Dear Portia: Do I forgive my church family, or speak up?

Dear Portia, Several years ago, our family got involved in fostering children with significant medical needs. The nudge to do so came from the teachings of our church…to love God and to love people. But, the very church family who encouraged us to jump in did not throw the life-preserver we expected. Fostering got hard. […]

Forgive or Fester

Healing of the body is painful and can take what seems like forever. With doctors telling you step by step what to do or what not to do, it’s pretty straightforward. However, healing ones’ soul is a different beast. You can turn to friends, counselors and the Bible but trying to heal your soul and […]

People Have the Power to Heal

I have become such an independent person, in part because I have so often found myself alone in the midst of deep pain. In those moments, I usually either crumble or swallow the pain down, and do what I have to do to survive. But that is isolating; it is an unhealthy way to be […]

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 […]

Lament and Celebration As Soul Care

Silently, we sit around in a circle as my co-worker picks up the first candle, speaking a name and a prayer as she lights the wick and sets the tiny flame down in the middle of the table.  We each follow suit, one prayer and tongue of fire after another. God, we don’t know where […]

A Prayer for Resilience in the Face of White Supremacy

I can feel the ground crying out From all the blood that’s been shed The earth is tired of absorbing These bodies These bones These people who are living on our land But have never found home   The wind catching their breath as they pray The rain multiplying the tears Creation is groaning and […]

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 […]

White Privilege Means I Can Look the Other Way. It’s Got to Stop.

What do we do in the wake of Charlottesville? What good are words on the Internet when hate, death, and violence are the order of the day? How does one white woman writer with a small platform engage issues of racism now — when videos show us how hate mushrooms, how the image of God […]