Syria, Children, and the Problem of Evil

A church member just phoned.  His son serves on one of the destroyers currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, one of many sons and daughters over there of worried parents here. We send our young to protect the young of others. Why?  Well, I’m not going to join the political fray here, other than to say, “What do we do when faced with utter injustice?” And what is greater injustice than a political leader, such as Bashar al-Assad, unleashing poison gas on hundreds and hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, apparently just to see if it works adequately? This is akin to child…

On Adolescence and Underwear

It is very easy for someone who works exclusively in a church environment to become culturally isolated from the “real world,” so I make it a point to read extensively outside my field. I want to learn what others are thinking and how they experience life. So, I perused a recent article in The Atlantic written by a middle-school teacher extremely concerned about the ways the girls in her classroom dressed for school. She writes, “I hate having to defend my right not to see a girl’s underwear. . . I hate having to worry that being able to see a girl’s…

The Smell Test

Temperature:  97, humidity, 97. Sweat factor:  100%.   That was yesterday in New York City. I’m here for a few days with an extremely limited wardrobe and of the few clothes I do have, most are for the much cooler weather I enjoyed in London during May and June. I did break down and buy a few things, but without easy access to a washer/dryer, my concern is whether I’ll have something clean to wear on the way home. Last night, as my youngest son, his wife and I sweatingly made our way back to their west side apartment (steamy after an…