Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess”

My five-month-old just fell asleep. Now I have anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to “get something done.” This phenomenon of sporadic, indefinite hands-free time is something that’s hard for folks who are not immersed in parenting young children to understand. Even those of us who’ve been through it often develop a gauzy memoryContinue reading “Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess””

Walking in beauty

No matter what the season, God helps me to find the beauty in the neighborhood in which I live. Perhaps one of my biggest struggles as I develop my spiritual practices and prayer life is staying in the present moment. I find my attention wandering not only during prayer, but during meals and conversations withContinue reading “Walking in beauty”

The peace we’ve been given

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. –John 14:27 as light reflecting on choppy water as inner gladness erupting laughter as opening buds widen self-giving as birdsongs echo across valleys, hillsContinue reading “The peace we’ve been given”

For We Know Not What We Do

The world that surrounds us is daunting,        too many voices speak truth        and prophetic words from false prophets sow division. God cannot be both compassionate and a defense through which morality props up the unjust But the most persuasive voices        can tailor the emperor’s clothes to align with God’s will or is it man’s? SoContinue reading “For We Know Not What We Do”

As dust

Oh God, who desire not the death of sinners, but their conversion, mercifully hear our prayers and in your kindness be pleased to bless these ashes, which we intend to receive upon our heads, that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes shall return to dust, may, through a steadfast observance of Lent, gain pardon for sinsContinue reading “As dust”

Look down the line

In this moment, upon this crack, this still space of time — let yourself open wide. See the space before and beyond. Look down the line of time that ticks and see the spaces where you once stood. Notice how you — at times — held horror in your bones. Study the scars on yourContinue reading “Look down the line”

How Do Words Become Flesh?

This womb of mine will not know the pangs of pregnancy. My skin will not tighten when another body becomes part of my flesh. My inner organs will not shift to make room; my ankles will not swell; my appetite will not increase because my body is making another person. This womb is empty, creased.Continue reading “How Do Words Become Flesh?”

The myth of the self-made person and the true demand of discipleship

A week ago, I sat among a circle of women at the local county jail. The fluorescent lights shined brightly overhead as we discussed Bible verses and prayed together, as we marveled about the challenges of being good. We laughed, nodded and spoke vulnerably with one another about how tough it can be to beContinue reading “The myth of the self-made person and the true demand of discipleship”

Headlines and prophets: a conversation

McDonald’s workers go on strike over sexual harassment  “Yes, I’m on my  way to visit you with Judgement. I’ll press compelling evidence against sorcerers, adulterers, liars, those who exploit workers, those who take advantage of widows and orphans, those who are inhospitable to the homeless — anyone and everyone who doesn’t honor me.” In NorthContinue reading “Headlines and prophets: a conversation”

An invitation

As we walk along, feet stir dust and crack tiny twigs—once members of a great tree they now lie as individuals dismissed, forgotten. The brightness of once-was is waning as green fades into yellow and the decay of vibrancy is apparent in the log, the stump, the browning ferns drooping toward the ground. The worldContinue reading “An invitation”