May You Bloom

There’s something inside you waiting to unfurl. It is quietly growing beneath the surface. You can feel it gathering itself up, the momentum of its growth building. How it began is a mystery. What it will become is yet to be seen—even to you. But in its time, if you nurture it well, it will […]

Our Hope Rises Higher

Surveying the damage, they can’t imagine life again after the storm. They can’t yet see the trees that will grow to replace those pulled up by their roots. They can’t picture anything flourishing again in this place of devastation. *** Looking out at the endless sea of cars sitting on the interstate, I felt restless […]

A Letter to My Muslim Sisters

I don’t remember your name. I do remember your laughter, your patience when you helped me with my pronunciation of sounds that are difficult for the English-trained tongue. I never saw you again after our college Arabic class ended but the look in your eyes has remained with me all these years—the fear and sorrow […]

Zen and the Art of Acceptance

My sister and I sat cross-legged, waiting to learn about meditation. Someone filled the little porcelain cups with steaming green tea; they grew warm in our hands. I looked around the makeshift temple in what looked like it used to be a gas station. Bars on the windows reminded us we were in the heart […]

Remembering How to Fly

I can’t tell you who helped me get to the University medical center or to hobble back to my dorm on crutches. I can’t recall exactly what the doctor said or much of the resulting physical therapy. But I can tell you the exact step I was trying to land when I, instead, found myself […]

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 […]

Witnesses to Our Rebirths

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. -1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT I don’t recognize her anymore. Her short hair […]

Tiny Steps Towards Greatness

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:5, ESV. “You’re so brave,” she said admiringly as she slipped the receipt across the counter. I fought back the urge to laugh or cry, I wasn’t sure which. She saw me one side of me—the foreigner in […]

From Pauper to Beloved Child

I see them every day on the streets—the hungry. They stretch out trembling hands and plead for something to sustain them. A handout is not enough though. It may fill them for the day but they are back at the same bus stop the next morning, empty-handed and asking for more. I’ve been that person […]

An Argument I’m Willing to Take On

“Are you going to break up with me next?” she cried in frustration and anger. That anger should have been directed completely at me but it was also pointed at God. I will never forget the look on my sister’s face when I told her I had broken up with my boyfriend. Disbelief mixed with […]

Always Listening

It’s so much to take in—the cacophony of sounds that is never-ending in this place. There is never silence in our swelling, overcrowded city. The sounds are becoming familiar to our Western ears these days. Allahu Akbhar. The musical nature of the call the prayer lulls the children to sleep. Briing. Briing. We have come […]

Our Collective Sigh of Longing

They say it is winter now but this doesn’t feel like anything I’ve ever known of winter. While others tug their scarves tightly around them the sweat still pools where my purse hits my shoulder. Maybe I’ll get accustomed to the tropical air before the real heat comes early next year. Getting used to the […]