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About Andrew Taylor-Troutman

Andrew Taylor-Troutman is the poet pastor of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church in North Carolina and the author of Gently Between the Words: Essays and Poems.

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Author Archive

    The Grace of Ordinary Dog Days

    It’s summer and the liturgical calendar rolls through Ordinary Time. True enough, the phrase “The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time” doesn’t exactly titillate the senses. But this “ordinary” does not imply commonplace or routine events. It refers to a sequence of ordinal numbers—first, second, third and so on. For followers of Christ, this “ordinary” denotes […]

    A Gift on Father’s Day

    This Father’s Day, my three children gifted me a bird feeder in the shape of a log cabin. Now, as they joyfully run amok in the playroom, I am reflecting on the gifts of fatherhood itself. Fatherhood has taught me that children are actually verbs. Also, that Legos multiply through their own procreative process. Yesterday […]

    Healing in the Middle

    When I say Asa, I sing Asa – Bry Webb, “Asa” Our middle child is named Asa, which means Healer in Hebrew. His biblical namesake was the fifth ruler in the House of David, the third king of Judah. In his two and a half years, our Asa has had more days with a royally […]

    Catch Me

    A new friend, who is joining the church I serve, offered a Rumi reading to me from his morning devotional: Hold up a mirror to your worst destructive habits, for that is how the real making begins. ~ 1995 was my first year of high school. That spring, my baseball coach announced to the entire […]

    My Most Selfish Prayer

    Dear Lord: let me die before my wife. I’m bouncing our baby daughter on my lap as she drools on a wooden rattle. Her mom makes pancakes every Saturday morning, but the baby has only recently gotten her first taste. Our middle child, age two and a half—his big brother has taught him to emphasize—marks […]

    Comma, Grace

    I was taking a mid-afternoon break at my favorite coffee shop. The brew was dark, organic, and fair trade; the scone, buttery and soft with little treasures of cranberries buried beneath the surface; and the people-watching, exquisite. Take the guy with the cryptic tattoo on the back of his neck. I was trying to crack […]

    The Golden (Arches) Rule

    On the first Sunday of the month, I gathered with the other middle schoolers early in the morning before church and piled into the motley assortment of cars driven by our church’s college leaders. I worshipped those undergraduates and would have gladly tagged along wherever they drove. Plus, you got to wear your t-shirt and […]

    Sting and Linger

    From the backseat, our four-year-old firstborn asked why the road sign said 100. An unusual formulation of the question, I thought, and continued to drive, while his mom explained from the passenger’s seat. She spoke of how a number can also be a name and then the child’s mind fluttered to other things. But I […]

    Behind the Veil

    “You may kiss the bride,” I said in my preacher voice just like I always did. This time the groom actually paused as if seeking permission—but not from me. He looked hesitantly at the jailer standing over his right shoulder. She nodded. So he dove in! “Alright kids,” the jailer intoned after a few moments. […]

    Go Gently

    And we think that we can’t write that for which we do not have words but actually sometimes you can if you go gently between the words. Brian Doyle The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. Isaiah 9:2 It is a week before Christmas and I tell my oldest son: “It […]

    Grace on a Gravel Road

    One lazy afternoon when the light oozed in the air like honey, this old farmer told me that the school bus would come all the way down the gravel road to the driveway of the manse. He had stopped by to drop off Tommy Toe tomatoes from his wife’s garden. My wife and I had […]

    No Need to Explain

    “Behold, I shew you a mystery.” (1 Corinthians 15:51 KJV) It was our first visit. I sat on the sofa in her living room surrounded by pictures of their four children, eight grandchildren. And pictures of him. The shades were drawn against the sunlight as we chatted: get-to-know-you preliminaries about where I was from, the obligatory […]