Suffering

Psalm to Mom

You’re not my own but you read me to bed, and tickles me to the bone love how my fat cheeks dimple up. And I’m barely two and my curls are brand new. And you don’t know what she’s doing,  trying to make my braids, Put your head down, hold your head down, hold it […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]

Wishing Pokemon Were Real: A Story of Autism

There’s no band aid for this, no kissing it away, no telling her it will feel better tomorrow. Because it may not. Tomorrow feels very far away when she is shrieking in frustration, when she is nearly inconsolable. I can’t comfort my baby girl. No matter how many truths I tell her, no matter the amount […]

Healing from Depression

When the moon rolls out of the sky And you are strangled with darkness.   When the trees have lost their leaves And stand in surrender to winter.   When every word is a suicide note And your face is dry from crying.   This is when hope arrives Like a hurricane of joy   […]

Do You Really Want to Get Well?

The first time I came across the passage in John 5, I felt slightly irritated. Afterwards Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish religious holidays. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was Bethesda Pool, with five covered platforms or porches surrounding it. Crowds of sick folks—lame, blind, or with paralyzed limbs—lay on […]

Cure vs. Healing

I always thought Cure and Healing were synonymous, but I’m learning to redefine them. It’s like this: I used to enjoy going to the doctor. There was a big, old-fashioned rocking horse in the waiting room, which you could take a turn on. My mother pointed at my throat, the doctor put a lolly stick […]

When Healing Doesn’t Come

Healing. It’s such a tender word, soft even on the tongue. It sounds like what it is—purposeful, lovely, complete. It’s something I’ve longed for every day for the last two decades. And yet no matter how much I’ve prayed or ached, I am still not fully healed. I developed trichotillomania—a hair-pulling condition—as a child. Twenty-odd […]

Dear Portia: My friend got healed, and I didn’t.

Dear Portia, I keep praying for healing, and I am not healed, but someone else in my circle did get healed and I am trying to be okay with this but I am not. A Dear A, Is it even possible to address your question without using some sort of unhelpful or even offensive platitude? […]

When Healing Looks Like Boredom

The suburbs and the country scared me as kid. There were too many dead ends and cul-de-sacs, not enough lights. The vastness of open fields and the emptiness of woods caused dread and panic to rise in me and I would find myself looking around me, behind, feeling exposed and unsafe. When I was 7 […]

Restoration After Exile

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! […]

Portrait of A Both Girl

I am not black. I am not white. I am somewhere between the ink and the page, the word that is blurred      out. I am not what you assume She speaks Spanish… can’t quite place her…. definitely not from around here I am from around here. I grew up down that stone road […]

Saving Myself

  “Oh, how much sadness and sorrow and suffering there is in the world, both in the open and in secret.” – Vincent van Gogh   Who can discover their own worth when time and sickness have worked so hard to convince them it is a myth? *** I sing a solo when I am […]