, the position one takes in intractable arguments reveals something of one’s interior life. Realist or Nominalist, PC or Mac, Whitman…Read More
We were having dinner at a friend’s house: a gathering of colleagues enjoying one another’s company with good food, relaxed conversation, a glass of wine. While we spoke of neighborhoods, children, and schools, it dawned on me that my friend, Doug, lived just doors from my grandparents’ old house. My grandparents are now long dead,…Read More
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood …And let my cry come unto Thee. —From Ash Wednesday, T. S. Eliot Is it possible to recognize my neighbor’s faults unless I’m similarly wounded? The damnable fruit, after all, comes from a tree of knowledge of good and evil. I can spot a hypocrite because I…Read More
I didn’t play King Herod this year. That role—which my father occupied in my youth and is now all mine!—is a coveted cameo in our family’s annual Epiphany play, full of transparently feigned concern for the welfare of an unexpected (and for Herod, most unwanted) newborn king. Regrettably, we had no time this year for…Read More