April 1, 2020

“A bit of goodness tucked out of sight”

One year I watched an orb weaver spider at uncommonly close range. She had set up housekeeping by stringing her web from our basketball backboard to the corner of the house. Just above the eave on that corner is a floodlight that’s triggered by motion. Every night that September I carried my late mother’s lame […]

Johnny the Outlaw

Johnny the Outlaw When most people think of hospice, they imagine elderly people living out their last days. But we’ve had a run of young people dying of alcohol and drug abuse recently. It’s a real wake-up call when you sit at the bedside of a man or woman the same age as one of […]

Another Look: Give Us This Day…

I know what it means to live week to week, paycheck to paycheck. I don’t know what it means to live day to day, without guarantee of a paycheck. I don’t know what it means to be completely dependent on grace and mercy. I may indeed be completely dependent, but I seldom realize it. I […]

Another Look: Richard

Note from CM: I went to a funeral this week of a 96 year-old veteran of both WWII and Korea. As I sat there in the service, I was reminded of this post from a few years ago about one of his comrades. • • • Richard This is Middle America. This is the generation […]

Christmas and the Empty Chair

Dear imonk friends. On Tuesday night’s Christmas Eve Service I shared some thoughts on what Christmas means to me after a year of great loss and pain. I am posting them here in hopes it may help someone.   2019 has been the worst year of my life. I won’t go into details, but just […]

Not so far

On Sunday our church commemorated All Saints Sunday. For many reasons, but particularly since I have engaged in work as a hospice chaplain, it has become one of my favorite Sundays of the year. It is not an easy Sunday. The day is filled with tears and the ache of separation from loved ones. For […]

Another Funeral Rant

Another Funeral Rant I’ll never get it as long as I live. Maybe it’s as simple as a difference in personalities, but I still can’t quite fathom it. Why is it so hard for some pastors to express sympathy and break out of their ministerial routines when they officiate funeral services? I attended a service […]

Another Look: Joe and Marge

Note from CM: It is good for me to look back on the relationships I have had in my hospice work. I don’t do it enough. Tonight, looking through some old posts, I was reminded of Joe and Marge, whom I knew in 2012. And my heart broke again. • • • Marge died today. […]

Another Look: Make the Way by Walking

Note from CM: We continue to go through an extraordinary season of loss — I can’t remember one in my personal experience quite like it. Last week we learned that our good friend, my college roommate and best man in my wedding, died suddenly. I did a funeral for a friend’s mom on Saturday and […]

It Has Been a Week…

It has been a week. Many of us in the Internet Monk family have had serious sadness and struggles of various kinds this week. I would urge you to pray for Daniel Jepsen, Mike Bell, Mike the Geologist, and David Cornwell in particular. For them, and for others who are close to many of us, […]