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the long wait

Forty years ago, as the violence in Vietnam rained down on his village, an explosion killed Ho Van Thanh’s wife and two of his children. In fear and desperation, Thanh scooped up his infant son, Ho Van Lang, and fled into the jungle. For 4 decades, father and son lived far from civilization,... read more »

peace in a ravaged world

Amid the horrific stories of shootings in schools, the news in August 2013 of Antoinette Tuff’s heroism was a beautiful exception. Antoinette, on staff at an elementary school, confronted 20-year-old Michael Hill when he entered the school building carrying weapons, including an assault rifle.... read more »

quick . . . and slow

If you engage in any form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.), you’ve surely read something that set your blood to boil. I’m not sure that we’ve figured out how to have meaningful conversation around divisive topics in the virtual world. Is it even possible? For believers in... read more »

powerful shaft of light

When the Nazis overran Poland, Father Maximilian Kolbe transformed his friary into a covert refugee center. Before the SS troops discovered Kolbe’s plot, the men had hidden more than 2,000 Jews. The SS shipped Kolbe to Auschwitz, prisoner #16670. Though beaten, forced into hard labor, and given... read more »

endure toward joy

When people become comatose, one of the many concerns is to keep their muscles from degenerating. Atrophy sets in quickly when there is no movement. On the other hand, most exercise trainers will tell you that muscle grows after it has been under stress. Strenuous exercise makes small tears in the... read more »

who can i trust?

In 1942, more than 250,000 Jews were transported by the Nazis from Warsaw to the death camp in Treblinka, Poland. Most of these Jews were killed. A social worker named Irena Sendler, however, posed as a nurse to get into the Warsaw ghetto and rescue children. She managed to smuggle more than 2,500... read more »

a time to . . .

When grocery store owner William Straw died unexpectedly in 1932, the family of this man from Worksop, England, was devastated. In their grief, they chose to leave William’s red brick house precisely the way it was the day he died. Over the years, Straw’s two sons lived there, keeping the house... read more »

gentle heart

Recently, I was forced to bring my car to a complete stop on a busy road. A man in front of me had slammed on the brakes of his work truck, interrupting the flow of traffic. He climbed out of his cab, walked to the front of the idling vehicle, and stooped to pick something up. As he passed in front... read more »

dark and quiet

Gordon Hempton is one of the world’s few acoustic ecologists. He travels the world recording what he calls “the last quiet places,” places completely untouched by modern human sound. Hempton records remote locations on the other side of the world as well as nearby wonders, such as the sound of... read more »

free to live the truth

When my son Wyatt was 10, we drove past a well-known burger chain. “Dad,” Wyatt said, “I don’t like it that the commercials make the fast-food places look all joyful and happy. And then you go there and they’re sad and dirty.” Then he said, “And the bathrooms are nasty.” Wyatt has... read more »
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