Church

Minnie Vautrin: Staring Down Death

“The city is strangely silent—after all the bombing and shelling. Three dangers are past—that of looting [Chinese] soldiers, bombing from aeroplanes and shelling from big guns, but the fourth is still before us—our fate at the hands of a victorious army. People are very anxious tonight and do not know what to expect . . […]

Women Have a History

  “History is no longer just a chronicle of kings and statesmen, of people who wielded power, but of ordinary women and men engaged in manifold tasks. Women’s history is an assertion that women have a history.” ~Aparna Basu, Professor of History at the University of Delhi, India And what a history it is! From warriors like Boudica, Zenobia, […]

How Does it Feel, Now That You’re an Orphan?

The question surprised me, since I’d never thought of myself as an orphan, but I immediately recognized the truth of it.  With my father’s death some years ago and my mother’s death more recently, I had become part of the “older generation” in my family—fatherless, motherless, an orphan. My father’s death was the first death […]

Hope and Healing for the Sexually Broken

A heads up: this post is about pornography, lust, masturbation, and sexual orientation, but more importantly it’s about a woman calling out to God in her desperate need and God answering her with Himself. Before you read it, please remember something that normally goes without saying: people have the right to share their lived experiences, […]

I’m Not Going to Preach About Josh Duggar

I am not going to preach today about Josh Duggar and the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re all too addicted to these stories, of how the famous rise and fall. We have too much invested, in their fame in the first place, and then the […]

Hope is Too Heavy Sometimes

At 26 I was miraculously healed, but at 13 I started asking for healing. Sometimes people wonder why more people aren’t experiencing miracles, and I wonder sometimes if it is because we don’t understand how expensive hope is. I spent most of my teen years believing I would be healed. I went to every healing […]

The Regrets of a Middle-Aged Virgin

I’m a life-long singleton. I’ve been in love twice but never got as far a long-term relationship. The last time I kissed anyone with tenderness and passion was . . . well, a long time ago. I’m a middle-aged virgin. I remember the day I reluctantly confessed this to the practice nurse in my local […]

To the Pastors’ Wives Whose Marriages are Quietly Falling Apart

I’m a pastor’s wife. And sister, I know how it is. You smile for the family pictures. You corral your children Sunday after Sunday; just getting out the door in time for church feels like you’ve already run a marathon. Maybe you, like me, can feel resentment for this life bubble up now and again. […]

Las Posadas: Enacting the Paradox of Advent

Advent is a time of waiting, a longing for Messiah in a special way, looking back to the first coming of Jesus as a baby and forward to the second coming of Christ as King. Seasonal Scripture readings link both “advents,” making Advent a season of paradox. Christians celebrate an already-but-not-yet faith: Christ has come, […]

Treading Water: A Story of Domestic Violence

When you see me, you don’t know my secret. I hide it well. I share a story from shadows. My words must be spoken in whispers, in quiet places. For now.  He threw something at my head. It hit the target. Once he broke a chair and then threatened me. There was the time he […]

Fear and Faith in the Desert Places

I love Robert Frost’s poem “Desert Places.” Typical of Frost, the speaker in this poem describes a natural environment of forests, fields, and snow. But this isn’t a beautiful or peaceful place. Quite the opposite: it’s a place of darkness, cold, and isolation–it’s a menacing and threatening place. For me, the genius of the poem […]

Why My Family Reads Books with Working Class Characters

I’m driving down Lexington to drop off my daughter at her morning park and recreation camp. We pass over the railroad, and for the first time she notices the mobile homes to the right. It’s a “trailer court,” I tell her, and then I search for its synonyms: “trailer park…mobile home park.” “What’s it like […]