Daily Chapel: Ike (Day 1)

This week we are continuing our series of Daily Chapels from our Northlake Ministers, sharing themes emerging from their spiritual lives and inviting you to join their spiritual practice 🙏

This week Ike is leading a series on “READING SHORT STORIES FOR SPIRITUAL NURTURE.” 📖

I love short stories. Maybe it’s because I often don’t have the attention span to read novels. Then again, in the day of Facebook and Twitter, maybe many people find short stories challenging enough! Short stories aren’t a precise length, the best definition I’ve heard is – “a story that can be read in one sitting.” I like that they tell a story, they seem to go somewhere. We are in desperate need of deeper reflection these days, and I think short stories are a wonderful way to prod our imagination.

I do not offer these stories, or the people they portray, as “lessons.” These are not children’s stories. You may not even think they are “nice” stories. They certainly contain unpleasant (bad?) people. They sometimes use words you wouldn’t hear in Sunday School. But I bet you hear them in real life.

These are stories that give me deeper appreciation for what it means to be human. Part of what it means to be human, at the core of what it means to be human, is to question our place in the world, to think about our lives and their meaning, to wonder if there is anything bigger than our moments and our days.

If you like one of these stories, google the author. All have written many short stories, except Monday’s author (Alexander Godin) who is perhaps the most interesting of all.I suggest you not try to analyze these stories too much, or at least too quickly. Just read and listen. Rather than offer a scripture or a bunch of questions or commentary to guide your reading, I’d rather not constrict your reflection. The reading will probably conjure up a cloud of Biblical themes in your own mind. If you want guidance in the hearing, then ask yourself: where is God in this story?


Alexander Godin was the pen name of Joseph Katz, an immigrant to the US from Ukraine in 1922. He wrote, “My Dead Brother Comes to America,” in 1934. He was later disabled by chronic mental illness and died in poverty. Read the story here: https://www.whatsoproudlywehail.org/my-dead-brother-comes-to-america Or listen online at: Just Listen Podcast: https://library.nashville.org/podcasts/just-listen-podcast/just-listen-podcast-my-dead-brother-comes-america

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