If you were to ask me what I am, I’d probably tell you I’m a drywall specialist, a flooring man, a trim carpenter, or an eleven-year community college student who studied hard to consistently maintain straight C’s.


I don’t get it. Are you a Christian writer or not? I just want to know once and for all.

I read what you write about God sometimes, but then you’ll turn around and cuss and it’s rather incongruous.

Sorry, but I’m just saying what everyone’s thinking. And from all of us who feel this way, I just want to say to you, pick one side and stay there!

Please don’t be offended,


I’ll start by saying, “Thank you.”

Thanks for calling me a “writer.” You have no idea how much that means. It’s taken me a long time to call myself that.

If you were to ask me what I am, I’d probably tell you I’m a drywall specialist, a flooring man, a trim carpenter, or an eleven-year community college student who studied hard to consistently maintain straight C’s.

But a writer? No.

Writers use big words, go to art exhibits, and wear facial expressions common to frustrating bathroom experiences.

Well, not me. The only big word I know is sesquipedalianism—which I believe is an island off the coast of Tulsa. And, my mother warned me to never attend art exhibits because they don’t have altar calls afterward.

Anyway, I grew up in a blue-collar household. My father had a blue-collar tongue. You should’ve heard HIS stories.

With a limited palette of only two cuss words and one Miller High Life, that man could paint the Sistine Chapel of tales.

And I miss him.

Now for the Christian thing:

After my father passed, we were messed-up people. Perhaps “flagellated” people would be a better way of saying it—I had to look that word up.

The details don’t matter, but during that period, I needed to feel like someone gave a damn about me. And nobody was applying for the job.

Pardon my use of a strong word, but if I’m going to tell this particular story, you ought to know the strength of these emotions.

My family almost crumbled. My father lost his mind on his final night. It was bad. In fact, I have never written about the events of that night, I don’t know that I ever will.

So, I don’t mean to depress you, but this life left us with little to believe in. I went from being a twelve-year-old, worried about baseball tryouts, to the “man of the family.”

I remember crying in the shower, once. Crying turned into wailing. The emotion hit so hard I collapsed.

I shouted swear words to the ceiling. Loud ones. I didn’t know who I was talking to, or if anyone heard me.

All of a sudden, I felt warm. It was the magic-blanket feeling you might read about in books like: “Chicken Soup for the Soul Volume 438: Stories so Sticky You’ll Need a Shot of Insulin.”

And I have believed in something big ever since. Something big-big. Something so vast that it steals your breath when you touch it. Something stronger than me. Something bright enough to blind a man. Something that brings sad children back to life.

So call me whatever sort of writer you want. A heathen, a C-student, a drywall specialist. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter which name you choose.

Because no matter how old I get, or what anyone thinks of me, I will always be a twelve-year-old, crying in the shower, with one thing left to believe in.


And I do, ma’am. I believe in it with all my heart.

Thanks for the letter.


  1. Lucretia - January 27, 2018 8:08 am

    Thank you, Sean. I love you.

  2. Leslie in NC - January 27, 2018 8:10 am

    I have no words. You just said them, Sean. One in particular…love.

  3. vegaspsych - January 27, 2018 8:34 am


  4. amystjh - January 27, 2018 10:16 am


  5. Thomas in the Everglades - January 27, 2018 10:21 am

    Perfect. And for the record: you are a HELL of a writer.

    • Carlin Brooks - January 27, 2018 1:46 pm

      Thomas In he Everglades nailed it.

  6. Ann Engel. Denmark, Europe - January 27, 2018 10:38 am

    And, I believe the shortest Bible verse is, “God is love” (to whom it may concern)!

    • theholtgirls - January 29, 2018 8:36 pm

      Ann, actually the shortest Bible verse is John 11:35 which says, “Jesus wept.” But verse 36 says, “Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!”

      God is love.

    • Leigh Stephens - April 20, 2018 9:55 am

      This reply to the letter sender is much better than anything that came to my mind.

  7. Katherine Schumm - January 27, 2018 11:05 am

    Can there be any doubt? Can you give to yourself, the gentleness and love you give to us all? Take a step back and cogitate….what you write touches hundreds of lives and changes them and causes them to be better people. Are you a writer of course, you write. Above and beyond that – you are an author – creator of literary works. I am sad that you had to experience in your life the gut wrenching pain you experienced. The phoenix of those experiences is that those experiences honed your voice and your compassion so you can reach out and touch the rest of us. Whew. Are you a writer, heck, you are an author and a damn (excuse) great one.

    • Melody Moore - January 28, 2018 2:31 am

      Absolutely! I second this comment!

  8. Kathy - January 27, 2018 11:23 am

    “Once and for all” I would like to know how the word Christian got so small that someone who cusses falls outside the lines. Just saying.

    • Jennifer L-E - January 27, 2018 11:26 am

      Amen to that! Love thy neighbor. I remember hearing that some where too.

    • Kelly - January 27, 2018 12:40 pm


    • paula jones - January 27, 2018 3:00 pm


    • Joyce - January 27, 2018 8:03 pm


    • Todd - January 28, 2018 2:32 am

      Amen Kathy! Christians aren’t perfect, they are just saved followers of Christ. You go Sean!

    • Beth T - January 28, 2018 7:05 pm

      I’m with you, Kathy. Nailed it. Sean, you just keep on doing exactly what you’re doing, and do it YOUR way.

