Ashes and the Assumption: The Body’s Dignity Even in Death

My favorite trail is named for the cathedral-spired rock formations lining both sides of a mountain canyon. Its curves link vistas so stunning that hikers hesitate to turn back when clouds gather and daylight dwindles. “It would be cool if my family would scatter my ashes somewhere up here,” a friend mused on a camping … Continue reading Ashes and the Assumption: The Body’s Dignity Even in Death

3 Reasons to Make Time for Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter

Kristin Lavransdatter was recently released in an Audible edition, and it's included in a Washington Post review of the best new audiobook releases. I recently finished this Nobel-winning trilogy and used a credit on the 44 hour listen anyway.  That's how compelling this story is. The length of the trilogy deterred me for years, but … Continue reading 3 Reasons to Make Time for Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter

The Truth Is in the Stars … or Is Faith the Final Frontier?

Why is it possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you've been stuck with yourself all your life? Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book "Space:  the final frontier." It's impossible to … Continue reading The Truth Is in the Stars … or Is Faith the Final Frontier?

Don’t Fear the Forge: In Which The Benedict Option Mingles with a Rock Book and a Yeats Poem

While immersed in Rod Dreher's much-discussed The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation a few weeks ago, a children's book startled me with a hopeful connection. My son's kids had come to visit and I'd turned to reading nature books with them, but as we read and baked and played and … Continue reading Don’t Fear the Forge: In Which The Benedict Option Mingles with a Rock Book and a Yeats Poem

George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

f He suffered with poor health throughout his life and died of consumption in 1633 at the age of 39.  Before he died he sent a collection of poems to a friend, the founder of the Anglican religious community, Little Gidding. This request, it is said, accompanied the manuscript: Sir, I pray deliver this little … Continue reading George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

Why Forgiveness Is the “Sweeter, Smarter” Choice that Sets Our Prisoners Free

I had rarely heard the the word “incarcerated” before becoming a counselor, but years of work with at-risk children accustomed me to its cadence. It first surfaced on the lips of a dark-haired high school junior who'd come to my office to change her class schedule. Describing her family, she chatted nonchalantly about her grandmother … Continue reading Why Forgiveness Is the “Sweeter, Smarter” Choice that Sets Our Prisoners Free

Books, Spirituality, Optimism and More: What You’ll Find at Sparrowfare

I'm grateful for each person who is following Sparrowfare. It's exciting to share that the site now has enough content to include a drop-down category menu.  Sparrowfare's consistent themes have emerged, and if you know others who share these interests, I hope you'll share Sparrowfare with them.  If you missed its first two posts, Welcome … Continue reading Books, Spirituality, Optimism and More: What You’ll Find at Sparrowfare

Intentional Earbuds–Links to Great Listens #1: The Bishop Who Refuses to Dumb Down the Faith

While intentionally seeking more daily silence, I'm also grateful for the invention of earbuds.  They're not not entirely a blessing, of course.  Earbuds can further the ever-growing problem of isolation. They can override the "still, small voice" by drowning it in mindless noise. But selective listening, fully present to the voice that's speaking, is a … Continue reading Intentional Earbuds–Links to Great Listens #1: The Bishop Who Refuses to Dumb Down the Faith

Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead: A Merciful Mind for Our Contentious Time

Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer-prizewinning Gilead is a book for our contentious time. I'd picked up a copy when it first became a best seller, but this year when I went through my shelves looking for books I'd bought but hadn't yet read, its weathered green spine beckoned. When I broke the book open, Gilead began the … Continue reading Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead: A Merciful Mind for Our Contentious Time

Pentecost: The Wind that Spreads the Fire

I discovered the power of fire and wind the hard way. I was a thirty-something mom of two toddlers, and my husband and I had rented a simple little home in the country surrounded by open fields.  One breezy spring afternoon, having returned from grocery shopping, I put the kids down for a nap, gathered … Continue reading Pentecost: The Wind that Spreads the Fire