I live in Columbus Ohio with my wife Carol, and I’m the father of two adult children. I love to travel and hike in the Southwest and Northern California.
I had been writing and speaking about Christian faith for over thirty years when, in 2013, I entered a season of pastoral failure and soul searching. I became aware of the distorted story I was telling myself. I had a distorted narrative, in which my sense of identity was shaped by, “I have succeeded at this,” or “I have failed at that.” I was stuck in a story about my own faithfulness (or lack thereof) to God.
Gradually, I came to see that the real and comprehensive story of my life is not about heroically pursuing God. Nor is it about being a failure. My story is that God has passionately pursued me in the midst of my shame. I call it a beautiful intrusion because it disrupted my schemes for self-glory and opened my eyes to God’s glorious grace.
As a result of that painful period, I began to write stories and essays about the beauty that has nourished my restless and cautious soul. I now appreciate being out of the role of pastor. It allows me to reveal more about my weaknesses and to explore the treasures of a wide variety of Christian traditions.