Posts by Tom Andel

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Hope Sprouts from Scorched Earth

by Tom Andel

A crop of young faces sprouted at one of the main intersections of our town this summer. The faces belong to Independence High School’s Graduating Class of 2020, but they represent a generation of young people hoping to make their way in a post-pandemic world. Theirs was a graduation with a lot less pomp, under […]

Shedding the Skin that Enslaves Us

by Tom Andel

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said many memorable things through his speeches. His last one, delivered the night of April 3, 1968—the night before he was assassinated—is famous for how it ended. He said “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, […]

Balancing the Costs of Rent-Free Living

by Tom Andel

“Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” — Ann Landers, advice columnist Do a web search and you’ll find a lot of people have appropriated Ms. Landers’ quote and weaponized it into a meme. Bragging about breaking into and entering precious space in the brain of someone one hates is […]

Our Autistic God

by Tom Andel

As the father of two sons with autism, and as a man who studies scripture, I can’t help but wonder: Could Jesus and the prophets have been autistic? As depicted in the Bible, Jesus and the prophets exhibit some autistic tendencies, including child-like innocence, occasional indifference to social norms despite potential consequences, and an affinity […]

The Call to Be Holy Bacteria

by Tom Andel

Blood has been the cause of much solemnity this year—both its infection and its wanton spilling. And while we were sheltering in place for a few months, we had a lot of time to consider our blood relation to God. Here’s a question about that bloodstream in this pandemic age:   Are people more like […]

The Charge: Stiff-necked. The Verdict: Guilty

by Tom Andel

That’s us! We’re referred to as “stiff-necked” (stubborn as an ox) at least 18 times in scripture. Anyone with a family KNOWS it’s true. The worst offenders can be those closest to us. God Himself—although He loves His children—can barely stand us sometimes, as he told Moses a couple of those times in the chapter […]

Make Peace with Your Countenance

by Tom Andel

With more and more people wearing face masks to protect themselves and others from the Corona Virus, social interactions aren’t as pretty as when our faces were naked. In fact communication is much more difficult. Facial expression is a universal language. Without seeing someone smile or frown, it’s hard to know whether something we’ve said […]

A Psalm Ascends from a Sit-Com

by Tom Andel

Throughout the Easter liturgies, we’ve meditated on how God died as one of us so we could live in Him. Humanity has always yearned for union with His spirit, but nobody expressed that yearning more soulfully than Jesus’ earthly ancestor, David. His psalms evoke a love that transcends flesh.  This verse from Ascension Sunday’s mass […]

Lying in Wait for Truth to Hit

by Tom Andel

Over the centuries, human beings have turned lying into an art. We’re especially good at lying to ourselves. That particular sin costs us dearly—as we learn from a great piece of literature: The Brothers Karamazov. In this novel, Fyodor Dostoevsky offers the same piece of advice Shakespeare’s Polonius gives his son—“To thine own self be […]

Mortgage Forgiven!

by Tom Andel

For those who thought this Easter season was over already, allow me to share a little Easter memory from its beginning a few weeks ago. It’s actually a reminder for all of us. A friend called on Holy Saturday to wish our family a happy Easter—and to give us a sign for the occasion. I’m […]