Preach Hope to Me: I’m Afraid That My Inner Jackass Is My Real Me

I heard an analysis of a sermon recently. One commentator said to another, “I shouldn’t leave and walk out feeling good about myself.” Really? I’ve been in churches like that—where as one of my friends said, you’re just crap on a plate, covered with a veneer of Jesus. When I was clinically depressed for a […]

Encouragement in a Time of Cynicism

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend, and the subject of her immigration status came up. She currently has protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program–an executive action under President Obama that provided legal status for those who were brought to the U.S. as children; often, they are called DREAMers. […]

Centered. Unapologetic.

I am Centered. I am Unapologetic. In due season, I praise God for everything I never got. I am not, by nature, given first to gratitude, though I am deeply, profoundly grateful. I am by nature “…of a few days and full of trouble.” First of all, I conformed, or so I tried. I sat […]

The Grito as Prayer

I watched her draw in a deep gulp of air, opening her airway, chest firm and ready for battle. La Maestra closed her eyes, and on her mark, in unison, twenty-two of us let out a hum whose vibrations and frequencies resonated across our torsos. We could feel each other without touching. From where our […]

Believing

Spring has been slow in coming this year. Winter has lingered far beyond its welcome. There have been days, weeks even, when it seemed that perhaps this year, spring would not return. I’ve resented the freezing temperatures and the need for sweaters, wool socks, gloves, and coats. I’ve been ready to move on for weeks. […]

Being is the Greatest Act of Resistance

Birds are our greatest storytellers. Consider the ruby-throated hummingbird migrating from Central America to Eastern North America. These pajaritos carry generations of story within themselves. They are vessels of witness migrating from one place to another, much like humanity, and how stories themselves migrate across generations. Birds do not worry about belonging. Their work is […]

He Is with Us

As my brain was being scanned to rule out any spread of the breast cancer I was working so hard to eliminate, I struggled with claustrophobia and fear. I shifted my thoughts and began to pray. Almost immediately, I felt the unmistakeable peace and calm of God’s presence. It was nearly palpable, as if Jesus […]

Doing or Being?

“Turn left. At a quarter of a mile turn right.” When my husband and I get in the car at our home in the Chicago area to visit relatives in Missouri, we plug in our GPS device and get directions for every turn. And turn we do, left and right and left again…until we get […]

You are Woman: You Belong

We sat on the curb at the edge of the elementary school playground. Five friends huddled around me, my white plastic three-ring binder with the words “Mon Amis” written on it. We were starting an exclusive club — a club where we had things like codes and friendship pledges and anything I could use to […]