essay

Essay: Manger Scene

Dec 20, 2019

Every year just before Christmas, my grandfather invited me to help him set up the manger sceneon his fireplace mantel.

Essay: Anonymous

Dec 13, 2019

When I came to Traverse City from Chicago in 1970, I didn’t plan to stay. I was young andsingle and couldn’t imagine living in such a small town where everybody knew everybody. Iliked being anonymous in a big city, the sense of freedom and possibility.

Essay: Rude Driver

Nov 29, 2019

It’s early morning and I’m driving the speed limit on a two-lane highway, feeling relaxed and grateful for the lovely weather.  Then a guy in a pick-up truck appears behind me, hugging my bumper and crowding me with his impatience.

Unable to wait, he finally roars past me on a curve and I shake my head.  What’s the big hurry? I wonder, my mood of peacefulness replaced by fear and anger.

Giving Thanks

Nov 23, 2019

 

Giving Thanks

When I was growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our family attended a congregational church where my favorite service was Thanksgiving.  On this occasion, the sanctuary was dimly lit and utterly silent—and once we were all seated, a pageant unfolded.

 

Essay: Bake Shop

Nov 15, 2019

Judy’s mother comes in the door carrying a flat white box that she sets on the kitchen table.  “Help yourself,” she says and collapses into a chair.

Her pale pink uniform has “Evelyn” embroidered over her heart.  Inside the box are dozens of jelly donuts, Danish sweet rolls, cinnamon twists, and cupcakes.  I wait for Judy to go first but she’s not interested. 

She has leftovers like this every day because her family owns a bakery.  I wish my family owned a bakery.  I pick out a cinnamon twist. 

Essay: Responses to Suffering

Jul 26, 2019

When my young daughter was diagnosed with cancer, we were all shocked and terrified.  Then, gradually, we found the strength to go forward—and it was a long journey, a hard journey.  Strangely enough, what sometimes made it harder was responses from friends and family and even from health care workers.