who.Is.

I am a lover of God and a follower of Jesus.  But far from having arrived, I am still on the Way knowing that God is the faithful One in this relationship.  I hunger for justice, for mercy and healing, for restoration and compassion.  My Work is as a Shepherd to the wounded, the bruised and the despised.  My Mission is to “grow spiritually and help others to do the same…for it is the meaning of life (Leo Tolstoy).”

I am faith-filled but still dance delicately on the edges of doubt. I am all about recovery, passion, the mountains, writing, my dog, wild hope, reckless abandon and being Velveteen Rabbit real.  

I was a ‘pained soul’ but now thanks to God I’m a painted soul living deeply, soulfully, simply and contemplatively. In August 1985, God revealed himself to me in such a holy and powerful way that I surrendered all to Divine Love. I became Catholic on Jun 5, 2011 but I’ve called myself Protestant, evangelical, charismatic, ecumenical, Catholic, and None of the Above (and feel comfy with all and none of those ‘titles’). At the very heart of those words – with no cultural, religious, or political entrapment – I am indeed and in some way all of them: a rebel; a bearer of good news; a seeker of unity; universal; and not one to be boxed in. I am grateful for all these experiences that allow me to feel deeply and safely at home with God in ritual and liturgy, in spontaneity and irreverence, in an AA meeting or a church, a mountainside or a monastery.

Me & Juno - Philly - July 27 2013

With Juno visiting Philadelphia

From August 2008 until December 2016, I resided nestled close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the time in southwestern Virginia, West Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley in White Post, Virginia. I have spent years nestled surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  I have been blessed to call Washington, DC home (for almost 18 years).  I have also been blessed to live in Hawai’i, Vermont, Philadelphia, and even Manhattan.  I now live in New Hampshire after moving here in January 2017.  

Over the last 30 years my life’s work – both my jobs and my Mission – have been a patchwork quilt of being with the addicted, the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, and those on the margins. I’ve been a counselor, a trainer, a manager, a CEO, a friend and hopefully a servant. Thrown into that mix for good measure are quite a few years as a consultant (whatever that means) doing human service training, nonprofit management, social enterprise, community building and development and even a short spell in the ‘Dot Com’ craze. All of this, whether tent-maker or not, has been because of a hunger to ‘flesh out’ God’s love in the world and in me and to do “good work by doing good.”  I have also spent many years working and advocating for addiction recovery and healing. 

My grandest Dream is to start a healing retreat center.  This sacred space/place, to be located in the Mountains, will embody a mission of seeking God, serving people and nurturing healing as a retreat center and community.  It will offer the wounded, the weary, the healers and the seekers a place and space to grow – deeper into God, community, compassion, each other, and the Earth. 

The real deal is I love God, Juno, coffee, Music, movement and the mountains. I love writing, all of it, from nonfiction to poetry. I love the crazed, the confused, and all who are on a conscious, intentional journey. I love darkness and light. I’m into crazy Love, messy Grace, lavish Mercy, and abundant Beauty (hey, the same as God!). I love body art (I have some). I dig Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers, all miracle workers, poets and all artists.  I kind of like this Pope Francis as well as all friends of Bill W., Monastics and Contemplatives, and the simple, the earthy, the sacred and the profane. I love my family (by blood & spirit) and my friends (Monsieur Lanier, Antonio Cauterucci, Ian Chan Hodges, and Father Frank to single out a few). I love the Silence of empty churches. I love being and growing in the Rooms. I love fellowship around the Table. I dig the Spirit’s movement.  I am playfully irreverent.

Juno

Juno driving with daddy in West Virginia

I am called to comfort the disturbed & disturb the comfortable. I am at home when I am with Juno and Jesus in the mountains.

For…Now,

N.

3 thoughts on “who.Is.

  1. Everytime I read your posts, Nile, I am deeply touched! Thank you for all the ways you share God’s love! You are a beautiful person!

  2. I hope you are recovering seamlessly Niles. I so enjoy reading your posts. You have moved me many times and I am grateful that you are still on this wacky planet of ours…God Bless!

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