Personal Update in Lalibela – Postscript

Rehab of the Senses

Dear friends,

Thank you to our newest patron this week, Roger, ⚡️and our total 13 supporters who make it all possible. We are almost at 20 supporters! With your help, I’m one step closer to making writing my full-time career.

I want to give you a more personal window this week into Lily’s and my life and our work in Lalibela, Ethiopia. I hope you enjoy the update you can see HERE. There are many pictures again this time 🙂

I love hearing from you. Please don’t hesitate to drop a quick note or ask a question.

Yours,
Andrew.. Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

This Is My Body – Conclusion

Rehab of the Senses

The Body as Bridge to God 

In Rehab of the Senses, I have been exploring the body as a bridge rather than a barrier to a profound relationship with God in everyday life. My goal has been to describe an embodied spirituality without gaps that welcomes the presence of God at all times, in all places, with all people in the temple of creation. Rather than accepting a divide between spiritual and secular, church and world, our physical senses of sight, touch, and listening can become sacred organs for experiencing and sharing God in our God-created, God-loved, God-inhabited bodies.

This is why the Bible’s original and ultimate vision has no temple. The world, the human body, and our bodies in community are seen as God’s temple. Genesis pictures our embodied humanity as the marriage of earth and heaven, physical dust and divine breath inseparably woven together. Paul asks,

“Don’t you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?”

and calls us to see the sacred significance of our bodies by “honoring God” with them.” The body is God’s gift and our most intimate platform for a profound relationship with God and others... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

On Listening

Rehab of the Senses

Shema

Stop and listen for a moment

I have always been amazed that God’s first command for ancient Israel began with the simple word listen (Deuteronomy 6:3-4). This command is repeated dozens, if not hundreds of times, throughout the pages of the Hebrew Bible. For many Jews to this day, shema – the Hebrew imperative listen – names the very essence of authentic religion.

Listening is an act of faith that positions the listener in attention and readiness for transcendence, for what stands outside and beyond the listener’s knowledge and control. The one who listens can neither force the other to speak, nor can they foresee what the other will say. Instead, their listening is an active, risk-taking embrace of raw vulnerability to what is unknown and must be revealed by someone other than myself.

Thus, the open ear says,

Here I am. I don’t know what you will say or what it will mean for me. But I’m listening. You are free to reveal yourself.

.. Read More
  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Touch: The Prayerful Body

Rehab of the Senses

The Gift of Touch

Touch, when it is gentle and free of manipulation, is one of the primary ways that we know we are loved and not alone. Touch communicates that others are with us and for us, and that we belong in a community that will walk through life together despite everything.

When my mother had a severe stroke five years ago, she gave no sign of hearing anything I said to her. So I sat beside her through that dark night and held her hand, nervously listening to the beeping of machines. I wanted her to feel my presence through the warm touch of my skin on hers as she powerlessly rested in that hospital bed.

We held hands and embraced one another often in the hospital. Since then, when I return home from Ethiopia, mom rarely asks for deep conversation. But she often asks me to hug her, sometimes abruptly in the middle of us doing something else... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

On Seeing

Rehab of the Senses

Intro: Seeing the Face

Pause and look into the face of a person near you. Or if you prefer, look into the man’s face from the Crown Fountain in Chicago. Try to keep eye contact for ten seconds.

When you see another person’s face and don’t look away quickly, something profound happens. You make a discovery that takes you deep into the heart of reality and what it means to see truthfully, beautifully, and reverently.

Seeing another’s face brings into focus the intersection of intimacy and mystery, presence and hiddenness, access and inviolability, which inheres in all reality. The face is simultaneously a window and wall for our gaze, an invitation and a limit.

Let me try to describe the face’s paradox and how seeing it might help rehab how we see all things.

Intimacy: The Window

When you see the eyes of the other person, you see that someone is looking back at you. Your gaze is being met and returned, and thus you are not only seeing but being seen... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Intro

Rehab of the Senses

Intro

My next series of essays is called “Rehab of the Senses.” It explores how our bodies can be bridges rather than barriers to a profound relationship with God and others in everyday life.

What if the body is not something to escape or idolize but a gift from God to cherish? What if our senses of seeing, hearing, and touching can remind us that we live in a world created, loved, and promised everlasting life by God? What if the physical body is also a spiritual organ, a sacrament that opens and connects us to God?

Living in our bodies with rehabbed senses can change how we relate to others and experience the world. It can also deliver us from a part-time spirituality that only really functions when we’re in church or doing things we’ve defined as “spiritual” like Bible reading, praying, and sharing our faith.

“Rehab of the Senses” seeks a life of incessant devotion to God in every, physical experience of our lives – an embodied spirituality without gaps or breaks... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.