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Here it is the second half of 2016 and, while I was cleaning out my car to trade for a newer one, I found my Nashville library card. Never mind that my old car was a somewhat Spartan Saturn with suicide doors and a manual transmission. Never mind that I moved to South Carolina from Nashville, Tennessee in December of 2009. An old library card–a reminder of so many books and so little time to read them or to write others and add to that total. This summer’s schedule has not helped my reading and writing challenge.

This summer I’ve found myself more involved with the health concerns of friends scattered about the world and with those of parishioners. Many are facing different forms of the disease called cancer. Others deal with heart disease. Still other matters, including PTSD in some friends who are war veterans, call for focused prayer. I have had many conversations about these diseases and all that they stir up in our inner life. Helping others face their situations demands balanced spiritual practice and ways to avoid distraction.

In the midst of the Presidential race, I am trying to avoid political distraction. I do not want to fall into the deep abyss of darkness and negativity that seems to grow with contemporary social network rhetoric. We do not need to drag ourselves into a self-fulfilling void or apocalyptic vision.

While I am not an optimist, I am a person of hope.

May there be more light and less heat.