Finding Quiet For Our Disquiet Souls

“I accept whatever He gives and I give whatever He takes.” – Teresa of Calcutta It’s not something you talk about in polite company—not being quite okay and being willing to admit it. When people ask how are you, they don’t expect an honest answer. I know; I’ve been answering honestly for months, unable to […]

Life Lived From the Middle

I bristled when I received a message from an editor at a publishing house asking if I was working on any projects. “I can’t write a book now,” I thought. “I’m still living in this messy space of transition between Asia and America, between old dreams dying and not yet discovering the new. Standing on […]

Finding Another Piece of the Puzzle (On Why I Jumped On the Enneagram Bandwagon)

They were the kind of sobs that you feel like rock your whole body in such a way that something must certainly shake loose from your heart. They were the kind of tears that feel like they reach back years in time, pulling up issues you didn’t know you were concealing. Those tears snuck up […]

Don’t Be Afraid of the Unraveling

Life is not a matter of creating a special name for ourselves, but of uncovering the name we have always had. – Richard Rohr My sense of the self I try to project, the name I hope to make for myself, started to unravel one day when I was deep in my own thoughts, walking […]

Calling Our Bodies Our Own (Coming Out of Hiding)

My breasts and bottom were fair game for open discussion; I learned this early in life…Always the message was clear – your body is ours to look at, to scrutinize, and to judge. After years of my body belonging to others, I just want it to be mine.

May You Bloom

There’s something inside you waiting to unfurl. It is quietly growing beneath the surface. You can feel it gathering itself up, the momentum of its growth building. How it began is a mystery. What it will become is yet to be seen—even to you. But in its time, if you nurture it well, it will […]

Our Hope Rises Higher

Surveying the damage, they can’t imagine life again after the storm. They can’t yet see the trees that will grow to replace those pulled up by their roots. They can’t picture anything flourishing again in this place of devastation. *** Looking out at the endless sea of cars sitting on the interstate, I felt restless […]

A Letter to My Muslim Sisters

I don’t remember your name. I do remember your laughter, your patience when you helped me with my pronunciation of sounds that are difficult for the English-trained tongue. I never saw you again after our college Arabic class ended but the look in your eyes has remained with me all these years—the fear and sorrow […]

Zen and the Art of Acceptance

My sister and I sat cross-legged, waiting to learn about meditation. Someone filled the little porcelain cups with steaming green tea; they grew warm in our hands. I looked around the makeshift temple in what looked like it used to be a gas station. Bars on the windows reminded us we were in the heart […]

Remembering How to Fly

I can’t tell you who helped me get to the University medical center or to hobble back to my dorm on crutches. I can’t recall exactly what the doctor said or much of the resulting physical therapy. But I can tell you the exact step I was trying to land when I, instead, found myself […]

Putting on Christ (Revelations from an Airport Bathroom)

I leave more than the stale air of a thirteen-hour plane ride behind in the airport bathroom stall. When I emerge into the terminal in Istanbul, I feel like a new person altogether. I had walked off the plane still wearing the evidence of the life I left behind in Bangladesh. I wore a salwar […]

Witnesses to Our Rebirths

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. -1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT I don’t recognize her anymore. Her short hair […]