A Question for You about Place

There are only seventeen days until the release of my first book, Darkwater: A Pastor’s Memoir of Depression and Faith. I want to spend the time leading up to it by starting a conversation with you.

Yes, you!

Are you a friend or family member of mine? Or perhaps a member of the congregation where I am the pastor? Or have you discovered this blog in another way? I know that the blog has readers all over the world. Whoever you are, I am interested in your answers to the questions I’ll be asking over the next few weeks. These questions are all connected to the themes of Darkwater. So – in the interest of honesty – yes, this is also a not-so-subtle way of building up some enthusiasm for the release.

But it’s not just that. I believe the themes in the book are good things to talk about. Things that get at the important things in our lives, and may even help us think and share in new ways. I’d love to see a conversation start in the comments section below. And maybe that conversation can continue even after the book is published. (Can you imagine a comment section that’s actually positive and helpful?)

So here’s what we will do. Every three days or so, I will share a post here with a prompt connected to one of the themes of Darkwater. It will include a question, and I invite and encourage you to respond to that question in the comments. Let’s see what we can learn about each other and about ourselves.

Here’s today’s prompt:


Place is important in Darkwater. In the story I share in the book, I find myself changing and growing in several places: for example, a camp, a convent, a particular church building. I find myself returning to old and meaningful places again, including the town where I was baptized.

I sit on the sidewalk in front of the church, and I look around the town again, mentally exploring once more all the gritty nooks and crannies. I judge the people here and find them lacking. I say to myself, These are not my people, but a voice inside me says, “But you are theirs.” I put my head in my hands as I realize that this is a dream, and that in this dream, the town is me.

Darkwater, chapter 36

Question: What are some of the places that have been holy or important to you? Where has change or growth happened in your life?

8 thoughts on “A Question for You about Place

  1. It think it’s comes down to – what was the change or event at that place and how did that shape your life? Was it a memorable moment? “There’s no place like xxxxx.” Not so sure about that. What happened at that place? An example would be the St. John’s cemetery. Just sitting outside a car, having long conversations with a friend. Memorable. Sense of place because of the events and people. But as a place- macadam driveway and and storage shed. Pretty mundane.


    1. Sitting by the pond in our backyard by myself fills my soul. It’s the taking in of all the beauty around me. The waterfall, fish, frogs, birds, bees, sky, trees, and whatever else comes into view. I thank God for this place.


    2. An interesting point. Places may be special not because of anything intrinsic, but because of what happened there. I agree. There were some very special memories in that otherwise rather mundane spot.


  2. My holy place is when I walked outside in the morning, always feeling close to God. Now that I don’t walk my holy place is at night when I’m talking to Him. My life changed when I returned to the church, and my faith grew from reading the bible.


  3. Places that have been holy or important? Hmmmm.

    My grandmother’s church. Beautiful building, and I always felt closer to the divine there.
    College. I grew so much in those four years.
    Pretty much anywhere outside in the middle of a clear night when the weather is comfortable. I’m not sure why I haven’t ventured out into my own backyard at 3am, yet. I used to do it at my mom’s house sometimes. I’m a bit of a moon worshipper. ♥


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