Old Insights Insisting

I’ve been noticing that in middle age, it’s not so much that I have as many new thoughts as that I find myself pondering more fully a thought or insight that caught my attention — if briefly — in the past. I’m reminded of something Joretta Marshall, who teaches pastoral care, said over and over in her classes: that we were taking in a lot of information right now, in our heads, but that over time in ministry it could seep down into our hearts and our hands. Continue Reading

How Does God Hear the Poor?

“See and be glad, you who have nothing! You who seek God, take heart! For YHWH hears the poor; God has not neglected those who are captives” (Ps. 69:32-33).

This is a refrain throughout the psalms — that no matter what injustice is afoot right now, God’s ear is attuned to those who are left out of a sharing in the abundance of life. Other psalms offer praise to God for the experience of plenty, for enough food and shelter and security from war; but threading throughout the psalms is the recognition that we sometimes pray amid poverty. Continue Reading