  9. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way - January 27, 2018 11:33 am

    Hi, Sean! Sorry I haven’t written in a while. But I’m here. Reading. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. But I am here. Just as the good Lord and your dad is with you. He must have had something awful on his shoulders that he just couldn’t bear any more. You are a good man, Sean. You are what my Italian mamma would call simple. But see, to her simple meant you were the salt of the earth. Genuine. A man you could count on. Your dad must have known that. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. CaroG87 - January 27, 2018 11:34 am

    From a fellow shower-cryer, thank you. I’ve lost 6 loved ones in the last two years. Whatever I held and knew as true in terms of faith has been shredded and reconstructed and pulled apart again. I have no more sure answers except Love. The logistics of it all, I’ll leave to God, fate, the Universe, whatever. Love is real and it makes this existence go round.

  11. Howard Humphreys - January 27, 2018 11:36 am

    That says it all…By the way I have only known you as a very skilled writer!

  12. Camille Atkins - January 27, 2018 11:40 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for not caving in to the “mold” that so many people try to fit in! I don’t give a rat’s a$$ what your religious affiliation is, or is not. The fact that you start my day off with positive vibes is all that matters to me. If the writer wants a sermon, she can get that at her local church, and leave the rest of us to enjoy Sean of the Damn South! BTW, you are a million times more inspiring that any preacher or “Christian” writer I have ever heard!

    • Martha - January 27, 2018 1:52 pm

      Well said, Camille Atkins!

    • cathy notaro - January 28, 2018 4:34 am

      Yes! To your comment and Kathy up there ^^^, too. You just keep writing Sean, and those if us not judging will keep reading. Oh, and by the way Sean – despite the fact that she feels she is in a majority with what she says…the majority of us are NOT thinking what she’s saying.

      • Beth T - January 28, 2018 7:07 pm

        I absodamnloutely second Camille and Cathy N. The majority of us like you just the way you are.

  13. janiesjottings - January 27, 2018 11:47 am

    God is love and what you felt that night in the shower was His presence. That’s my take on it and if there’s one thing I know it’s that He helps us when we most need it. And Sean, make no mistake about it, you are a writer. You are more of a writer than anyone else I’ve ever known. To me writing is when you put your heart into words and have the courage to let others see your heart. You have a gift! Keep using it please.

    • Patty P. - January 27, 2018 3:46 pm

      Mmmmmm…God as masculine?? That seems to rather categorically limit the magnificence of Spirit. 🙂

  14. Tracy Dee - January 27, 2018 11:50 am

    God is love. He loves you and wants to be loved by you.?

  15. Janet Williams - January 27, 2018 11:53 am

    Oh, Sean, whatever kind of writer you are, your writing so often touches my soul with such raw, honest insights into LIFE. If that sometimes requires the use of something stronger than “gee whiz,” then so be it.

  16. Rachel Lindsey - January 27, 2018 12:09 pm

    All of your post proof that. Love. ?

  17. Venetia - January 27, 2018 12:31 pm

    Sean, You have an exceptional gift. I thank you for putting into words what I sometimes think. I admire you for that. Love, from a girl who’s family is from L. A. (Lower Alabama). Evergreen.

  18. Carole - January 27, 2018 12:32 pm


  19. Bess - January 27, 2018 12:38 pm

    Love…the greatest gift of all. It’s not something to keep to yourself. Thanks for helping to remind us through your writing why we should always remember to give it away!

  20. Melanie Tighe - January 27, 2018 12:39 pm

    Thank you Sean. This says it all and hits close to home for me. Love to you as well.

  21. Shirli Kralik - January 27, 2018 12:54 pm

    I LOVE your writing, Sean. Cuss on, if you must…and to the person who wrote, push those narrow walls out just a bit…. encompass some who don’t look, act, think, or speak exactly like you…. because they might love you, too.

  22. Penn Wells - January 27, 2018 1:04 pm

    Yep, like others have commented, you always seem to put just the right words in just the right places. According to Webster (and Me), that makes you a Writer. 143

  23. Linda Parker - January 27, 2018 1:44 pm

    I will never understand why labels are so important to folks. For as long as I have been reading your posts I have NO need whatsoever to label you. I see you, through your written thoughts, as an old soul….connected to a soul that lived on this earth 2000 plus years ago. And even if I didn’t see that so clearly, it would not matter to me. Your way of seeing, experiencing and telling life stories are sooooo needed in our world today. Just continue to bless us with your insights, humor and truths. Keep ’em comin’!

    • Linda Mann - January 27, 2018 4:58 pm

      Amen!! You can skip over the words that you call offensive..keep up the good stories, I love how you take every day life experiences and give us life lessons.. you are a magnificent writer..from NW Alabama!! Keep up the good words..

    • Linda D. - April 20, 2018 1:15 pm

      I totally agree, Linda P.

  24. dudleygilmer - January 27, 2018 1:55 pm

    Well, your tongue-in-cheek put down of “writers” is a bit cruel! But I agree that you are quite a good writer yourself. You get to the heart of things, the base of what really matters. Thanks.

  25. Debbie Taylor - January 27, 2018 1:59 pm

    If that person believes a Christian should not cuss, do they also believe a Christian should not drink alcohol? And that a Christian must attend church every Sunday, and Wednesday night, too? I sure hope LOVE is #1 on their checklist of things that define a Christian; I hope their little “box of Christianity” is large enough for your kind of LOVE. I consider you a great man, Sean … not because of your accomplishments as a writer or a drywall specialist (although those are impressive), but because you have a heart overflowing with love and grace for everyone. We should all be more like you. Amen.

