The Power of Questions

2 rabbi osdobaMoishe the Beadle, in introducing the young Elie Wiesel to the ways of mystery, insisted that, ‘every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer.’

How so?

If I follow his lead … I don’t answer this question. I let it work its power in my heart.

(Not easy, is it?)


[Wiesel, E. (1958). Night. (2006 translation by M. Wiesel) New York: Hill & Wang. p. 5]   [photo adapted from ‘Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba‘ by Joe Goldberg per cc 2.0]

My Problem(s) with Lent

coins William Sloan Coffin offers a reflection on the story in the second chapter of Mark about the man with paralysis, whose friends lowered him through the roof to get to Jesus.  Coffin focuses on the courage required to accept the gift and the challenge of healing.

“With no difficulty, I can picture myself lying on the pallet, the center of the crowd’s attention. I can image myself enjoying the ability to use my distress to manipulate my friends. I can certainly imagine the comfort I would draw from the words, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’ But when, following the indicative of forgiveness, I heard the imperative of responsibility – ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’ – I think I my inclination would have been to murmur, ‘No thanks, I think I’ll just stay here on the stretcher.’ (p.12-13)”

“… if it’s hell to be guilty, it’s certainly scarier to be responsible – response-able – able to respond to God’s visionary, creative love. (p.13)”

Continue reading




Again, I am at a loss.

Again, I am scattered and distracted.

Again, all seems crazy around me.

Again, I turn to you …

Again, you wrap your arms around me.

Again, you envelop me in your peace.

Again, you provide the mystery, the grace.

Again, you give me courage to continue and hope to sustain.

Again, I remember that you are with me …


2 11 15

[photo ‘Drunk Again” – Dumpster Graffiti‘ by McLevn per cc 2.0]

A Written Dialog

clutterI find myself opening a drawer full of long neglected junk: some trash, some treasure, some pencil numbs and safety pins – small items tucked away instead of cleaned or organized, lost to usefulness by neglect.

This is my soul, oh Holy One, and I am tired of the mess.

Continue reading