Monthly Archives: October 2011

Sometimes, I am startled out of myself,

by Barbara Crooker

like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,
flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek
across the sky made me think about my life, the places
of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief
has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,
the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.
Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold
for a brief while, then lose it all each November.
Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst
weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves
come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,
land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.
You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find
shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks.
All we do is pass through here, the best way we can.
They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again.


You will arise…

and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to have mercy upon her;
indeed, the appointed time has come.

For your servants love her very rubble,
and are moved to pity even for her dust.
(Psalm 102)

Religious, not spiritual

We English-speakers paste the term “religion” over any situation that strikes us as legalistic, hidebound, judgmental.

The church must find a way to stand united with its spiritual fathers, as surely as it must find a way to speak to the world that does not condone the world’s own failings.

“Religion” provides an important test case for this matter. In the fourth century, Augustine affirmed the Latin term religio by underscoring its etymology—re ligare, “to join again.” Religion, properly understood, brings wholeness. If any faith deserves the name “religion,” it is Christianity.

–Brendan Case