  26. Connie - January 27, 2018 2:00 pm

    Do we have to constantly label people as one thing or another? If you do, use labels like loving, smart, funny, caring, hard working. Call someone a writer or a friend; a lover; a parent, student, child. But really, why not just accept people for all that they are?

  27. carol0goodson - January 27, 2018 2:02 pm

    God has broad shoulders. After I left the convent at the age of 43, I mistakenly believed that He had rejected me, and I spent the next 20+ years cursing Him out every day, blaming Him for every bad thing that happened to me, no matter how small. After a LONG time, I finally healed and came back to Him, and He forgave me for everything. I still have the habit of cursing and using vulgar language (and I wish I didn’t), but that is not what God cares about. All He cares about is how much you love Him and your neighbor (which is everybody). I urge you not to judge people for things that don’t matter, but look at their hearts.

  28. Richard Powell - January 27, 2018 2:04 pm

    Sean, I am a new subscriber and a follower of the God/Man Jesus who loves you unconditionally. You are a gifted vessel of honor chosen by Him. Read Psalm 45 verse 1 about the “pen of a ready writer”, which you are. Blessings on your day and coming compositions. Rick Powell

  29. Dianne - January 27, 2018 2:05 pm

    That warm feeling you had in the shower was God wrapping His loving arms around you to bring you his peace and comfort. He heard your cries of pain and anguish, and just wrapped you in His arms to assure you that you weren’t alone. Yes, you are a writer, Sean, and a very good one at that.

  30. Jones - January 27, 2018 2:10 pm

    I have always been told to be careful of people who are SELF-proclaimed Christians…one shouldn’t have to tell others how much of a Christian they are–instead their everyday actions prove what they are far more than their words.
    Clearly, your daily posts (and the reader comments generated by those writings) are a testament to you being a kind, loving person and great writer who possesses an extraordinary ability to put life’s observations into words that are meaningful to many, many people. Do not doubt yourself! Your life experiences have only helped mold you into the person you are today. Without those experiences, you would not have the perspective you do. Keep up the good work! (P.S. Put any negative comments in a mental drawer and slam it shut …your self worth is not dependent on that one person’s view. Do not let them stay rent free in any headspace…they are not worth it.)

  31. Lisa - January 27, 2018 2:15 pm

    One of my favorite all-time quotes, from Tony Campolo: “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

    • Tana Branch - January 27, 2018 4:27 pm

      Fantastic….well said.

      • Camille Atkins - January 27, 2018 9:00 pm


  32. Debbie Wicker - January 27, 2018 2:24 pm

    Been there. Love you. You touch my soul. Keep doing what you are doing.

  33. Tom Giddens - January 27, 2018 2:32 pm

    Sean- you nailed it again and thanks for being you! Some say a person can only worship and find God in a church. They obviously haven’t seen the sun rise over Choctawhachee Bay. Keep up the great work. Tom

  34. revbigbaldguy - January 27, 2018 2:38 pm

    Some folks are so heavenly minded they’re no earthly good, and these sort of folks love to judge. Your down-to-earth honesty is refreshing. Keep on keeping on, brother!

  35. paula jones - January 27, 2018 2:54 pm

    2. I am a United Methodist pastor who has 3 seminary degrees and who has studied Greek and Hebrew in depth. One of the most delightful things I learned is that PAUL CUSSED. There are times when we need stronger words than everyday conversational words. Paul used them. For example in Philippians 3:8, after he talked about his very impressive pedigree, he wrote, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG, that I may win Christ.” The Greeks had 2 words for excrement––one proper and one not used in polite company. Paul used the cuss word, the S word, as in “All of this impressive stuff is just a pile of shit compared to knowing Jesus.”
    3. Jesus was pretty plain spoken about the fact that just calling him “Lord” (or calling yourself a Christian) wasn’t what following him was about. Following Jesus means living a life of love (and Seans’ loving heart is revealed in his writing daily). Living love includes things like being non-judgemental.
    4. Sean, you area DAY-UM good writer. 😉

    • f carpenter - January 27, 2018 5:06 pm

      i am also a methodist……..we look towards heaven. the person who wrote the letter must belong to a denomination that focuses on the preconceived negative in others. i believe “religion” to her must be one of condemnation and hell. Sean, keep up the good work!

  36. Buffy Roberson - January 27, 2018 2:59 pm

    I never have understood the whole Christian = exclusion mentality. We are all just people wandering around trying to do the best we can! Sometimes we do things we aren’t proud of, but I certainly hope that “The One” that passes the final judgement one day loves us enough to forgive His children! Keep on writing Sean because I look forward to your real life stories each morning!

  37. paula jones - January 27, 2018 2:59 pm

    5. And you don’t have to stick the adjective “Christian” in front of anything to make it so. My decidely Christian husband is a firefighter, not a Christian firefighter. My Christian daughter is hospice nurse, not a Christian hospice nurse. My grocer is a grocer, not a Christian grocer. Christian is NOT an adjective. It’s a

    • Dudley Gilmer - January 27, 2018 3:42 pm

      Paula, May I quote your last sentence, please? Is it original with you?

