If It’s Peace You Seek


There are few moments of peace, too few moments of grace for any of us these days. Each day, we rise to more devastation, more reasons to despair, more reasons to cry out: Come Quickly, Lord Jesus.

That’s the problem with knowledge, isn’t it?

Once you are no longer the center of the universe, once you become aware of the sufferings of others, it becomes near about impossible to forget about the sufferings of others. And that awareness?  It is like a relentless toddler demanding that we fix whatever is broken, right here, right now, hurry, C’mon.

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Beloved, Deep and Wide


My friend Lillian Champion died today. It’s difficult to be sad, given Lillian’s joyous reunion with her adoring husband Hubert, who died in 2007, and her daughter, Marjorie, who was killed during the 9-11 attack at the Pentagon. So it isn’t so much sadness I feel as just downright loneliness.  The storytellers in my life are dying off. My circle of friends is whittling down.

Without question 2017 is going down in my ledger as a harsh year. Yes, there have been good moments – niece Jessica got engaged today to a fella who loves her almost as much as we do – but for the most part, 2017 has been a year of taking.  A year of suffering for far too many of my people and even those far-away folks whose names I don’t know.

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My First Friend

Frankie & Me


Brothers never get the credit they deserve. Or maybe it’s just my brother never gets the credit he deserves. I have spent a good deal of writing time making up for being the object of my brother’s knuckle punches. (Yes, he really would knuckle-punch but never in a hateful way, always playful, albeit his playful could leave a bruise.)

My brother has been at my side from the beginning.

He was my first playmate.

We spent many happy hours in the sandbox behind the tiny rental house on Morris Street in Columbus, Georgia. It was there that Brother John first displayed his road-making abilities, scooping out the sand, moving dirt around, packing down mounds so our trucks could navigate around them. On rainy Saturday mornings, we could often be found in the kitchen where we crafted this game of swinging from the refrigerator’s door handle. Mama, who was usually tending to our baby sister, was oblivious to this game, which was part of the thrill of it, of course.

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Not All Sin is Equal

Cross 11

I spoke with a woman recently who said she was struggling to find a faith. Nodding toward her husband, who was tending to their toddler, she said, “He’s a Christian, but I’m having a difficult time with it.”

Her ability to carve out a faith, she explained, was inextricably related to her job. She works in Law Enforcement.

“I don’t get that ‘All sin is the same’,” she said. “If the people who believe that had met the people I have, they’d be struggling, too. My sin is not the same as the man who raped babies for 10 years.”

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Poetry on the Plane

United. 2017.2

I spotted them as I passed through the security clearance line at National Tuesday morning. Gaggles of teens swarmed the airport, all wearing the same t-shirts, the better for their chaperones to keep track of them. But this family stood out even against that crowded backdrop, and not simply because they were all four wearing red t-shirts.

It was because I knew what that TAPS emblem on their t-shirts stood for – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Every Memorial Day, TAPS holds a camp for the surviving families of deceased military members. It’s a wonderful opportunity for kids whose parents have died to connect with other children who’ve suffered the same loss. Also for surviving spouses, moms, dads, brothers or sisters to connect as well.

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