It was my junior year of college and I didn’t have the money I needed to pay off my tuition for the fall semester. I was a couple hundred dollars short and there was no Plan B. Believe it or not, I had no student loans. I was fortunate enough to have a scholarship that covered half of my tuition. And thanks to going to a state university, the bill was low enough that I could make the payments by working 25 hours a week as an errand runner at the hospital. Somehow, though, I hadn’t saved enough money to…
My seven-month-old nephew Canaan was dying and nobody knew it, including his doctor, who had misdiagnosed his digestive issues. The real issue was Hirschsprung’s disease, one of the leading causes of death for kids like Canaan, who has Down Syndrome.
Today is the 15th birthday of a young man named Canaan Rogers. This birthday was not supposed to happen. When Canaan, my nephew, was seven months old, he nearly died because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis of a serious illness. By the time the doctors figured out what was really going on, it was too late. Canaan was all but gone.
One day last year, I was in a little convenience store in downtown D.C., where I quickly grabbed a drink and headed to the cash register. Three ladies were working, and when I looked at the youngest of the three (in the center of the photo) a simple phrase came into my head and seemed like it was just for her: Don’t settle for less.
Throughout my 20s, one of the biggest sources of stress in my life was the fear that God didn’t really love me and that I would never really know where I stood with Him. At one one point, however, I put His love to the test: I went on a sinning spree that took me further than I wanted to go and convinced there was no way back.
Most of my life, I’ve resented Barrabas, the criminal who got released on Good Friday instead of Jesus, who was sent off to be tortured to death. Now, I’m grateful for his example.
This morning, my daughters and I were talking about the birth of Jesus, and I was trying to think of a way to capture the wonder of it. I mean, it’s one thing to say “God became a man” – but I wanted them to get it, to grasp how bizarre it was that the God of the universe humbled Himself and moved into the body of a vulnerable baby boy.
The other day, my family and I were driving down the highway when a massive flock of birds rose from a lake and flew over the car, endlessly blanketing the early evening sky.
Christmas of 2002 was rough for me. I was in law school, and unlike many other students, I had taken out the absolute minimum amount of loans to avoid years of indebtedness after graduation. I was eventually grateful for that, but in the middle of my second semester, I was literally pulling together change to pay for groceries.
The other day, I had a phone conversation with a priest who serves an extremely impoverished population. He also has a ministry in which he teaches people how to be more aware of themselves and God during their daily lives. The way we ended up on the phone is so random that it’s not even worth it to explain, but what stood out to me was how joyful, sharp, and engaged he was – especially as he talked about the Holy Spirit. I admire people who can concretely talk about the Holy Spirit; because although He feels closer than my skin sometimes, at other…
This morning, I was washing dishes and had my back turned to my four-year-old, who was coloring. “Daddy, I can make a ‘V,’” she said.
I have an agnostic friend named Ben who regularly peppers me with politely-antagonistic questions about my faith. For example, the other day, he asked me whether I really believed what the Bible said about Jesus’ life.
In 2009, I began experiencing mysterious, migraine-like symptoms that came out of nowhere. When the symptoms worsened over the course of several weeks, I went to a doctor.
Last Monday, my friend Paul Perkins was standing on a street corner in Washington, DC, breathing hard and feeling very annoyed. He had just run after a taxi, which he was afraid was carrying his keys, but the driver didn’t stop when Paul ran after him.
I wasn’t looking to be freaked out. It was 3:30 a.m., I had been working for over 22 hours, and I had to drive 45 minutes to Starkville, Mississippi. All I wanted was sleep. While driving down the foggy, pitch-black highway, I turned on The Kevin McCullough Show, a talk radio show on which the host was discussing whether kids should play with BB guns. I have a strong opinion on the topic, so when the host invited callers to respond, I picked up my cell phone and called.