Prayer Requests Make Me Anxious

I don’t think I have a normal reaction to prayer requests. Rather than making me want to go pray, they tend to edge me towards hyperventilation. Take the other day in my small group. There were some doozy requests. People suffering from the death of a spouse, cancer, job loss, financial holes, a risky and […]

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 […]

Redefining Healing

God is sometimes perplexing. He encourages us to ask him for what we need and want. But then after we’ve put it out there, He’ll seemingly ignore us, leaving us with unmet needs and doubts about his purported benevolence.  Almost twenty years ago, I began experiencing unrelenting fatigue, muscle soreness, and waning strength. Countless tests […]

Prayers in Wingback Chairs

I sat in our green wingback chair, my legs curled under me, my hands outstretched to the ceiling. I prayed for God to show up, my fingertips flying through space, willing him to do something. I was bred on “praying the sinner’s prayer,” and extemporaneous prayer overflowing with all the big feelings in youth group. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Prayer Made Sense When Henrí Nouwen Told Me to Give Up

My oldest son, who is almost five, carries a sea turtle stuffed animal with him just about everywhere he goes. Sea turtle chats with the lobsters at the supermarket, goes down the slide at the playground, and provides a comfortable conversation starter when he’s surrounded by adults and other children at church. With sea turtle […]

The Practice of Blessing

When we were moving last time, I did my best to fit in final coffee dates and chats with all the people who had been meaningful to me. One hot afternoon I found myself in the home of a Catholic friend with whom I’d had many deep conversations about theology and practice. We talked for […]

Home-Grown Liturgy

It all started when the priest’s wife hugged me under the tall trees in my front yard and gave me her secret recipe to make Church of the Great Shepherd’s communion bread. Even though I wasn’t ordained, didn’t have a fancy robe, and didn’t own a Book of Common Prayer, I was invited to be […]