Is Jesus the Only Way?

My late wife, in her final years, was fond of pointing out that the parabolic shepherd is the one who does the seeking; the sheep merely wander and get lost. In Jenn’s case, it was certainly true that Divine Perseverance won out; only when Jenn gave up her own merciless search for Jesus and peace was she able to finally see that He had already invaded and conquered the dark and empty places into which her soul had descended. She was still trying to find God outside herself and leave the truth of who she was behind; and all the while, the shepherd was already there in the brambles and mire, ready to hold and love her… if she’d just quit kicking at the goads, as it were.

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A New Day

On one morning each year, the arc of the rising sun passes in just the right place through the bare January tress so that its first rays fall upon the chair in which I sit to read. It so happened this year that this morning, a Sunday morning, was that particular morning.

It also so happened that the morning was cloudless.

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Our “18″ Days in Scotland

What follows is a more-or-less realtime journal of this month’s travels to Scotland to celebrate our 18th Anniversary. 18 days abroad!


Right now we’re on layover at Frankfurt before heading to Aberdeen.

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Ode on a Bust of A. O. Scott

A monument to movies’ gilded mage
Stands in a vaunted, vaulted sepulcher.
The sculpture—like the critic, just as sage—
Has chiseled (as Scott’s learnèd pen) assured.
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Dragnet

The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed because, well, let’s face it: none of us is exactly what one might call innocent. And why should we need to be?

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The Poets Down Here

I wept yesterday morning through Clarence Clemons’ sax solo in “Jungleland,” Bruce Springsteen’s epic finale of 1975′s Born to Run.

God, what a searing song. And yes, I address the deity in so saying.

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Eulogy

This is the house that Jack built

At the end of a long drive
It stands apart from its neighbors
At home with its solitude
And its singularity
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Crazy Stories

The other day I got an email from my friend Peter.

Reading your blog has rekindled an obsession with a childhood memory, one that I have only told two other people in my life about: my sister and my mother.
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Do I Have Your Attention Yet?

Oh, the contradictions.

I sat on the edge of my twin bed in the basement of my parents’ house, frustrated as hell. I was 31 years old, gainfully employed as a software engineer making something like $65,000 a year. But for the second time in my life, I was saddled with crushing debt.

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Tollers’ Wisdom

Once upon a time
Artur Rubenstein sat before a Steinway
Or a debauched Bechstein
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