    • Elouise Billions - April 20, 2018 1:04 pm


  38. Mark - January 27, 2018 3:05 pm

    Nothing wrong with siding with love.

  39. Carol - January 27, 2018 3:08 pm

    thank you, Paula Jones. i agree … it makes no difference to many of us whether you’re a so-called Christian or not. Sean, the man and his thoughts, are what i care about. And, if your writings tell anything about you, you are a good man, as was Jesus.

  40. Mary Embler - January 27, 2018 3:09 pm

    Thanks for the post. Carry on!

  41. Sherri - January 27, 2018 3:17 pm

    If there was any time to cuss, it would have been in your reply to Confused. However, you never judge. Obviously, you know who that is left up to. Bravo Sean!

  42. Ric - January 27, 2018 3:27 pm

    I’ve enjoyed your writings. I can relate to many if not most. Some years back we were, or I was and my family was drafted, very, very, no I mean VERY VERY VERY INVOLVED in every aspect of church life in the little blue collar church down the road. I started having some personal issues. I guess the people didn’t know how too help so they did nothing. That hurt worse than if they had tried to do something and messed up. We had to leave. The church is only a building. A person’s believe is what defines him. If we had a few honest people with like mindedness of Jesus’s examples and lived life truly as He taught we might have a few churches that could help us heathern Samaritans, like He did. He said we are KNOWN by our actions, then the above letter might not have been written. The Bible says men pisseth against the wall. Is that bad language? Blessings.

  43. Betty Roberts - January 27, 2018 3:30 pm

    As a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend and believer, I have learned some people believe we should all fit in one mold once we make a profession of our faith and yet we all have a different story so that’s not possible. Each day until eternity we are all on a one to one basis with God living our lives the best we can with His guidance. People who expect more usually get really disappointed in what they think folks should live up to. God says all of my sins have been paid for and that includes the ones they think I have. I realize their intentions are good and that comes from their story.
    Love yours stories, every word.

  44. vanessa k epperson - January 27, 2018 3:33 pm

    Sadly alot of people who call themselves Christians are not living like one. I choose to live my life as a good, honest person and believe in God but do not believe in all these false witnesses. Love your stories. And you are a great writer.

  45. Louise Green - January 27, 2018 3:37 pm

    God is love. Love is what the world should be all about, and you express that love in your writings everyday, Sean.

  46. Jan - January 27, 2018 3:37 pm

    Love your writing, love the people you write about, love you! Like it or not, you walk, talk and act the way true Christians are supposed to walk, talk and act. They love! Keep on loving and writing and the rest takes care of itself!

  47. Nfutral - January 27, 2018 3:42 pm

    Bless her heart! ? Something comes to mind about planks in your eye and splinters in your brothers eye…or something like that. Love your honesty and sweetness in reminding me daily of the beauty in this world. Helps to combat the deluge of ugliness in the media and elsewhere. I hope you continue to be true to yourself and the Other. Nothing else matters. Y

  48. . - January 27, 2018 4:00 pm

    Sean, as our friend Joanne says ” you are my sunshine”. I enjoy your posts and look forward to your visits to Panama City. And like it continues ” You make me happy” Keep writing your uplifting posts. The vast majority of people are good and need to hear good postings.

  49. Lois Young - January 27, 2018 4:02 pm

    Thank you. Yes. I believe in that, too.

  50. Karen - January 27, 2018 4:02 pm

    Excellent! Someone ask me
    Yesterday what type of a writer you are, if you were Christian. I responded that you wrote about everyday life in the south. I said that you find good in the smiple places that are all around us and share it. I told her that your writing touches my heart and lets me know that there are plenty of good people and good things everywhere. We just have to slow down and look and listen. Your writing encourages me to be one of those good people and to enjoy those good things. Thanks Sean. I read your work everyday with my daily devotional. Love you! Karen

  51. Dudley Gilmer - January 27, 2018 4:04 pm

    How very Southern this whole discussion is! The whole thing has turned into commentary about “what’s Christian”! In other parts of the country, readers would say that there are lots of other religions and that even being a “none” would not matter for the verity of Sean’s column. Puleeeze, folks, think bigger! (PS I’m a lifelong Southerner with traditional upbringing, but I prefer Sean’s answer about Something Bigger.)

  52. C Johnson - January 27, 2018 4:17 pm

    In a world that has been pretty bleak recently, where many people have let loose their unkindness, you have been a light in the darkness. A light that reminds me there are still many good people who are unsung and unnoticed but for you. You are busy pointing out their goodness while many others choose to point out the slivers in their neighbor’s eye. Thank you for reminding me that God is very present

  53. Tana Branch - January 27, 2018 4:22 pm

    I love your salty words! Good grief, the current President has used the “f” word in his campaign speeches and was cheered by those great Christians in attendance. I taught high school…my daddy died when I was 10.., I am in church every Sunday…but if pressed, I can turn the air blue and feel relieved afterwards. Stay true, Sean, I love it.

  54. Susan Barfield - January 27, 2018 4:48 pm

    Never doubt that you are a writer. Your way with words is astounding, and it is absolutely God-given. Thank you for sharing your gift!

  55. Amy Hawkins - January 27, 2018 4:51 pm

    Your writing is almost heart stopping…in the best possible way. Thanks for the daily dose of fortification & inspiration! <3

  56. f carpenter - January 27, 2018 4:53 pm

    the “lady” is casting stones. wonder just how many could be cast at her! if she wants to, she could stop following you. none of the “curse” words you print are offensive. keep up the good work!

