Light in the dark

In the Northern hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year, the day when we experience the least sunlight. We’re still in the season of Advent, the season of longing and hope. Even if the preparations and Christmas celebrations of this season have had you feeling busy and stressed, you still have time toContinue reading “Light in the dark”

An invitation

As we walk along, feet stir dust and crack tiny twigs—once members of a great tree they now lie as individuals dismissed, forgotten. The brightness of once-was is waning as green fades into yellow and the decay of vibrancy is apparent in the log, the stump, the browning ferns drooping toward the ground. The worldContinue reading “An invitation”

The beauty of brokenness

An old building in disrepair, collapsing toward the ground. A rusting, defective car, stuck in layers of mud. Shattered glass. Melting candle. Cracked eggshells. Chipped ceramics. The sight of the simplest crack in a sidewalk can still my body, stun my soul. The colors and textures of a simple, broken branch can inspire poetry. It mayContinue reading “The beauty of brokenness”

Into the darkness: awkward yet unafraid

I am gripping ski poles through fleece-lined mittens, my feet secured to cross-country skis. My arms and legs slide back and forth, propelling me forward along the trail. I have only been in these woods on this bright Saturday morning for about 10 minutes, but my warm breath is already fogging up my thick glasses.Continue reading “Into the darkness: awkward yet unafraid”

Fear, darkness, and Advent

Lately a certain Gospel instruction is has been grinding challenge into my life, really giving my heart a doozy of a talking to. Jesus says it a lot, in many different ways: Do not be afraid. (Luke 1:30; Mark 5:36; Mark 6:50) Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? (Matthew 6:27)Continue reading “Fear, darkness, and Advent”

Bring on the darkness

I don’t know why it is, this time of year, that I gear up for action. Once Daylight Saving Time ends, I’m ready to go. Most people tend to simmer down when the cold weather seeps in, the nights get longer, the house gets cozier, and the soups just sound more delicious. I’m ready to getContinue reading “Bring on the darkness”

Our God who Suffers

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins committed suicide. It was a shock to all of us who knew and loved him. His death still remains sad and painful for many of us. Personally, the experience of suffering with my family taught me much about the power of God’s love. In a new wayContinue reading “Our God who Suffers”

Paradox, solidarity and these Advent days

For us Christians, our life is a life full of paradoxes. Heaven is now and not yet. Jesus is with us always and is coming again. During Advent, we celebrate paradoxes while remembering that we are people of light and darkness. Suffering and joy are both part of the fullness of the human experience. The Nativity story also speaks of thick darknessContinue reading “Paradox, solidarity and these Advent days”

Praying in the dark

The light is dim and the air is frigid. With Advent’s arrival in this part of the world, we continue to feel the days shorten and the darkness increase. Whether the light is dimming or not, though, another type of darkness is also apparent: the darkness of suffering. Far and near, people experience violence, injustice andContinue reading “Praying in the dark”

Street violence and holy darkness

This past Monday one of my former students was shot and killed on the streets of Chicago. Advent is a time of darkness.  Sometimes it is obvious to us that there’s a such thing as holy darkness. And, sometimes the darkness is so cold and heavy that it seems to swallow our hope. During Advent weContinue reading “Street violence and holy darkness”