| Anne Williamson |

Pray without ceasing. That's what the Bible says. I used to interpret this as some sort of pious challenge reserved for monks, nuns and those kids who memorized Bible verses. (Okay, I was one of those kids, but only briefly, and secretly.) It was impractical. How many "now I lay me"s and "dear god"s can one say in a day and get anything else done?

Because, of course, that's what prayer was: talking to God. Talking to God with rules. Do be honest, but not if your issue is with God. It's strange to bow but perfectly normal to close your eyes and clasp your hands. Before making any requests, praise and give thanks. For a long while, despite all these rules, prayer as talking to God worked well for me; I loved sharing my heart.

Eventually, things changed. ...

Read More


| Anne Williamson |

I am currently reading a book titled The Courage To Be by philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich. I'm not very far along. I can't yet say, definitively, what Tillich meant by his title. I like it regardless.

We do not live in a culture that makes it easy to be. Our culture screams, "Do!" and even "Fear!" So, I agree; I think it takes courage to be. It takes courage to still our minds and remember who we are, to remember we have access to, are part of, God - or whatever you call that which is bigger than self and draws you, us, to peace and wholeness. This takes courage.

This courage I seek, often, it helps me to speak it aloud. ...

Read More


| Anne Williamson |

A couple weeks ago, I was re-reading old blog posts for a sermon I'm writing when I came across this one...

October 7, 2014

On Sunday, WAYfinding folks and friends got together for a sensory nature walk through a local park. The kids involved received a scavenger hunt list - things to touch, hear, see and smell. One of these items was to hear a bird. As my daughter and I took off, we felt rough and smooth bark, saw light streaming through the trees, heard friends laughing, but no birds. I remember thinking to myself, "Well, this is too bad. It must be too cold for the birds this morning. None of the kids are going to be able to complete their list." 

We went on like this for maybe 25 minutes when a question appeared in my mind's eye, "Have you really stopped to listen?" I had not. So, I scooped my daughter up, used the universal sign for "shhh," and asked her to close her eyes with mommy. ...

Read More



I remember my Ethics professor in seminary saying, "The worst thing Mr. Rogers did for you kids is convince you of your specialness." Intentionally provocative, he also believed it. In an academic field that plays so often in absolutes and the consequences of conduct, catering to the individual can be a dangerous game. 

I understand this perspective. Too often in our society, the world, we over emphasize the unique, special individual. This leads to myopic points of view. I fail to see - or choose to ignore - how my choices impact others, and consequently, others suffer. It also leads to some nauseatingly terrible commercials. Two words: perfumes, cars.

We can also under emphasize our specialness, though. Religions have certainly stumbled here. Whether extinguished in the non-dualism of eastern religions or contained in the rulebooks of western religions, the individual personality has often been denigrated.

Can there exist a happy middle ground? Can we be both special and One? I hope so. I think so. LEARN. LISTEN. LOVE.

Read More