The Power of Empathy

Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. — Galatians 6:2 The horror of the elementary school murders in Uvalde has followed the script with which we’ve become all too familiar. Shock. Pain. Grief. Sorrow. Outrage. Calls for gun restrictions. Thoughts and prayers. There was one reaction that surprised me, though. …

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A Good Friday Reflection: The 3 G’s

Good Friday is an enigma. “Good”, describing the day an innocent man died horribly, is a weird tag. But maybe it’s good when seen within the context of three other words that begin with “G.” Gently. Fear is the residue of imagining we can control things and then realizing we can’t. Instead of scrubbing every …

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Sideways Christians

After Jesus said these things, as they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going away and as they were staring toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood next to them. They said, “Galileans, why are you standing here, looking toward heaven?…” (Acts 1:9-11a) …

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Why I Cry More Today

Jesus began to cry. – John 11:35 It’s the strangest thing. I find myself tearing up more as I grow older. It’s not sentimental crying, like I always do at the end of Field of Dreams (“Hey Dad—wanna play catch?”). No, the tears today come out of nowhere and catch me by surprise. This morning …

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Rome 2.0

Sometimes I mistake wishful thinking for Christian hope. I like to believe that the world is incrementally inching down a path leading to the kingdom values Jesus talked about. Becoming more aware of issues, confronting injustice in varying forms, advocating for climate stewardship: all these things, aided by technology and instant communication, are hopeful. Then …

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One Country, Two Views

In the quest to be broadminded, I’m reading two opposing books. One is Newt Gingrich’s Beyond Biden: Rebuilding the America We Love. The other is Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. I want to see the underlying assumptions of each writer, and why they write what they write. I …

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Hypocrisy, Grace, and Empathy

A popular political cartoon has a man holding two signs. On one: “No Mask Mandate! My body. My choice.” On the second: “No Abortion After 6 Weeks. Her body. My choice.” This is, of course, hypocritical. How can you plead for freedom from government regulation at times, and for it at others? Yet, the cartoon …

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Why Should You Support Anti-Masking?

Throughout the pandemic, I was an ardent pro-masker. I wore a mask everywhere. I thought it was a way of protecting others from the virus. I had also hoped it would prevent me from infection, but it didn’t. Still, I wore it religiously. With others, I celebrated in the spring when those masks could be …

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The Problem with “Biblical Values”

Actually, the problem is with the words, not the values. It arises when you use a phrase, understanding what you mean by it, but the reader or listener takes it another way. A conservative newspaper columnist recently wrote of her apprehension that liberals were pushing the LGBTQ agenda. She feared they were attacking the “biblical …

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Hear Their Stories

In a school district in suburban St. Louis county, a controversy arose over the teaching of diversity curriculum. St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan described it, detailing the heated feelings and speeches.  In one forum, a woman of color told of her own experience with racism. A nearby white woman responded to her, “No, you …

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