Shadows & Dust / Vol. V, Issue 2

Over Christmas break, one of my relatives and I were making small talk around what I thought was a safe subject: sports. But then she told me she had soured on following Mizzou, my favorite college sports team, mostly because of 2015 player protests over racism. She is certainly not alone in rural Missouri, especially — but hearing her opinion in person made me prouder than ever of those players for having the courage to take a stand.

Later during our stay, my boys and I made a daytrip to St. Louis to visit the Gateway Arch and cheer on the Tigers during the Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois, but our first stop was in Ferguson, Mo., where we visited the Michael Brown memorial plaque built into the sidewalk of a residential neighborhood. It’s almost as if my relatives and I live in different worlds. We certainly have different ways of viewing the world and of interpreting current events.

Anyway, enough random commentary for now. Here’s what’s on my reading list on the eve of 2018:

Celtic Daily Prayer: Book Two: Farther Up and Farther In from The Northumbria Community — I love this Christmas present from my friend Chris! It’s got an amazingly artistic cover full of Celtic knots, and it, of course, has new prayers and meditations to go along with the Community’s daily prayers.

Job and the Mystery of Suffering: Spiritual Reflections by Richard Rohr — Another timely Christmas present = one of my favorite authors + a topic that’s all too present to many of the friends I work with.

Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers: Prayer for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove — I picked this up from my shelf the other day as I was reflecting on my role in working toward a more just and merciful world. A classic.

The Art of the Common Place: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry — Some writers just have it, and Berry is one of them. Relevant and worth consideration as an antidote to our society’s worship of “progress.”

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