  57. gayle r tucker - January 27, 2018 4:54 pm

    Suicide is an impossibly tough burden. You never get to know why and was it, in some way, your fault. You spend a great deal of time counseling yourself and others as a kind of therapy. Most of us need therapy in one way or another. I am a victim of suicide. I turn the air blue regularly. But, as some movie said, Acts of charity or kindness deserve to be paid forward. You do that pretty well. Your religion or lack thereof is no one’s business. They are simply looking for a podium to preach their brand…that may be their therapy. Write, scribble,prose on. Whatever you call it, it is good, entertaining and therapeutic.

  58. Bob - January 27, 2018 5:09 pm

    Dear lady,
    Go to Home Depot and buy a box cutter and cut open that tiny box you have hemmed God up in.
    Bless your heart.

    And Sean, the best thing I read in seminary about suicide was this:. “There are forces that hold people up, and there are forces that bear down on people; and sometimes the forces that bear down are just greater than the forces that hold them up.”

    You’re the best writer I know. Well, maybe the second best after Mary Oliver.

  59. Southern Sojourner - January 27, 2018 5:10 pm

    Well worded reply to a Pharisee. I commend you for not lashing out at her, but at the same time installing her in the place she should be.
    I’m a devout believer in Christ. And I drive a dump truck on an asphalt crew. Cussing is no stranger to my ears and occasionally I add an expletive to enforce my feelings.
    Be yourself. Be true to yourself.
    We love you.

  60. lavenderlady - January 27, 2018 5:25 pm

    I agree with paula Jones. Christian is not an adjective. Your stories each morning give me the strength to “get up and get er done”. That and my three darling grandchildren. Thank you Sean. Love is all we have some days.

  61. Teri Freeman Butler - January 27, 2018 5:29 pm

    Thomas, Katherine, Kathy and a host of others have already expressed my feelings in their replies and I pray that “Confused” has also read them. Your views of life and your responses to the challenges it brings, routinely give comfort, hope and love to millions of people. Could we please stop trying to slap a label on everything and appreciate it for the gift it is?

  62. Snoopy - January 27, 2018 5:44 pm

    First and foremost thank God for healing your heart ?? Also, if confused reads the Bible, that word or Hell are in the KJV version, which is the true word of God!!! I would not call you a foul mouth writer, nor do I not think you aren’t a Christian. I truly delight in your inspiration you share with ALL of us who LOVE your posts‼️ Can’t wait for tomorrow ?❤️

    • Harry Lee - January 27, 2018 6:18 pm

      “not suitable or proper

  63. Norma Williams - January 27, 2018 6:16 pm

    Our God is a BIG GOD, He forgives our sins, large and small. Words are forgivable, He would prefer that we love our neighbors, all our neighbors. I love your writing, and wish God would give me the courage to put my life stories in print. I just might be able to show love the way you do. Carry on friend!!

  64. Sheri Odle - January 27, 2018 6:19 pm

    As I was reading your message today about whether you are a Christian or not and it came to mind the story about Paul the Apostle talking with the men of Athens, Greece. I hope and pray this will encourage you to seek out this “something really, really big” that you are talking about. If I may quote from the scriptures in Acts 17 22-28a. “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found a altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.

    So you see we are are not much different than the men from Athens. I was there once also until Jesus became real to me and by his Holy Spirit he help me understand who God is. I finally received my healing from all my hurts and pains of the past. To say that there is no more troubles after we know God would be a lie. It’s just I look at things differently with God’s help by knowing he is with me always to walk me through the problems and he is taking care of me. The pains and sorrows will not own me anymore.

    Sean, I absolutely love your column and for you to be surprised at someone calling you a writer surprises me. God has given you a beautiful gift to write and to share your pains openly to encourage others. I wish I had that ability. You truly are a blessing and you bring glory to God for the love you pour out to you readers.

    I personally praise Jesus for you and pray that you will find the peace you are looking for. His name is Jesus!

  65. Harry Lee - January 27, 2018 6:19 pm

    “not suitable or proper

  66. Candace - January 27, 2018 6:26 pm

    I adore the color of you, with always a positive spin at the end! Call yoitself what you will, I call you a writer!

  67. Pamela McEachern - January 27, 2018 7:18 pm

    Funny, it never crossed my mind to try and call you out. I grew up a Methodist and have been down many other paths. To me, you show what a Godly man really looks like and helps me know that love comes in so many different ways. God’s Love comes to us Everyday you write to us and it is plain and simple from your writing…Love one another, God is Blessing each of us daily. To anyone that doesn’t know who you are, there is a really good book you should read. It will have the answers for you.The Golden Rule! God Bless you Sean and all of your faithful readers.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  68. gloria wethington - January 27, 2018 8:03 pm

    I reread “The Dean’s Watch” recently. In it Dean Adam Ayscough told his atheist friend, Isaac, to just put LOVE in place of the word God. Oh, yes, you know LOVE intimately. And you most definitely are a writer, a very gifted one! LOVE has blessed you and you pass that LOVE on to us, your readers. Thank you, Sean!

