Month: June 2015

God Works in Mysterious Ways

We’ve all heard the saying, “God Works in Mysterious Ways.”  A tired trope, right?  Not in the hands of President Obama, who gave it fresh and meaningful power in his moving eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney of Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston.  And not in light of the events of the last seven days. “God Works in Mysterious Ways” was just one of literally dozens of memorable phrases and comments that arose during this most remarkable of weeks. Our part of the world cracked open a door to examine some of its deepest wounds and also saw change for millions who have been denied life’s basic liberties and access to a safe and civil society. While that change is far from complete, let’s take the time to observe (in this next installment of Observations from Home) just what took place over the last seven days since I wrote about the horrific murders at Mother Emanuel. A Powerful Reflection on Grace – For almost forty minutes in Charleston, Barack Obama reflected on race and the …

Observations from Home (The Mother Emanuel Edition)

The horrific murders during the Wednesday evening Bible study of nine members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, have rarely left my mind over the past few days. I have talked about it with colleagues who live in the city, prayed for the victims and their families during a conference on the legacy of African-American Rosenwald Schools, read dozens of articles and commentaries, and had long conversations over the family dinner table – all to try to make sense out of the senseless. To take another step in that process, I’m adding to my “Observations from Home” series with this collection of unrelated observations and thoughts which all revolve around the many issues raised by this racist rampage. Bible Study – Those of us who grew up in the 20th century South in the evangelical tradition understand the nature of a weekday gathering to study scripture. The regulars are the spiritual seekers and mentors who take their faith very seriously. When I heard that the shootings had taken place at the weekday …

Observations from Home (The June Weekend Edition)

I was at Nationals Park on Saturday, enjoying a sunny, summer day; appreciating the Nat’s celebration of the anniversary of D-Day; and joining in the banter of friends – new and long-time – that can only come when you have 3+ hours to sit and chat between pitches. One of those friends opined that a bad day at the ballpark (the Nats lost) is still better than almost any other day.  So count that as the first observation in a series of unrelated thoughts in this “June Weekend” edition of Observations From Home. As noted before, you can take them or leave them. Remembering D-Day – Saturday was June 6th, and a series of WWII veterans – many who saw action at Normandy in June of 1944 – were honored at the ballpark and helped throw out the first pitch.  I’ve written about these heroes before – including one who lives next door – but it is becoming very clear that we have only a few more years before this generation passes on to its …