“Liam” is a literary creation, a conflation of many young people I know. The name means “warrior,” “of strong will.” He is a college student, 21, intelligent, hard-working, charismatic, experimenting in many ways. He was raised in Christ, but there was a lot of trouble and some dysfunction in his family. He is challenged by the Word of Christ and by the influence of his peers and the world. Most of the names and events described in these pastoral letter/sermons for the Sundays in Lent are either fictionalized, a conflation, or have been significantly revised to protect the identities of those involved. —Rev. Lance A. O’Donnell

Read – Letters to Liam, No. 5: Crying in the Darkness