Caring For One Another

"This intertwining of the physical and the spiritual, of the perfect and the imperfect, is one of the reasons we need each other. Ours is a partnership faith. We can't glorify God alone. We have to care for one another. In fact we discover that one of the things our world needs most is a chance to put hands on, to heal by the laying on of hands."
Stripping Down: The Art of Spiritual Restoration

The Benefits of Haze

"Instead of absolute clarity, we sometimes have to settle for 'haze.' We can learn to love it. Haze has its own benefits. It keeps us clear about our incompleteness and our need for God."
Alone but Not Lonely: A Spirituality of Solitude

Sabbath Keeping

"Sabbath keeping is a spiritual strategy: it is a kind of judo. The world's commands are heavy; we respond with light moves. The world says work; we play. The world says go fast; we go slow. These light moves carry Sabbath into our days, and God into our lives."
Sabbath Keeping

Letting Go

"Keeping sabbath may involve us in relinquishing certain kinds of power on behalf of other kinds. If we allow it, sabbath may bring us to true authority, true power. The road is that of letting go, rather than increasing. Relinquishing is a way to keep sabbath when all else fails. It is the back road, the side road, the little road."
Sabbath Keeping

Welcoming Complaints

"One of my church members who runs a very successful business says that every complaint she receives is a plea from the customer to get closer to her and her wares. She welcomes complaints. When we welcome judgments and those who judge, we do the same. We widen the circle of our friends and decrease the circle of enemies. Thus, love and freedom from fear are marks of judgment. These marks make it holy. It is important to remember that no one likes to be judged. We remember the one negative remark after a sermon even if a hundred positive ones have been stated. We remember the teacher's comment on our paper that was critical and forget the praise. We do not have thick skins. I have long recommended that my fellow clergy wear 'bulletproof vests' so that we don't get as wounded as we do when people criticize our gifts and offerings."
Sacred Speech

Learning to See Change

"I never leave a workout in my garden without a good look around. In fact, in my favorite garden, the Amherst one, I work an area and ritualize my leave-taking by touching each of the ten plots. I touch them with sight. I stop long enough to see their growth — and how things have changed, usually since a few days before. Learning to see change is important for both activists and gardeners: otherwise we think nothing is happening when all the while the painted buntings are preparing for their return."
Grass Roots Gardening

Right-Sizing Our Expectations

"We don't so much reduce our activist expectations as 'right-size' them. We can't conquer the history of human selfishness personally. Getting our imagined victories and ourselves to a human size, joins humor in being a fine weapon against the peace of despair."
Living Well by Doing Good