Church

Singleness & the Myth of Scarcity

“I’ve never known a love like this.” The refrain often found below posts of diamond rings and starry-eyed kisses. A declaration in the midst of thoughtful vows said in white dresses with peonies as far as the eye can see. “I’ve never known a love like this.” Printed on picture frames with tiny squishy baby […]

The Math of Friendship

Math has always been my hardest subject. I still count on my fingers and only know my times table by rote. If my life depended on solving a quadratic equation, I would be absent in the body and present with the Lord. But no math vexes me quite like the math of friendship with my […]

Transformation and Resurrection

I don’t often feel sweaty hands or pit-in-the-stomach nerves, but when I do, I know it must be time for the bi-annual sectional rehearsal of the church choir. It is a much-anticipated evening where I stand in front of sixty sopranos and answer all of their most difficult questions. Will I sing measure 81 for […]

When Hospitality is Radical

  She pauses, the doorbell’s eerie reverberations beat a note of panic through her veins. She wipes her hands on the linen apron wrapped around her and hurries to tell them to hide themselves in the basement or attic.   She breathes deeply, realizes this is the moment she and her husband have talked about, […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]