Stepping Into the Beautiful Mess

Perched on the balcony, like the Black and White Doel¹ that serenaded me from the windowsill in the spring, I watched over my little corner of the world. In the most densely populated city on earth, that one little intersection of Road Six and Safwan Road felt like a microcosm of humanity itself.  I would […]

The Beauty of Community

Jane Harper’s books transport the readers to some of the most challenging locations in Australia and its surrounding areas. She regularly sets her stories in inhospitable locations like the infamous outback such as in The Lost Man or a remote seaside village in Tasmania in The Survivors. Both of these books are murder mysteries but […]

Where Truth Lies

You’ve seen it. In rush-hour traffic or the drop-off lane. Bumper Sticker Theology: Big letters. Bright backgrounds. Bold and brief statements . . . About eternity. A precursor to the Socials’ holy eye candy, Christian bumper stickers pack the one-two punch of VISIBILITY and IRRITABILITY for captive audiences. Like their political counterparts, critics have responded […]

A Spool of Thread and a Piece of Pie

I was searching for a spool of black thread last summer. I couldn’t find one. Supplies were depleted in brick and mortar stores, and nothing was available at the online marketplace named after a gargantuan river. A simple roll of black thread proved to be a scarce commodity. All I needed to do was mend […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

Broken Body

The Deacon walked from group to group administering the sacraments. Each family stood masked, in front of their camp chairs, in an empty parking lot. Our church had pivoted during the pandemic, which allowed my husband and I to feel safe bringing our asthmatic 18-month old to worship. But while our church’s new protocols kept […]

Love Justice

I stand on a dirt path in the Philippines.   It has been raining for weeks. The path is muddy and rocky where rivulets of water have washed away the dirt.   Above me a young mama looks out the window. The frame of an open window.   There is no glass pane on the […]

Releasing All But the Main Thing

 “In every circumstance, regardless of the outcome, the main thing Jesus has asked me to do is to love God and my neighbor as religiously as I love myself. The minute I have that handled, I will ask for my next assignment. For now, my hands are full.”[1]   The Main Thing is Seeing All […]

Simplicity and Justice

I remember Tom and Jerry, Leave it to Beaver, and Sunday paper with comics mom cut out and taped on the refrigerator door. I remember Laurel & Hardy, The Rifleman, and watching boxing or NFL with Dad in between Sunday services when I was supposed to be napping on the bed or on the floor. […]

Simply Writing

Recently I began the practice of handwriting verses in calligraphy. Fingers grasped around a pen, slow movement forms each letter, each word, each phrase. This intentional placement on a vellum page brings me peace and focus. Ink outlines the meaning of each line, causing me to ponder….why did the author choose this word? What meaning […]

Complication and Contentment

My first place was a two-bedroom apartment with a little porch that overlooked the lush green of Richmond, Virginia. I was a single mom of a curious two-year-old, so an apartment on the third floor added an extra layer of complication to my coming and going, but I preferred the inconvenience over the sound of […]

A Few Simple Words

A recent Twitter thread asked for folks to respond with six words that could change the world (with the hashtag #6wordworldchange). People responded with statements such as: “Help me understand what you mean.” “This is hard. I need help.” “I believe you. I’ll help you.” “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” “You have something to […]

Serving Simply

As I walked down the uneven sidewalk, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people swarming past me. Many carried umbrellas (though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky), some impossibly napped while squatting, while many others walked oblivious to the body spaces of others. This was a typical day walking in a city […]

The Simplest Gift

My nine-year-old broke his arm last weekend. He came running into the house with his arm in a weird zigzag and his younger siblings trailing in his wake. All three were gibbering away in a shell-shocked, confused kind of way. I bellowed at everyone to be quiet and then sent my patient into the kitchen […]

Elemental

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)   On this, my first empty-nested Mother’s Day, I am reminded of the goodness of the Lord. My babies are all grown-up-ish. This season of mothering has come to its end. God has a purpose for […]

True (Ghost) Stories

Dear Reader, There are those songs we all have in our heads . . . Some come and go. Others settle in for a season. Then there are the few that linger the longest—part of ghosts from the past, perhaps, that we can’t quite shake. This month’s theme, the virtue of simplicity, conjured up a […]