Putting on Christ (Revelations from an Airport Bathroom)

I leave more than the stale air of a thirteen-hour plane ride behind in the airport bathroom stall. When I emerge into the terminal in Istanbul, I feel like a new person altogether. I had walked off the plane still wearing the evidence of the life I left behind in Bangladesh. I wore a salwar […]

There is no integrity without GRIT

I considered writing about my wish to offer some magic bullet encouragement. About wishing that I could assure you that everything is going to be alright, and that if your prayers are fervent enough, you’ve lived sufficiently righteously, etc., essentially held your breath long enough, bearing your burdens in silence, then everything would be okay. […]

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 […]

Subversive Celebrations

The entrance to the seafood restaurant is flanked by a series of large windows. Inside I see white folks sit at the bar laughing, and nursing glasses of wine. Some glance as we pass, following us as we enter through the wooden door. We are here to celebrate Jonathan—our son graduated from college today. At […]

Mothering in Black, White and Red

When I was very small, my mom only bought me black baby dolls because she wanted to do right by me.  She was familiar with the studies where little brown girls reject black baby dolls and she wanted to be sure, as a white mother of brown daughters, that she was raising my sister and […]

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 […]

Four From The Night, Four From Anywhere

1. Traffic Light When I slow to a stop at the traffic light, I notice a police car flashing blue into the darkness. A few feet away, a man stuffs his hands in his pockets and leans back against a dented trunk. I stare at this man with skin like mine. This man in a […]

See, Say, Spell, Repeat

“Could you spell that?” My name. You ask about my name. Countless times. Almost every week, in fact, you ask me to repeat or spell my name. For years, I lamented the fact I did not have a simple American nickname to make this part of life easier, for you and me both. When I […]

Longing for Rest

I say a prayer over both kids instead of praying for them individually as I do when I take my time. I rush through my usual night script: “IloveyouDaddylovesyouButwholovesyouthemost?” and they yell back, “God!” My “good night” barely slips through the door I’m already closing behind me, and my whole body sighs. I’m done. I’m […]