We Do Love Our Tools

Humans are tool-making and tool-using creatures.  Our opposable thumb and finger grasp strength provide the springboard to create and use machines as extensions of our bodies and brains. We are also tool-purchasing creatures.  Tools to cook, tools to communicate, tools to study, tools to build, tools to create, tools to clean, tools to repair, tools to heal, tools to build muscles and increase stamina, even tools to help us relax and have fun. We really do like ‘em. Last spring I saw what a tool-wonder New York City is for my two-year old grandson. A north-south avenue near his house is undergoing…

A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast

If every day were Christmas, we’d be miserable.  We’d be stuffed, bored, broke and fractious.  Irritations would win the day and gloom and unfulfilled expectations would slather everyone with despondency. Adults would desperately turn to TV, youth and teens to video games, as a way to disconnect from person-to-person contact.  Children, surrounded by piles of overly-stimulating toys, would resort to whining, “Is that all there is?” as a way to remove themselves from their mental and emotional chaos. Christmas is special because it comes just once a year. But no one can stay in a fever pitch of excitement for long. Instead,…

The Phone Call and the Novena

A dear friend of mine phoned earlier this evening.  She refers to herself as my “spiritual mother” and I very much believe it.  She’s in her late 80’s, and is simply beautiful. I describe her as a piece of pure light wrapped in a tiny piece of increasingly frail human flesh. We connected about a year and a half ago.  She had been reading my newspaper columns in the Denton Record Chronicle and phoned to talk with me and see if perhaps the church I serve would be able to embrace her and her unique understanding of Christian spirituality.  I assured her she…

To Do An “Akin”

  There is probably not even one halfway awake person in the US who has not heard about the comments made by a formerly obscure candidate in Missouri for a US Senate seat. Last Sunday, Todd Akin suddenly burst from his obscurity with a comment so hateful to women and so stupid in reasoning that I wouldn’t be surprised if a new phrase is formed. Can’t you hear it now?  “Oh boy, I just did an “akin.”  People might utter that upon discovering they have just done or said something both imbecilic and hugely insulting to others. Thanks to the instantaneity of…

Root Dry and Cracked Open

Let’s face it: July and August are always hot and miserable months, although this summer has been far from the worst. And a wonderful thing has taken place three times in the last several weeks: we saw rain. I was home for the first rain. I sat outside and watched it descend. The elephant ears bobbed up and down with the drops. The rain spouts from the gutters flowed with water, directing it on to flower beds. I sensed even the drought resistant plants drawing a big breath of relief. But not all parts of my lawn or garden received benefit from…