The Price We Pay for Delaying Decisions

What do you do when you’re not sure about a decision? If you’re like me, you debate it endlessly in your own mind. You go over the pros and cons. You try very hard to figure out what the best choice might be. But all of this striving is exhausting. And often, we expend so much effort trying to make the “perfect” decision that we don’t make a choice at all.  …
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Announcing: A New Documentary (Hula Skirts Ahead)

Dear friends, It's Tuesday afternoon, and I'm camped out in the guest room of my dear friends' home. I've been traveling for two weeks, from an Alabama lake house to a Pittsburgh conference center and everywhere in between. There are plenty of stories to be told, but today, I'd like to share a short documentary with you. Longtime A Wish Come Clear readers may recall a mention or two of this film; it's been in process for two years. In 2011, Edwin Mah -- an American University professor and independent filmmaker -- wrote to me and asked if I'd be ...
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Coming Home: The Liberation I Found at L’Arche

Happy Memorial Day, U.S. readers! This article was originally published in America, February 11, 2013, and is reprinted with the permission of America Press, Inc., americamagazine.org. I remember exactly where I was standing. It was in a small hallway at a L’Arche home in Washington, D.C., when I met my friend and housemate Pedro. At the time, I was visiting L’Arche for a series of interviews. I had not yet received an official job offer, but even so, I knew that I would be coming to live and work there. I could feel it in my bones; this was where ...
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Have You Been Imagining Those Prison Bars? (Or, Don’t Re-Enroll In High School)

I had this dream one night. In the dream, I was in my twenties. I was living with my parents in New Jersey, in the house where I grew up. Since my career had apparently stalled, a faceless, intimidating authority figure strongly recommended that I re-enroll in high school, to 'get back to basics' or something like that. Good news: you've already graduated! The thought of re-enrolling filled me with dread, but I did it anyway. I didn't think I had a choice. For weeks, I struggled to re-learn my old routines, fumbling through locker combinations, math tests, ...
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To See Beauty First: A Video

Hello and Happy Monday! Since I'm traveling this week, I'd like to share a video with you in lieu of the usual post. It's a 10 minute talk I gave as part of the Faith Inclusion Network's March 2013 "That All May Worship" conference. (I thank Karen Jackson for her wonderful work in organizing the event, and for sending me the recording as well.) A Wish Come Clear readers who receive posts via email may recall the story I sent out about my experience speaking at the conference two months ago; it's reprinted below. To make sure you don't miss ...
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Completing the Party: Thoughts on Grace

This is the (edited) text of a talk I gave at Living Spirit Church on Sunday, April 28th. Enjoy!  Once upon a time in 2008, I was on routine at L'Arche*, feeling downcast. Most of the assistants on our house team were leaving that summer. Yet even as I dreaded saying goodbye, I saw a silver lining: I'd build stronger relationships with those who remained. You can't always get what you want ...   I wanted to mark this place and time when I decided against despair. So I asked Theresa** and Cassandra** if they'd like to do ...
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What Do I Have to Offer? A Story of Wine, Wonder, & Worth

As she spoke, the rest of the women in the circle grew still. We were gathered to celebrate a friend expecting her first child, and together we'd shared stories and blessings for her journey. We'd laughed, cried, and laughed some more, but now we were quiet. Hello to a friend's sweet baby. (2012) We were listening to a young woman who shared that she and her husband wouldn't be having children. Her story moved us all. But she didn't just focus on herself; she encouraged the mother-to-be, offering help and support. Afterward, I made sure to say hello ...
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For You, If You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

It's a bright, beautiful day, but I'm not really seeing it. The world looks bleak. A bombing at the Boston Marathon, a city-wide manhunt, ongoing violence and terrorism the world over ... the hate seems very heavy, and the love feather-light. Part of me wishes I could be a small child again, blessedly unaware of all this. And what is the deepest wish of a child but to be safe, held, home? *** Photo Credit: Brian A. Taylor Photography And that calls a story to mind. To begin, I should tell you that I co-led the opening of ...
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Renovations of the Home & Heart: A Tale of Transformation

Miguel*, one of my friends from L'Arche**, was in the ICU last week. Whenever something like this happens -- and despite the wonderful, highly specialized care he receives, it happens several times a year -- my heart aches. It always seems colossally, brutally unfair, these illnesses and hospitalizations. It reminds me of truths I'd rather not remember: that I am not in control, that my friends at L'Arche are growing older, that I cannot know how much more time they -- or any of us -- have left. There's a terrible powerlessness that comes with knowing: if we choose love, ...
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Wherever I Go: An Open Letter to L’Arche

L'Arche* friends, I miss walking beside you through the world. I miss holding your hand, Cassandra**, and how your fingernails always dug into my skin. Holding on tight helped you to balance, so I'd leave them there until I had to -- ever so gently -- pry them away. We'd re-grip, but a few steps later, your nails would dig in again. I'd sigh, maybe, but mostly I wouldn't mind the crescent moons left behind. They were imprints of trust. You'd ask me to take you out ... for tea, for sweets, for a break from routine. Because life was ...
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