  69. Lee - January 27, 2018 8:23 pm

    Dear Sean,
    First of all you need to know that I am NOT a writer. I just am a just a guy trying to convey my appreciation to you for the work you put into your blog every day. I find something in each story that brings meaning not only to me but to many others out there that read your work every day.
    You remind me of one of my favorite writers, Lewis Grizzard. You can tell a story much like he did and being from the South as Mr. Grizzard was, we Southerners can connect with your wit, wisdom, stories, and advice. I had to respond to your story today as I do believe there is a time and a place for cursing. (Cussing as we say in the South. I will try and paraphrase one of Mr. Grizzard’s stories regarding just this subject.- – There was a preacher one Sunday and in the ending to his fire and damnation sermon, asked his congregation to speak up and tell where they had sinned and how they had sinned. One man stood up and said I spent the weeks grocery money on alcohol and it put my family in bad shape. The preacher said tell it all brother, tell it all. Another man stood up and said he lost the house payment gambling and put his family in terrible shape. The preacher said tell it all brother, tell it all. Another man got up and said I had sex with a goat last Friday night. The preacher said DAMN BROTHER, I don’t think I would have told that. So you see, there is a place for the “proper” curse word at the right time.
    Please keep up your story telling as we “sinners” out here need your uplifting brand of putting words together. You are a terrific writer in my opinion.

  70. Melanie Howell - January 27, 2018 8:28 pm

    You are what keeps me getting dressed and going out every day. Prior to finding you I stayed inside. Watching the morning news had me paralyzed with fear of this town we live in. Since I found you I don’t watch the news, I read your masterpieces every morning and you are the best damn writer I’ve ever read!!! Thank you!

  71. Marsha - January 27, 2018 8:37 pm

    Dear Sean, when you write about love you are writing about people being the hands of Jesus. You are a writer of the best kind. God doesn’t care about you saying damn. He cares about you spreading His love and I do believe that is exactly what you are doing. Keep writing what you got, Sean, because the rest of us love you and your writing.

  72. Carolyn Kent - January 27, 2018 8:40 pm

    Faith, Hope, & Love are some good things He gave us & the greatest is LOVE.

  73. Ralph - January 27, 2018 9:40 pm

    God is love!

  74. Darlene - January 27, 2018 10:24 pm

    I guess I could call you a liar. You said you were just asking what everyone else was thinking. I haven’t thought that way. As far as I’m concerned Sean is one of the best Christian writers I’ve ever read. He brings it down to earth and sometime with four letter words this “Christian” says too. But I won’t call you a liar. I’ll just forgive you for judging.

  75. Candy Clark - January 27, 2018 10:44 pm

    Good day Sean! Continue being who you are, cuss words and all! God created you! To be YOU!! Typical of a “so called Christian” to judge. I wouldn’t call myself a Christian for years because of people like that! They also are egotistical enough to think they speak for all of us. Judging others is not Love. Which IS the greatest gift!! I LOVE your writing! You are Love and a Blessing.

    LOVE – Candy

  76. N. Fox - January 27, 2018 10:49 pm

    Why in the world would you waist your time giving her the time of day. Self righteous hypocrite. Holder than thou ….. Just tell her to go read something else if she does not prefer you at face value. You serve a God that created you and I am sure He is just fine with His creation. Pay no attention to people like this …. It’s a waste of time to talk to them. Those doors do not usually open very wide.
    Dust off your feet.
    Love your neighbor as yourself.
    God is Love .

  77. Linda Stewart-Oaten - January 28, 2018 12:31 am

    Dear Sean,
    I don’t mind swear words, when appropriate. But I could do without so much of the Christian stuff. And by the way, if you write and put it out there for people to read, you ARE a writer.
    Carry on!

  78. RoseMary Forstrom - January 28, 2018 12:34 am

    Sean , when you write about your father and his death it comforts me. We lost our grandson to suicide about two months ago. You and your family survived and we will too. Thank you.

  79. Jack Quanstrum - January 28, 2018 12:47 am

    Good response!

  80. Jack Quanstrum - January 28, 2018 12:53 am

    To the person who wrote to you! Why be concerned about it. The words Seans write speak for themselves. In fruit, there is not just apples. Does the blueberry say to the Apple, I have to fit the mold of a apple otherwise I will not be okay. Absolutely not.

  81. Judi Sprayberry - January 28, 2018 1:18 am

    Well Sean, you get all kinds.
    Actually my husband and I are missionaries to Africa. We encounter all kinds of people. We see suffering, hunger, wickedness, envy, hate, abuse, witchcraft and the list goes on and on. We hear all kinds of language. We may not know what they are saying sometimes but we know the tone of it. ? We still love them. Bad people do what bad people do. They don’t know any other way. I’m not at ALL saying that you are a bad person (Not from what I’ve read). Some of our most treasured family and friends frequently use language we wouldn’t use any more. (Well rarely an outburst of profanity accidentally escapes! ??) it doesn’t mean we don’t love our family and friends. However we don’t call them down on their obscenities either. (Since our kids are grown) I’m sure they hold back on some of the worst ones that wear through our armor though and we really appreciate that. The thing is as a Christian we have a more powerful tool than voicing our disapproval. We have love. We also have prayer. We can pray for them if we are adversely affected by them or confused about where they stand in the ‘Christian’ realm. It’s not my job to tell them how to live their lives. I am freed from that job. It belongs to the Spirit of The Creator of the Universe. Some people refer to him/her/neither/either/both (?) as the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. In any case It’s the Spirit of God that has to convict them as God wills. My job is to tell them how much God Loves them and how He sent a man to show us what He’s like. How His immense love for us was and is still poured out upon us daily. Especially if we are willing to hear and receive it. Our job is to love them unconditionally and show them what real love is.

