It’s a new season. It’s Fall, for starters. I’m getting used to the immediate and abrupt beginning of Fall here in the Willamette River Valley, but maybe that’s all just the system we’ve been dealt this week and there’s more sun to come (the locals seem pessimistic about this). It’s also a new season of life and work for me. My Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at the Portland VA Medical Center has ended, and I’ve taken up work between two parishes here in Portland.
I’d like to use this change in season as an opportunity to write more clearly about my faith. Often times I’ve been more inclined to poetry than to technical clarity. I wrote poems when I was a little boy. I wrote songs when I was a young adult, sometimes I still write songs, but mostly its become poetry again. Many of the poems I’ve included on this website are poems that I wrote when I should have been writing papers in seminary instead. Sometimes people have described my preaching as “poetic”. Sometimes they use “poetic” as a value-neutral euphemism for “elegantly confusing.”
Sometimes I justify my poetics in the name of proclaiming an evocative mystery. There are some times in my life when this justification works more for me than in others, and right now I feel a tug towards what may be more straight-forward. In acknowledging that tug, I’d like to make an effort to write here in simple and clear terms about God’s relationship with me. I’d like to do this for the people I care for in church, I’d like to do this for my friends, and I’d like to do this for folks I’ve known who do not share this faith, and may sometimes wonder about the peculiar stake it holds on me.
I write because writing is part of what saves me. I write for an audience because an audience is part of what connects me, what directs and holds me accountable, and draws me into conversation. I write about God because God is what I think about the most. I publicize my writing because I frequently like to read what others have to say about similar matters, and because I am hungry for authentic, significant, creative content from my own life and from the lives of others. You are reading, either out of a curious affinity or enmity for some of all of that. I invite you to read more.