Place

The Recipe of Me

We are noisy, we cousins gathered around the long wooden table smack in the middle of the restaurant. Melissa leans over our shoulders to place multiple plates of fresh lumpia down in the center. We clamor over each other, elbows flying, to grab the freshly fried spring rolls between our fingers and dip them into […]

Post-Reflections on the Buffalo, New York Shooting Massacre

Discerning the Content of my Heart As a little girl, the Walnut Park Fred Meyer’s felt more like church or a mini family reunion rather than a grocery store. Centered at the heart of our small Black community—laughter, joy and service stocked shelves and overstuffed aisles.  I witnessed the practice of unconditional love and collective […]

What We Waive

Here, between the corners of this flat, concrete square— is the crushing weight of contradiction, everywhere: Cameras, hidden, in pedestrian plain sight. One guard pats me down at the fence with steely, cold precision— while a second scolds a tiny toddler squeezing through another. (The one that protects the towering monument above from an onslaught […]

Of Thorns and Skin

Listen to the audio recording of Prasanta’s words here, or read her piece below: Of Thorns and Skin Your Task Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.*   A long wind brushes its fingers through the trees […]

Seasons of Community

The summer sun is high, although the afternoon clock inches toward six. The sprinkler water play in my front yard has turned into mud soup creations. I watch my children as they gather ingredients with the neighbor kids. Buckets hold their pulled-up weeds and mud. Garden tools turn into mixing spoons.  I yell towards the […]

Grace in the Middle

Editor’s Note: Don’t miss the audio addition of Nicole’s piece below – where she narrates her  journey into liminal spaces and delves deeper into finding grace there . . . in the middle. (The Mudroom Podcast, Episode 5) I was falling behind, dragging them down. I glimpsed it on their little faces—the fear gathering in […]

Sacred Thresholds

Liminal space, where the kingdom of God somehow reaches us, calls out and touches us where we are. These thin places of sacred longing and knowing happen often in prayer, but we may also simply stumble upon them. This needn’t be on a windswept beach in the grey light of nearly dawn, they can hit […]

The Space Between

A row of trees greets me every time I leave my house. Barren in winter, budding in spring, and lush green throughout the summer, they provide a safe canopy over the road on which I live. The transformation of my street in the fall, my favorite season, always makes my heart swell. Burnt orange and […]

Podcast: What Are You Afraid Of?

Season 1, Episode 4 Catherine McNiel is asking this question of herself and others: “What are you afraid of?” Why, she asks, are we, as Christ-followers, often taught to fear our neighbors, withhold hospitality from strangers, and vilify the “others”–those whose beliefs, appearances, and lives look different than our own and perceive them as a […]

We’re Doing a New Thing!

We Turned 7! Today marks the 7th anniversary of The Mudroom!   It started with a dream I had to create a space where everyone was welcomed, whether you were a published author or submitting for the first time. It was going to be a place where writers weren’t competing for spots in a spirit […]

Cloud by Day (Fire by Night) 

Walter Breugeman talks a lot about the pharaoh the Israelites left behind. He says pharaoh is a stand-in for all the empires that have ever been: Egypt. Rome. Western capitalism.    I remember being shocked in college when I first heard somebody question capitalism. You can question that? I thought. Boy, can you!  As an economy, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stumbling to Stability

When the darkness closes in around us, will we still know that God is good? When the storms rage inside, will we be able to abide in the truth that Jesus will be with us to the very end of the age? What keeps us anchored to God in times like these? We, too, need something to keep us steadfast when it would be easier to cut ties and run from communities of faith that seem to be crumbling all around us. 

There is no place we can magically find God, no one Christian tradition or person who holds the answers. We all spend our life in the slow, stumbling surrender to the mystery

What’s in Amanda Gorman’s Name

You know her titles: National Youth Poet Laureate. Inaugural poet (youngest ever). Harvard University graduate. Super Bowl show-stopper. Amanda Gorman: The one with her hand uniquely positioned on the pulse of a nation past, present, and future. But from a recent interview with Michelle Obama (Time Magazine),1did you know this about her name? “President Biden […]