    We have to remember that people’s perceptions are their realities. Some people grow up in such a sterile environment that they never see the world as it really is. They never let themselves be exposed to people out of their own way of thinking. They forget that Jesus was a friend of sinners. They forget He said we shouldn’t judge others. It just gets us into so much trouble and digs us our own holes to flounder in. He knew that, that’s why he said it. Above all things He loved God with all His heart, soul and mind and He loved all people. When He was asked He said that was the most important of ALL commandments.

    I truly believe you are on the right track. 1 Cor.13 lays it all out.

    Don’t be condemned by those who may think they are better. They are not. You keep on loving and seeking out that Light. You’ve had a real experience that many people never have.

    On the other hand I also feel that there are many Christains who have NEVER been exposed to profanity because they have sat in church pews every Sunday of their lives and listened to what Jesus says we should do but have never gotten out and done what He says! Just how many years does one have to sit in the pew?? Believe me I know! I WAS one of them! We didn’t even think to go looking and do anything for the weary, starving, lonely, needy, suffering, profane, deserted, rejected, abused, molested, beaten, except put money in the offering plate so someone else could do it. We didn’t think to go love on those people who we would perceive as the most difficult to love. Many times it’s all we can give and it’s what they need the most There are folks who have no idea that maybe it’s the heart that matters the most and not the few words of what they hear as profanity that may be common to some but not to them. Am I judging? Hmmmm ? if I am, I’m judging who I was not who I hope to be.

    You just keep on writing the good stuff we love to read! It makes us feel there is still good in the world! It gives us hope. Oh yeah, and loving. Keep on LOVIN! It’s the MOST important thing after all!

  82. Jackie Darnell - January 28, 2018 1:26 am

    Well dadgummit, I reckon you are gonna be you. So as my mama said at least 65 years ago. Jack be yourself, everyone else is taken.

    I doubt it was original even in the 40-50s era. But shucks go ahead, be you. I love starting the day with you.

  83. Julie Stovall - January 28, 2018 2:03 am

    According to this person : A Christian is someone who does not use swear words; i.e., “sin”. Sorry, but there are no perfect people of any faith or flavor. I, too, occasionally slip over to the dark side of senility and emotions and words seep through that are not suitable for framing. I believe that Sean has experienced a hardscrable existence and has pulled through with a tender, appreciative overview of his fellow man. I am grateful for his love of humanity because so often I forget my own. Reading his posts are a positive and soul-fulfilling experience. Thank you, Sean.

  84. Shirley Barbaree - January 28, 2018 2:10 am

    Sending you hugs, Sean…May God continue to bless you, young man!

  85. Gail - January 28, 2018 3:42 am

    The Lord can make something good out of something quite sad. I’m blessed by your story, because the Lord became real to you, and guided you out of your depths. Love is the only answer to all of the problems in this life.

  86. Buck Godwin - January 28, 2018 6:16 am

    Sean, from everything I read that you write I feel like you are living your life very much according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. What is your thought process that won’t allow you to say you are a Christian? We Christians are a sinful lot, much like you, but also much like you we strive to think on the good and reputable things in life.
    Your readers love you Sean and we would love for you to cease denying Christ!

  87. Bruce - January 28, 2018 2:56 pm

    Takes one to know one?

  88. Sandra Smith - January 28, 2018 3:37 pm

    I don’t care what anybody says. I believe you are the WRITER you ARE, BECAUSE, you are absolutely, FULL of JESUS !
    With, the trials and tribulations, you’ve experienced in your life, you could, EASILY have “gone to the Devil” as Grandma used to say.
    Instead, you chose to overcome, and hold onto the Blessing’s & the joy, and it pours out of your WRITING, like a waterfall cascading down a spot of Alabama high country, that speaks to your soul, like JESUS is shouting at’cha.
    THANK YOU, for choosing to be that kind of man, and for sharing it with us, as a WRITER !!!

  89. Charlotte Hollis - January 28, 2018 8:05 pm

    And God is love……any way you slice it!

  90. Pam Bishop - January 28, 2018 9:53 pm

    I’m not part of her “what everybody’s thinking”.

  91. Meg J - January 29, 2018 2:53 pm

    What kind of writer are you? A good one and with love, you are becoming a great one. Keep up the love.

  92. john colson - January 29, 2018 3:17 pm

    Well said, brother. Americans really do love their labels, and will pitch a fit when they can’t find which box to pull out and stick you in.

  93. Ruth Watts - January 29, 2018 5:14 pm

    I love your writings, stay in the SON light!!! Wish I had a brother like you!!!

  94. Judy Riley - January 29, 2018 7:16 pm

    I grew up in a blue collar family also…and there weren’t any “curse” words…they were “cuss” words. I never heard anything worse than “Hells Bells”, Shit fire and save matches, or just shit fire and damn. I don’t consider these “curse” words. I consider it a way to express yourself. So you just keep on talkin’ the way Sean talks….cause all us “blue collar” people understand where you are comin’ from! You have yourself a “helluva” day!!

    My heart aches for that little twelve year old boy screaming in the shower. I did the same thing when I lost my 16 year old baby son in an auto accident……and my anguish does not compare to yours because of the circumstances of the death, but I do know about big holes in the heart…..You are a good boy, Charlie Brown!!

