John Michael

Life Is a Sweet, Tender Bruise XVI

(Dublin Street Art "You Are Not Alone" photo by William Murphy on Flickr)
John Michael continues his series, reflecting on life and people encountered, with two new stories about the passing of a beloved community member and evolving towards joy.   Rich Young Recently Passed When I started feeling better on the streets, I started frequenting a little sports bar in Mansfield, Texas. I would down a ... 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: And Then Your Dad Arrived

In his latest “Dear Grandson,” Stan Gerding talks about returning to work life after his tour in Vietnam, having a son, and deciding to reenlist in the Navy.

Dear Grandson: Returning Home to Kentucky and Next Duty Station

In his latest “Dear Grandson,” Stan Gerding describes what it was like reuniting with his family again after his tour in Vietnam and his newest duty station in D.C.

Dear Grandson: Encountering War Protesters at Home

In his latest “Dear Grandson,” Stan Gerding describes what it was like when he was confronted by war protesters back at home.