Sometimes we’re a bit like the Wizard of Oz you and I. We put all of our energy into being impressive; donning impressive clothes; speaking impressive words; putting on an impressive display. All the while we are terrified that someone is going to notice the man behind the curtain. And if they notice that we are just people after all, will they listen to what we have to say? Can our message be impressive if we are not? Continue reading

The Present One

Let’s say you were interviewing God for a job and it went something like this: “Okay, Yahweh, what we’re looking for here is a god who can turn this country around. I mean, this place is a mess; full of corruption and immorality. Women and children are abused; the poor are cheated; the weak are ignored. Many are told and have been convinced that they do not matter. Violence erupts in every corner on every day. Continue reading


How do you picture the presence of God? What do you hope for? Do you long for a grandmother God who always has a hug to give, not to mention warm cookies and cold milk? Do you desperately long for the stern father God who demands respectful obedience? Some do, you know. What about the fun-loving, game playing, brother God? Or maybe it’s the nurturing, kissing away the hurts, holding your hand, mother God. Continue reading


Be careful! If you try to identify with the poor, you may just find yourself trying to help them. You know, like Teresa, who left the confines of sequestered life and dared to begin a new order so that she could minister to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Be careful! Because if you are motivated to help you may be risking your own comfort or even your life. Continue reading

God’s Irony at Work

Have you ever talked to a skeptic about prayer? “I’ve prayed and prayed and it doesn’t help. I’ve never seen God do anything.” I hear this somewhat frequently. Let me just begin by pointing out that we should hear the pain underlying this skepticism. I have also shouted out to God, “Why won’t you do anything about this?” in my pain and frustration. Continue reading


What makes a hero a hero? I heard a story today of a sixth grader who noticed that his bus driver was unconscious, which would be okay if they were idling in the school parking lot, but they, of course, were not. Instead, they were on a highway and the bus was on a head on collision course with a minivan. Continue reading

Promise Kept

In the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” the character Uncle Rico is a man who is stuck in the past. If his coach would only have given him a chance to play quarterback in the decisive game, his whole life would be different. He would have thrown the winning touchdown pass. He would now be playing for the NFL instead of living in his van making videos of himself passing a football. And he wouldn’t have bought a time machine on the internet. Continue reading