On “doing something”

I tweeted this more than a week ago. It hasn’t gotten better.

To Israel and Gaza we added Michael Brown. To Michael Brown we added Robin Williams. To Robin Williams we added the Ferguson protests and the mindbogglingly brutal crackdowns on those protests. To that we added ISIS and a “humanitarian intervention” in Iraq. Ukraine is still erupting, has been the whole time. And last night, police shot another black man in St. Louis.

I tweeted because I was, even then, overwhelmed by words and images. I know when I say this I am speaking from a place of great privilege. Other people must live the horror. I get to sit at my laptop, talking about the sensory overload I am receiving there. Continue reading

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On the road(s): the voice of God

“This last season of my life is best captured by two roads,” writes author and Presbyterian minister Adam S. McHugh at Internet Monk. “It sounds like a tired metaphor, except it’s not a metaphor. I have in mind two actual paths. One you drive and the other you walk.”

McHugh, who has written in some detail about his ministry experiences on his blog, was a Los Angeles-based hospice chaplain. He lived an on-call life. He was tethered to his beeper and felt burned out. He writes at Internet Monk that ministry “had not felt like a good fit for some time.”

When he could, McHugh got into his car and turned onto the 101. He sped north, to Santa Ynez wine country. Amid the green vines and bucolic scenes, the good food and fine vintages, he restored himself. He found beauty and peace. He rediscovered wonder.

McHugh began to call his sojourns “pilgrimages.” He began to think of the vineyards as a “thin place,” or “one of those hallowed spots in the Celtic tradition where the clouds that separate heaven and earth part and the sun of God’s presence shines brilliantly.” It was his professional business to sense God speaking. He sensed it now.

Continue reading