• A Community for Broken Homes Article by James Coffield

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    It’s 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and a monumental battle is being waged. Margi wants to go to church, but is it really worth the trouble? Her disabled son is more difficult to deal with in the mornings. She doesn’t go to the earlier adult Sunday school class, for there is nowhere for her child to go. It could be that she reads too much into the glance from the lady with the perfect hair and family. Some people seem to communicate pity, some seem to be annoyed, and some are kind. She feels shame and wonders if … View Resource

  • From Grief to Glory Article by James Coffield

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    My father was slowly relinquishing his fragile life. His once sharp mind was now confused with the bleakness of Alzheimer’s. The cumulative effect of the medication to sustain his heart was destroying his liver, and the drugs needed to save his liver were threatening his heart. It was only a matter of time. He was refusing food — starving to death. I held his stubble-covered face in my hand and tried to entice him to drink a swallow of protein drink. I was doing it more for me than for him. Ten years have past and I sometimes still miss … View Resource

  • Going Outside the Camp Article by James Coffield

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2013

    It began as a friendly family game of Monopoly. I informed my son that he had landed on Park Place. His mind stuck on the words and started to spin: “Park Place, Park Place…” Over and over he repeated the words. I should have remembered—hard consonants at the beginnings of words often get stuck in his mind—and an obsessive-compulsive mind is one of the symptoms of autism. I’m not sure at what moment his mood changed, but his anger turned from himself to me—after all, I was the one who had said the phrase that was now bombarding his … View Resource

  • What Shame Does Article by James Coffield

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2015

    In a moment pregnant with sorrow and hope, dignity and depravity, and su”ering and glory, a grieving mother stood before the mourners who had gathered to honor a man’s life and spoke the words, “Shame killed my son, Luke. Shame kept him quiet, living in dark secrets with terrible regrets, surrounded by friends, but so very alone.” After surveying the faces of those gathered and silently recognizing those she knew who also had struggled with addiction, she admonished them. “Do not let shame win. The evil one has filled his quill with shame, disconnection, secrets, and sorrow and … View Resource