Shining Light

By |2020-08-04T09:26:56-04:00July 31st, 2020|

I felt nervous about a five-week prayer class I agreed to teach at a local church. Would the students like it? Would they like me? My anxiety was ill-focused, leading me to over-prepare lesson plans, presentation slides, and class handouts. Yet with a week to go, I still hadn’t encouraged many people to attend...

Prayer Eggs

By |2020-07-06T11:07:28-04:00July 7th, 2020|

Just outside my kitchen window, a robin built her nest under the eaves of our patio roof. I loved watching her tuck grasses into a safe spot and then hunker down to incubate the eggs. Each morning I checked her progress; but each morning, there was nothing. Robin eggs take two weeks to hatch. Such impatience isn’t new for me. I’ve always strained against the work of waiting, especially in prayer...

Simply Ask

By |2020-06-26T23:23:56-04:00June 29th, 2020|

Her doctor said her detached retinas couldn’t be repaired. But after living without sight for fifteen years—learning Braille, and using a cane and service dog—a Montana woman’s life changed when her husband asked another eye doctor a simple question: could she be helped? The answer was yes. As the doctor discovered, the woman had a common eye condition, cataracts, which the doctor removed from her right eye...

Go-Between Prayer

By |2020-05-05T15:38:42-04:00May 7th, 2020|

Late one Saturday afternoon, my family and I stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. As the waiter set crispy fries and thick burgers on our table, my husband glanced up and asked his name. Then he said, “We pray as a family before we eat. Is there something we can pray for you today?” Allen, whose name we now knew, looked at us with a mixture of surprise and anxiety...

Right Beside You

By |2020-04-22T13:12:13-04:00April 29th, 2020|

Each day at a post office in Jerusalem, workers sort through piles of undeliverable letters in an attempt to guide each to its recipient. Many end up in a specially marked box labeled “Letters to God.” About a thousand such letters reach Jerusalem each year, addressed simply to God or Jesus...

Praying Like Jesus

By |2020-03-30T16:20:03-04:00April 1st, 2020|

Every coin has two sides. The front is called “heads” and, from early Roman times, usually depicts a country’s head of state. The back is called “tails,” a term possibly originating from the British ten pence depicting the raised tail of a heraldic lion. Like a coin, Christ’s prayer in the garden of Gethsemane possesses two sides...

It’s Time to Pray . . . Again

By |2020-03-24T16:14:42-04:00March 25th, 2020|

I pulled into my driveway, waving at my neighbor Myriam and her little girl Elizabeth. Over the years, Elizabeth had grown accustomed to our spontaneous chats lasting longer than the promised “few minutes” and morphing into prayer meetings. She climbed the tree planted in the center of their front yard, dangled her legs over a branch, and busied herself while her mother and I spoke...

The Picture of Despair

By |2020-03-20T14:56:34-04:00March 22nd, 2020|

During the Great Depression in the United States, photographer Dorothea Lange snapped a photo of Florence Owens Thompson and her children. This well-known photograph, Migrant Mother, is the picture of a mother’s despair in the aftermath of the failed pea harvest. Lange took it in Nipomo, California, while working for the Farm Security Administration, hoping to make them aware of the needs of the desperate seasonal farm laborers...

Before You Even Ask

By |2020-03-16T16:26:54-04:00March 17th, 2020|

My friends Robert and Colleen have experienced a healthy marriage for decades, and I love watching them interact. One will pass the butter to the other at dinner before being asked for it. The other will refill a glass at the perfect moment. When they tell stories, they finish each other’s sentences. Sometimes it seems they can read each other’s mind...