Lou Ness

At Times Like This, We're Powerless

Jun 1, 2017

Tonight I am sifting through books searching for the tool I love: words -- words that would offer a light in a time of terrible darkness.

Tomorrow, the family of a 12-year-boy will gather to begin the long and lonely journey towards unrelenting grief and suffering as they bury their child.

It's Hard, But Stay The Course

Apr 27, 2017

I know spring is the time for, new life and resurrection, so when my friend grimaced at me through clenched teeth saying, “Despair? What do you know of my despair?” I was silent.

My friend had assumed that I -- being happy, optimistic and joyful -- had not known despair. I would never know their despair, but I had had my own dark night of the soul.

Your Tax Dollar At Work

Mar 30, 2017

My friend was bemoaning the cost of his ride in an ambulance from one hospital to another. He wanted his sister to drive him.

“Can you believe it?” he asked after sharing the price of lights and sirens.  “I could have had my sister take me for nothing.” 

Yes, that’s true. Of course, what he paid for was trained paramedics (3), medication, life-safety equipment, the professional driver trained to get you to your destination without an untimely accident, and more. Need I go on?

This was his tax dollar at work, for him. 

This Is How It Begins ...

Mar 2, 2017

Two years ago, I was leaning against a guard rail in Ohio along Route 30. The sun was warm, and I was back on the road again in what would turn out to be a 935.5-mile walk from Rockford to Washington, D.C.

I was reading the gospel for the day -- and waiting for the Spirit to give me new insights. Hmmm … Be careful what you wish for.

The reading was the woman at the well. Maybe you know this one: Jesus comes to the small town and is tired; he sits down by the well and, as a Samaritan woman comes to draw water, Jesus says, “Will you give me a drink?”

A Very Cold Fact About Winter

Feb 2, 2017

Winter. I love winter. I have always loved winter. The snow and cold, the blustery wind tearing around corners and sending chills through a slip of space in my scarf. I walk with joy in winter; I am often outside.

However, winter also chills my heart, because I know that men and women who call the streets home live in cold, dirty and mean surroundings. It brings a different kind of dread for the folks wrapped in layers of worn and tattered clothing.