Eat Your Mistakes

A friend of mine studied culinary arts under a master chef, and the chef always insisted that his students eat the food they ruined.  Or even slightly messed up.  You eat your mistakes. Burned.  Dry.  Poorly sifted, proportioned, or kneaded.  Something went wrong with this thing and it comes out just… bad.   The chef says you […]

Stopping and Starting

Alcoholics Anonymous has some real wisdom to offer anyone who is serious about racial justice and reconciliation.   Healing is not just about what needs to stop. It’s also about what needs to start.   You’ve probably known a drunk or two. Maybe you see one in the mirror. There’s always other people around, who […]

The Truth in the Pain

Of all the stories from recent days commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the one that affected me most powerfully belongs to Vaughn Alexx.   Vaughn was working at the ticket counter at Dulles airport fifteen years ago, when two men arrived late for their flight. Always attentive and helpful, Vaughn got them […]

Learning from, learning toward

When I was a kid I opened a wood-burning furnace and got blasted by a rush of heat unlike anything I’d ever felt. For a second, I was pretty sure I’d burned my face off (I was okay, but my eyebrows took a few weeks to recover).   The lesson in that experience was immediate […]

The Grace is in the Details

Jerry Falwell, Jr. misquoted Jesus in a scripture reference Wednesday, while talking about why he supports Donald Trump. Falwell was being interviewed at the Republican National Convention, and he combined two stories from the Gospel of John, in comments about Trump’s moral character and why Christians would support him.   The interviewer asked, “Is his […]

Parched for Compassion

When my wife was a medical resident, life was very intense.  She worked 100 hours a week, and was chronically sleep-deprived.  She was a new surgeon, feeling the impact of her decisions, actions and possible mistakes on the lives of others. There were 20 serious patient crises happening at any given moment – doctors and […]