Wider Than the Sea

As I pondered and prayed about my experience in Shalem’s new Heart Longings program, a familiar hymn came to mind, and the melody would not go away. As I listened to the tune in my head, I realized it provided the answer as to what I wanted to share about my experience. The hymn with […]

Exhaling My Prayer Breath

On January 29th I received my first Pfizer vaccine shot. On February 19th, I received the second shot. Two weeks later, I could finally begin to breathe deeply again. How long had I been holding my prayer breath? I didn’t realize how long I had been shallow breathing… more than 11 months, beginning when we […]

Welcoming God with Open Arms

While Lent is sometimes thought of as a season to give up something, this Lent comes after a year of pandemic and unrest that has many feeling like they’ve already given up a lot. For some it has meant no in-person visits with family or friends for close to a year. Some have lost jobs. […]

The Open

Smoke from raging wildfires is rising out West and making its way to the skies in the East. Hurricanes are finding their way onto Southern shores. Angry tears roll down the faces of black mothers and fathers remembering lost loved ones at the hands of a racist society. White people scramble to understand racial injustice; […]

A Day Like No Other

I awoke on Wednesday, November 4, with no small measure of fear and trepidation. I was responsible to lead Shalem’s “Prayer for the World” at 8:30am and had been afraid for weeks that we’d be in exactly the situation in which we awoke: no clear result of the presidential election and an incumbent that was […]

Silent Retreat: Deepening Intimacy

Silent retreat is a serious commitment and practice common to spiritual seekers throughout history. Conversations about the spiritual journey are studded with transformational experiences that have occurred on quiet days, weekends, or even quiet months. When my children were young, it was only possible for me to attend day retreats. But I remember being drawn […]

With My Heart Enlightened

Last February was the 10-year anniversary of my open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. The valve problem was caused by a congenital defect, and the time had finally had come for the replacement. Scripture, mystics, and poets say that the heart is the organ of spiritual perception. I’ve wondered if the purpose of […]

Serving Tea

There is something magical about watching my sister Marsha serve tea. Few notice as she performs this kindness. She is quiet and unassuming as she works. Her attention is steadily focused on two things: carefully depressing the button on the cooler and watching as the tea fills the cup and then meeting the eye of […]

Between Us There Is No Between

Today’s blog is taken from the reflection and prayer offered during Wednesday’s Prayer for the World by Shalem graduate Barb Kelly. Over the past several weeks I have been pondering and praying the question, “What obligations do we have to one another?” I have a heightened awareness of the question of obligation during this time […]

People of Light

Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetop.” (Matthew 10:26-28) Last night I watched the summer solstice sunset and the […]