Learning the Language of Hope

Shame was a language I learned early, right along with how to say “please” and “thank you.” There was an unspoken etiquette we learned growing up in the Southern United States. The tea should be sweet. You should address people older than you as “ma’am” and “sir.” I knew the taste of collard greens and […]

Another Thorn, Another Rose (Mental Illness as a Blessing)

I fight against harm perpetrated both by the myth of the Strong Black Woman and the stigma my culture attaches to mental illness every day. Since 1619, America nurtures me to mute my emotions, my pain, and my fear.

Of Bread and Hope

This is a story about yeast. Schools have been closed for three weeks when we enter into Holy Week. Playgrounds are shuttered; church has gone virtual. A friend of ours has moved away to be closer to family during the pandemic, and my eight-year-old daughter is absolutely indignant. “Allison’s leaving?!?” my daughter expostulates—reminding me, as […]

Couplehood & COVID-19 Perfect Together?

It’s been 3 weeks. Maybe it’s been 4. Living in the shadow of NYC where My Beloved and I have plied our trades for the majority of our careers, we are currently sheltered-in-place. The good news is we are both safe. The good news is we are fully engaged each day, so as not to […]

The Good Catastrophe

  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting […]

Teaching Me Hope

The day I crossed from green to brown, from chirping birds to revving motorbikes, she wore a pink headband and a faux fur collared coat. She was already waiting on the couch, in between the nursing mama and the wife of our host, one of the 6 women he had summoned to the corrugated metal […]

Excerpt from A Prayer for Orion by Katherine James

 Editor’s Note: Kate James has written a vibrant memoir about her son’s battle with heroin, and her own experience during that time. This is an important book and we highly recommend it. Kate generously allowed us to use an excerpt today as her book launches! Few parents can say the word heroin. It took me […]

The Magi

Editor’s Note on “The Magi:” A dear friend recently confided that she loves the Season of Epiphany (beginning in early January) but secretly dreads its first Sunday. Just as Christmas is neatly tucked away, her church musters up one last pageant to remember the Magi. Far from the orchestrated order and beauty of Advent’s Nativity […]

Not So January White

I went through three Advent calendars this year.  The chocolate kind; maybe it was four. One was my daughter’s. I was forgiven upon upgrading it to a higher-caliber chocolate one. Eventually I ate that too, and we settled out of court. Psychoanalysis of this penchant leads me down infinite rabbit trails, so I’m sticking with […]

Is Love Worth the Pain?

For the first year and a half, I called out her name.  Over and over again, I would startle myself awake once I had barely fallen asleep. My arm would shoot out from my body in a desperate attempt to stop her, to catch her, to convince her to stay—the shout of her name went […]

Waiting Without

I am bad at waiting. There is no getting around it.  I wish I could tell you differently. I wish I had learned by now the grace of quietness, of stillness, of patience, but alas those marks of my growth in godliness come in fits and starts, sluggish to take deep root. They are the […]

My Ricocheting Heart

Today, the simple gray sock I hold in my hand becomes my new best friend. It must be magic; because here I am, just minding my own business, moving through this mundane laundry chore, when I come across this sock and feel it unlock a door deep within me. I am suddenly slingshotted back in […]