  95. Summer Hartzog - January 29, 2018 7:27 pm

    The best sermons are lived, not preached. And so are the worst. To quote perhaps an even better known Christian theme “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” If you’re not a Christian, Sean, you sure fooled me. Blessings to you and keep it coming!

  96. ponder304 - January 31, 2018 4:47 pm

    Christ is love. Nuff said!?

  97. Mary Anne - January 31, 2018 5:47 pm

    I love you just the way you are. Every time I read something you write. You are a great Writer! Keep on keepin’ on, please. Jesus loves you and all your readers love you. That should be quite enough.

  98. KAREN - February 1, 2018 4:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a heart felt letter. Yes, you are a writer of truth, what is real and what is on your mind. You write what you see, hear and what you feel. You write about heart, soul and love for man kind. I believe in you and wish there were more people like you in this difficult world. If we loved one another more and respected others more, how different this world might be. God Bless You and thank you for your words of truth and honesty!

  99. Lisa - February 2, 2018 6:37 pm

    You are a gifted writer. Your words make me think and I like that!

  100. I Get It - February 19, 2018 8:09 pm

    Dear Sean,
    I, too, am an unwilling member of the Suicide Survivor’s Club. A lousy organization it is, nobody wants to be there. The initiation really sucks. I got my membership card the day my dad’s PTSD and depression got too big for him to fight anymore and he shut them up with a .38 bullet to his brain.

    My “in the shower moment” came on the side of Hwy 331 just south of Montgomery a few weeks after It Happened. I had held up really well, I thought, getting through the awfulness of the funeral and helping my mom wade her way through all the chaos of such a horror. I was on my way home to her that weekend when my car started pulling a bit to one side. I never could remember if that meant my car was out of alignment or my tires needed adjusting. Without thinking I mused to myself, “I’ll ask Daddy when I get home. He’ll know.”

    And then it hit me. Like a 2×4 to the stomach. I couldn’t breathe. I was suddenly sobbing so hard that I couldn’t see the road. I swerved to the shoulder of the road, threw the car in park with dirt flying, and sat there, unable to move. Crying. Wailing. Screaming. I couldn’t have stopped if I’d had to. All that burning pain I had bottled up while I took care of everybody else came pouring out in big, hot tears.

    And yeah, I swore. A blue streak that would have made a longshoreman blush. Words I didn’t even realize I knew. It’s a good thing my mama couldn’t hear me or I’d probably have become an orphan on the spot, cause she’d have died herself hearing what I said. I never cursed God because I knew it wasn’t His fault. I cursed because It Happened. I cursed because it put my family on our knees in agony. I cursed because my daddy was put through such hell. Because “Dang it to heck!” wasn’t going to do it.

    And you know what? I’m pretty sure God understood. I know that because He understands what it feels like to lose someone who means everything to you. He understood how bad I was hurting, and His love wasn’t limited by my words. He doesn’t only love me when I’m “good”. He finds me, even on the side of the road, in my worst moments, and puts His loving arms around me. And that’s what He did that day, just like He did with you in the shower. He held me there and let me know that I wasn’t alone in the darkness. He was with me. And he’s been with me every day in the years since. And a little salty language can’t keep me from His reach.

    I don’t know what people do in these situations without God, I really don’t. But I do know this- you, Sean, have a gift and God wants you to use it. Your writing ministers to so many of us. Your words soothe our hurting hearts in ways that self righteous, “perfect living” people never could. You show us the things in life that Satan tries to tell us are not there, the sweetness, the true good that exists in the world. The joy that God wants us to see and know. Your priorities are in the right place, unlike those who key on a single word and miss the whole message in the process. And your VERY mild “cuss words” aren’t out of place when they express real emotions and honest feelings.

    So keep on keeping it real, Sean. Keep on writing and pursuing the mission God put you here on this big ‘ol hurting world for. Because we need you. We need you to help us find the good, the true, and the beautiful through the jungle of weirdness, hatred, ugliness, and fear that the news tells us this world is made of. Keep seeing beyond all that and tell the rest of us how to see it with you. Because some of us know all too well about the ugliness, and you are a life preserver God throws us every morning. You are doing good work, my friend, DAMN good work, and I’m pretty sure that God is very pleased with you.

    Love and hugs from the NW FL “chapter” of the “club”.

  101. Debbie - April 20, 2018 9:02 am

    Shower-crying. Know it well.

  102. Laura Goslee - April 20, 2018 12:50 pm

    Thank you for reaching out with the love that held you. Our hearts break for the sorrow you and your family walked through. May His Love continue to pour into and out from you dear one.

  103. Susan Postier - April 20, 2018 2:40 pm

    Sending my gratitude for finding you … one of my favorite WRITERS. By the way – you have lots of fans who love you here in Tulsa … come see us! You can visit the ‘island’ … by the way my grandfather was a Dietrich – we might be COUSINS!

  104. Katy - May 30, 2018 4:54 pm

    You are one of my favorite writers. I don’t get the opportunity to read your stories every day, but when i do I gobble up several in a sitting. Your stories touch me and make me glad that you are a writer. You relate so well and all me to feel things, through your writings, that i don;t always allow myself to feel. I am thankful for that love that you feel. That love that you believe in. I feel it each time I read one of your stories. Thank you for that, Sean. You are a blessing to many!

    p.s. Shower crying…I am well acquainted with shower crying.


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