John Michael

Life Is a Sweet, Tender Bruise XXVII: You Are Beautiful and You Are Loved

(Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash)
John Michael continues his series Life Is a Sweet, Tender Bruise, reflecting on life and people encountered, reminding you that you are beautiful and you are loved.   I spoke at my church a couple of weeks ago; it is something I get to do four or five times a year. I enjoy it despite the nerves that sometimes come up; although I do grow more ... Read the full article
John Michael

Hello, good people. I am rarely sure how to describe myself. If I say I am a Christian, many things may arise in your mind that ain't necessarily so. I was homeless for seven years and learned more about myself in that stretch of time than in any other segment of my life. I read the Bible a lot out there and came across a passage in Proverbs that has shaped my approach to life: "A man's pursuit is his kindness." I am well educated with a Master of Social Work degree and have worked a wide variety of jobs in my 52 years. None have lasted too long however. When I was homeless, the beauty of Texas wildflowers made me decide to want to live again. Along with kindness, beauty, play, and self-expression are life-guiding ideas. My shadow contains things like feeling sorry for myself, a truckload of defiance, a desperate need to please women, and no small amount of cruelty. A quote from Luke also has had a lasting effect on me: "For God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil." When I read that I thought, "Hell, I have got a fighting chance." I am here to tell you, you have a fighting chance as well. Besides Christianity, practicing Buddhist and Shamanic techniques inform my relationship to God and the world.

Dear Grandson: Coffee with Admiral Zumwalt and Going Back to School

In his latest “Dear Grandson,” Stan Gerding talks about his role at Bethesda Naval Hospital, having coffee with Admiral Zumwalt, and going back to school at age 41.

Dear Grandson: On Revenge and Funerals

In his latest “Dear Grandson,” Stan Gerding talks about his routines while working at Capitol Hill, attending his father’s funeral, and moving to another duty station.