A complicated patriotism

Years ago, during a Fourth of July parade, I had a panic attack. Fresh back to the United States after studying abroad for six months and foggy with jet lag, I felt dizzy and overwhelmed among the swarm of white people speaking English, waving flags, eating candy and donned in red, white and blue. ThenContinue reading “A complicated patriotism”

Dead man on the sidewalk

He is lying in the middle of the street, wrapped in a blanket, semiconscious. Earlier, someone was concerned enough to call the paramedics. The paramedics picked him up by the arms, dragged him to the sidewalk, determined he did not need medical transport, and left. When the paramedics find him, nobody is with him. NoContinue reading “Dead man on the sidewalk”

This complicated, imperfect world: an essay

I have always been hesitant to rock the boat; to challenge another’s opinion. As much as I would like to think otherwise, I don’t often get my feet muddy or my hair wet. The dirt splattered across my pants comes from my daughter jumping into a rain puddle, not me. I am usually complacent, confined to theContinue reading “This complicated, imperfect world: an essay”

God make us poor and nonviolent like St. Francis

Happy St. Francis Day! In light of all that is making humanity hurt far and near—the evils of greed, economic inequalities, environmental destruction, endless war and gun-violence—on this ordinary and holy day, I find that my heart desires to emulate two particular aspects of St. Francis’ prophetic life from 800 years ago. I am prayingContinue reading “God make us poor and nonviolent like St. Francis”

The skin I didn’t ask for: Bemoaning my white privilege and the evil of racial violence

I am afraid this blog post is going to be a terrible, tangled mess: sorry about that. But considering the mess this is all about, a jumble might be the best I can give. My thoughts are tangled because so much has been stirring within me since last week when I learned about the killingsContinue reading “The skin I didn’t ask for: Bemoaning my white privilege and the evil of racial violence”

Clothing bales and hurting more than we help

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to tour a recycling center. Much about my visit was interesting, but what I still remember most vividly are the giant clothing bales. During the tour it was explained to us that not all of the clothing we donate to thrift shops is redistributed locally; some is shipped abroad andContinue reading “Clothing bales and hurting more than we help”

Equal worth, unequal living

It’s Blog Action Day! The topic this year is inequality. I have a lot of passion about this. My experiences and awareness have formed a little fire about inequality to burn within me. Really, when I pray and think about this issue, much comes to mind. Limiting myself to just a few hundred words is goingContinue reading “Equal worth, unequal living”