Entries by Chris Quinn

She Dared to Laugh in the Place of the Dead

We were headed down to the Outer Banks. We made a pit stop at a little gas station in Virginia. Across the street was a Baptist church. Single room, white pine siding, black steepled, with a cemetery off its side, no fence. No fence to keep the living from the dead. Leah fed Simon in […]

Aim for the New, not the Best

There are two topics which I had thought about previously, which only now I see are related. The first: the motivation, or aim, of being saintly (or, what we can simply call “good”) is greater than the fulfillment of being saintly. The second: I must stop aiming for the “best” and start aiming for the […]

Like a Mustard Seed: The Practice and Discipline of Growth

“Faith should become so transparent that it does not need experience. But it takes a lot of experience to reach that point,” wrote Thomas Keating. This idea came up in my last Alpha meeting. A group member talked about Jesus’s mustard seed parable: If you have faith like a grain of mustard, you can move […]

“Never Stop Walking” by Vic Heaney

Let me introduce myself. My name is Vic Heaney. I am a fairly well known long-distance walker, author and public speaker from the UK. I am in my 80th year but in the past 3 years I have, with my wife Gay, spent a week walking in the Sahara Desert over Christmas, tramped Britain’s 2-week […]

The Fourth Stooge

In August of the year 2—, as a freelance journalist, I was granted unprecedented access to a brigade of Islamic fighters in northern ————. Why they took me in I do not know. It was effectively suicidal, and I had resigned myself to death, or at best, severe psychological and bodily injury. During my five […]

The Stars Burn

Today: “The world turns. The star burns,” he said. He came back again. This time at night. I held the cigar before my face in the hopes that the haze would shroud me from his view. I glanced away from him and asked what he meant by this. Why it mattered to him whether the […]

My Son, Simon

On October 17, my son, Simon, was born. As he entered the world, his heart rate dropped. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. That first image of my son is burned into me: the stark whiteness of the cord set against his blueing skin, cinched tight to his neck, nested just beneath his […]

The Grace of Silence

A bit less than a month ago, I had surgery on my vocal cords to remove a polyp. Following surgery, I was on voice rest for a week: no speaking, no sounds were to come from my mouth for seven days. I abided by the rules as best I could. In all, I’d estimate only […]