2. Growing Through Adversity

What a Little Girl Named Phoebe Can Tell Us About Ourselves

A few weeks ago I spoke at a secular conference for childless couples—an audience of men and women wondering what to do with their lives now they may not become parents. After I’d spoken, a woman approached me in tears. “I’ve been wondering all day why I came,” she said, “but now I know. I needed to hear about Phoebe.” How ironic that it was a story about an unborn child that made all the difference. But what’s true of Phoebe is true of you too. More…

After the Burning of Notre Dame, Let’s Look at the Cross

Last year, on a visit to Antwerp’s Cathedral in Belgium, I was struck by one of its artworks. Struck, because it seemed so out of place with the rest of the cathedral’s pieces. Struck, because I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or even sacrilegious. But as we head towards Easter while the world mourns the destruction of one of its greatest cathedrals, I can’t help but think this strange artwork holds a message for us. More…

The Hand That Spins the Galaxies Wants You Here. Introducing The Creed

One autumn morning not long ago, I walked to an Oxford cafe, took a window table, and pulled out my journal. I wanted to craft a statement – a creed of sorts – that would pull together what I’d learned while writing my new book The Making of Us. Something that captured what matters most in life. Something to read regularly to guide me forward. After many scribbled phrases and crossings out, I arrived at this: The Creed. Today we release it publicly, crafted into a beautiful video by Tyler Jackson, and ready to download as a print for your wall or smartphone. The hand that spins the galaxies wants you here… More…

How to Deal With Trolls (Hint: Don’t Get Even and Don’t Give In)

Woman typing on laptop

The surprising thing about talking publicly about childlessness, is the level of abuse that’s come alongside the messages of gratitude. While many have thanked me for bringing it into the open, an equal number have seen fit to get nasty. I could let it get to me, or I could hit back – but I’ve found a better way to respond… More…

The One Thing Men Can’t Talk Openly About Yet. But What if We Did?

Last year I took part in a piece for a breakfast TV show. As the cameraman and I were driving to the filming location, he told me a story. “Last night some mates and I were in the pub,” he said, “and the conversation turned to depression. It turns out some of the guys are on antidepressants. We could never have had that conversation a decade ago. We’d have been too afraid of looking weak.” The cameraman and I agreed much progress had been made in men being able to discuss their problems without fear or shame. But I had a hunch there was one topic still too taboo for us to talk about with each other. So I put it to him. Perhaps breaking this taboo will be the next stage of progress in men’s health. More…

On Death Row for 28 Years. Here’s How Anthony Ray Hinton Stayed Joyful

Man In Prison

In 1985 Anthony Ray Hinton was charged with a double-murder, found guilty by a jury, and sentenced to death. But he was innocent. His sentence was overturned only in 2015—nearly thirty years later. What’s most astounding about Ray’s story is that he faced those 28 gruelling, unfair years with joy. How? More…

Not Just Women: Childlessness Cuts Men Up Too (BBC News Video)

For too long childlessness has been seen solely as a female issue. As a result the feelings of men facing infertility have been sidelined. Now new research has shown childlessness can affect a man’s mental health, self-esteem, relationships, masculinity, even his career and finances. And he is often ignored during the treatment process or in follow up support. So let’s be clear: childlessness cuts a man up too. Here’s my interview on BBC News’ Afternoon Live programme sharing my personal experience. More…

There’s Not a Lot That’s Stable Right Now. Here’s How to Stay Strong (Video)

stormy sky by Chris Lawton

Almost daily we hear another reason to be alarmed at the state of our world—from war, famine and terror, to our own personal storms. In troubling times like these, some of the world’s greatest leaders have gained strength from one famous speech: the Sermon on the Mount. In this video filmed in Melbourne, I explore its surprising message. More…

066 My Chat with William Paul Young, Author of The Shack

Image from The Shack of Mack (Sam Worthington) and Papa (Octavia Spencer)

When William Paul Young sat down to write a story for his children about a man who meets God in a forest shack, little did he know it would become a publishing phenomenon—and now a movie. In 2008 Paul dropped by the Open House show, to chat about the book’s meaning, the personal story behind it, and to answer his critics. More…

A Prayer for Disappointed Olympians (and the Rest of Us)

Tired Man by Mic445

Like me and probably like you, my friend Clare Chate watched a lot of the Rio Olympics. Moved by the public failures some of these athletes endured, she wrote this post and prayer—which I’m sure will prove helpful for all us non-athletes too…in fact, anyone who’s had a disappointment or a broken dream. More…