Archives For Prayer

“So, you’re here today about your blood pressure,” I said, my words trotting out. The key to a successful morning at a doctor’s office is to keep up the tempo. Fall behind schedule before 9 a.m. and you’ll have a morning full of grumpy patients waiting for you. I dropped onto the swivel chair and opened my laptop.


“Blood pressure looks great. How long have you been off the pills?” A couple weeks. She’d waited till after surgery like we’d discussed.


“Any new problems?” No, she felt great. Surgery had gone well. No other concerns. 


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Photo courtesy of Megan Au via (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0)


I closed my laptop and slid the stethoscope into my ears. I couldn’t believe my luck, this was going to be the quickest first-appointment-of-the-day ever.


“Sounds good. Hope you have a great week!” I stuffed the stethoscope into my pocket and headed for the door.


“One more thing…” she said Continue Reading…

The Space to Love You  —  November 24, 2015


Unpack my heart

      and give me room to breathe

      your true self,

for I could never

     wrap my arms around

     your whole self

or hold my breath

     and reach the bottom of

     your deep self. 

But, I can wade this moment

     in your shallows,

then spend forever venturing

     from shore.



Photo courtesy of Rob Bye via 


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She got a call. “Your brother was at the Bataclan.” Tomorrow’s lunch is off. She won’t ever meet him for lunch again.


How do we make sense of such evil? How do we pray?


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Over breakfast, I read Psalm 82—a poem by King David where his trust and confusion bleed together—a space for struggling with God Continue Reading…

Thank God for Pad Thai

smgianotti  —  January 14, 2015

The smell of spices wafted towards me, distracting me from my date’s prayer until he said, “God, thank you for giving Thai food to humanity.”


I choked on my saliva as I tried to hold back a laugh. In one sentence his prayer shattered the sombre Christianity that creeps around America. In thanking God for the heap of rice noodles between us, my date was paying homage to the Grand Chef who injected flavor and fun into the necessity of eating.


This incident reminded me that I need to make room in my prayers for Pad Thai…and electric blankets and Mozart’s concertos and when the Buckeye’s win (if I was an Ohio State fan).


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Too often my prayers–and my spirituality–fixate on the abstract. I know God wants me to pray, but does he really care if I love swing dancing? I know he wants me to forgive, but does it matter to him whether I appreciate the artistry in one of Emily Dickinson’s poems?  

Continue Reading…

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September 2014


I locked the office door and turned toward my car. The movie theater, with its sea of windshields glittering under the lamp light, greeted me. I crumpled into the driver’s seat and massaged my neck, trying to release the lead ball suspended between my shoulders.


Ten minutes later, the smell of fries—hot from the wire basket—filled the car.


“Why does it take me three hours to do paperwork?” I mumbled, cramming a fry into my mouth.

Continue Reading…