Nobody

Four years ago I was somebody. I made a lot of words in those days. I was a word maker. Talking talking talking talking. Writing writing writing writing writing. Talking and writing. In my defense, there were people who wanted to hear me. There was even a group of people who paid me to talk to them every Sunday morning. It was a straight-up gig. On the level. I made words for people.

So many words. So very many words.

So I was at the talking place one Sunday morning, doing my talking thing, when I began to feel that I had said enough. My mouth slowly closed until it was small and round, like the mouths of the kids singing at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas. And then my lips came together and no more words wanted to come out. Continue reading

after 39 months in solitary

i let him out after 39 months in solitary

i hadnt planned on it but my new friends are so nice and they asked if i would teach a bible study but just for three weeks so that was fine and of course i said okay because i like them and im happy to help out

i hadnt checked on him for so long and i wondered if maybe he was dead but he came right out and started with the usual demands he wanted his favorite books and an easel and a bible map and a big table and a bigger chunk of time and of course for me to get up early the morning of and pay the required emotional fees Continue reading

I don’t do that anymore

I ran into this guy today who used to pop into the church now and then when I was a pastor. He was one of those guys who didn’t really know much about Christianity and didn’t seem to put much effort into it. But he talked a lot about it when he was at church. I remember he used a lot of real sappy spiritual language all the time. He asked how the church was going. I guess he hasn’t been back in a couple of years.
“I’m not the pastor there anymore.”
“Really? Did you go to another church?”
“No man, I don’t do that anymore.”
This dumbfounded him. Like it never crossed his mind that you could be a minister and then not be one. He seemed distressed by the idea. Continue reading

An Uncomfortable Silence

Not everything I write for the High Calling is appropriate for the Squid. But I think maybe this piece is.

In a documentary I recently saw, an Inuit child was happily romping around inside her family’s igloo. The interior temperature was just a tad above 32 degrees. She was naked.

Human beings can adapt to just about any climate or circumstance. So I guess it should be no surprise that I have adapted myself to modern noises and the flood of sensory input that assaults me every waking hour of the day.

I must have adapted to the noise because the silence of the Rocky Mountains always startles me. Which is kind of backwards, don’t you think? Shouldn’t silence be the norm and grinding machine noises the exception?

Read the rest of this essay at the High Calling Network.

The story so far…

I’ve done this before. I started a blog called Real Live Preacher back in 2002. I wanted to write the truth as I understood it. I think I began that way at least. People started telling me I was a good writer, which of course I loved to hear. Weird how something so small and nice can start you down a bad path. In time the role of RLP became just about as constricting as, well, being a real live preacher was.

I don’t know when it happened but it all got kind of spoiled for me. In the end writing was just working. Writing and hoping maybe you could figure out some way to make a living doing it. Continue reading