in the wild

I sat in my truck watching the furious surf, as if seeking revenge; the gray-white sea bled into the gray-white sky. I thought, “Sometimes you have to walk headlong into the wind and rain. Don’t run from it; run into it.” So I got out of my truck and walked down onto the beach, heading… Read More in the wild

guilt

Ever since childhood, there’s often been a subtly pervasive voice in the background saying, “You’re not good enough, you’re not doing enough, you’re not enough as you are.” Have you heard it? This was not stated by anyone explicitly, but was sometimes implied within spiritual environments I participated in and observed. Guilt. As easy as… Read More guilt

(re)movement

As I have pulled back on my participation in familiar spiritual environments, as I have ceased the once familiar spirituality of my history and context, I find that I still encounter God in the midst of (re)movement. I do not speak, but stay silent; I do not move, but am still; I do not ask,… Read More (re)movement

movement

I sometimes feel a sense of guilt at re/moving myself from familiar spirituality, from my roots, from certain religious practices, from pieces of my history and context, from unquestioning Christianity. I “should” on myself—I should be involved, I should serve, I should attend, I should do this and that spiritual discipline whether I feel like… Read More movement

when it’s over

It’s easy to experience God in the beautiful. I went truck camping this past weekend and found a peaceful, quiet spot by running water. I’d been waiting for a night or two to drive new dirt roads. To find something new, somewhere quiet. I drove miles into the wild, kicking up clouds of dust, thick… Read More when it’s over

it matters

It’s okay to say, “It hurts.” Don’t belittle your pain; don’t compare or relativize it. Own it. Hold it. Say out loud, “It hurts and it matters.” Someone else always has it worse off. But no one else suffers quite like you—whether it was today, yesterday, or 10 or 50 years ago. It matters. Don’t… Read More it matters

nomadism

Nothing is concrete. I’m not one to build a home on a fundamentalist, literalist, or “rock solid” foundation; I am nomadic in what and where I plant myself. Not the “sinking sand” the Bible speaks of, just finding a place in the dirt to set up a tent, then moving on to the next location… Read More nomadism

possibilities

I followed the snaking Gallatin River on 191, driving beside the water, on either side of me tree covered mountains and cliff faces, the sporadic homes and all the vehicles going somewhere. I played a song and prayed. It was a real prayer. Honest. Broken. Those kinds of prayers are rare, hard to come by… Read More possibilities

the blue chair

The last glow of the day above the pine trees across the quiet residential street. I sit on the driveway on this northerly side of the house facing the setting sun in my cheap blue camping chair lined with bright green. I’m catching the remaining light. If I lift my head I feel the last… Read More the blue chair

choices

A year ago I made the difficult decision to change jobs. I had worked for my church for a year and a half as a next generation pastor—mostly with youth and young adults, among other things. I felt almost guilty for leaving. I had an enviable ministry job in a beautiful ski town. I left… Read More choices

belonging

“…The event contained in the affirmation of God is more important than the belief in God…Belonging first, followed by behavior, followed last and least, by belief.” – Peter Rollins We belong before we believe. The experience of belonging leads to behavior and belief if we’ve experienced the real thing. We may arrive at the right… Read More belonging

room (2)

This is what we have with God—room and space rarely (if ever) experienced before. I understand how valuable this is, and how needed. Some of us were not given room to question or doubt or form our own opinions and beliefs and there was little or no place to disagree so we never knew how,… Read More room (2)

room

You invite me to your table but “I’m not hungry I’m not thirsty” I tell you. I have had everything here before. I am no longer hungry or thirsty for what I have long had my fill of. “But there is still room for you” I hear and I know it is true. But is… Read More room

context

The indecision of childhood remembered. Do I create myself or am I created? Am I made in the image of what I desire or am I formed from the pieces of past and context and circumstance, family history religion. Environment. Culture. The myth of the self made wo/man for no one makes themselves only we… Read More context

gods

gods— Flittering through memories, seen but unseen. Saving us. Or betraying us. Do they save us from or betray us to suffering? We are all damaged. All of us. Even by those closest to perfection, or at least goodness. Our worlds built by those who could not fail but did. And do. And always will. … Read More gods

image

Trying to find pieces of what I am in the dark, lonely, quiet, snowy nights of a silent season. Learning to be alone and to love it. Reaching for words in the disquiet of quiet. In search of myself while lost in myself. Like standing as the single being on a world my own. None… Read More image

Week 51: waiting

I’m familiar with waiting. I remember spending a 12 hour “layover” at a city train station in Mandalay, Myanmar many years ago, having already taken a 12 hour train ride on an “ordinary class” train, with a 14 hour train ride ahead of me to go further north. (“Ordinary class” trains had hard, uncomfortable, nearly… Read More Week 51: waiting

Week 45: new

Some days you just feel discombobulated. It’s one of those for me. Getting lost and turned around trying to find some place (even with GPS), angry and upset at the smallest things (like new scratches on my truck and no public showers in the whole state of NM due to COVID)—just a general feeling of… Read More Week 45: new

Week 24: thirst

Jesus said, “I thirst.” I love the way the trees sway in worship. The slight breeze setting their thin trunks in motion, branches joining the chorus. If i wasn’t sitting out here on the deck tonight, I wouldn’t notice. I wouldn’t see it. I have to pay attention. What is existence without seeing? Why are… Read More Week 24: thirst