Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use


How Faith Changes the World

“Prayer,” Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “may not bring water to parched fields, nor mend a broken bridge, nor rebuild a ruined city. But prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart, rebuild a weakened will.”

These words reveal a profound truth. Faith is not about power. Faith is not about numbers. Faith is about the spirit.

A Counter-Voice

This view runs counter to so much in our deeply fractured politicized world. We look for solutions in politics. We look for salvation in the shopping mall. We look for meaning outside of ourselves.

The great religious traditions offer a counter-voice. They remind us of the gifts often obscured by the surrounding fog.

Indeed, religion does not always offer something new. It helps us see what we have failed to notice.

A fabulous parable illustrates this truth. I first heard it from the late writer David Foster Wallace. Two young fish are swimming in the water. They happen to meet an older fish swimming the opposite way. The older fish nods at them and says, “Morning boys, how’s the water?”

They say nothing and swim off. A few minutes later, one of them turns to the other and says, “What in the world is water?”

Water is the blessing of life. It is the knowledge that to be alive is a gift. It is the wisdom to give thanks; to keep our promises and commitments; to leave the world a better place for having been here.

It is the knowledge that faith changes the world through the hearts and hands of human beings.



Previous Posts

In the Wake of the Kansas City Horror: The Life-Saving Power of Interfaith Conversation
This post was written with my friend and colleague, Reverend Lillian Daniel.  The late great Abraham Joshua Heschel was once asked why he devoted so much time to interfaith dialogue. He answering by recounting part of his family history. “When the Nazis came for my parents,” he wrote,

posted 1:56:25pm Apr. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Sermon from the Mound: 7 Spiritual Truths from the Baseball Diamond
Sports are one of the great sources for spiritual insights. As a child, I remember paying extra attention when the rabbi used an illustration  from baseball or football. They helped me visualize and understand the spiritual lesson. Of all sports, baseball lends itself best to Jewish wisdom.

posted 3:53:17pm Apr. 06, 2014 | read full post »

The Perfect Diamond with a Scratch: A Story of Hope and Healing
This short story, first told in the 19th century, continues to bring comfort and healing. We can use it every day of our lives. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esDr_IdrhjQ

posted 9:57:01pm Feb. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Love Wins: 3 Spiritual Lessons from Disney's Frozen
I used to enjoy walking into a home of peace and quiet. Since the film Frozen premiered, I have lacked this simple pleasure. Its soundtrack seems to play on a continuous loop every day throughout our home. I guess that’s part of the price to pay for having two small children. As a glass h

posted 4:21:04pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Date Night With God
A healthy marriage is sustained by consistency. It is not the big moments—the wedding day, the birth of a child, the new home. It is the acts of love and commitment expressed daily, weekly and year after year. Sustaining them is not always easy. One consistent practice I suggest to young parent

posted 6:28:55pm Feb. 10, 2014 | read full post »




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