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 […]

Pavlov’s Dogs, My Senator, and Knowing God

In Mark 10, a blind man named Bartimaeus sits by the side of the road literally screaming for Jesus’ help. When Jesus finally addresses him, he asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” I love that question. Jesus wants to know what Bartimaeus wants, presumably to give him exactly what he wants. […]

Prayer is How We Battle

Anger. Distrust. Blame. Fear. Hate. Pointing fingers and sharp words have filled our screens in the past year as divisions in our country and world have widened. The chasm between our political parties, religions, nationalities, races, and classes has never seemed wider. During the summer of 2016 I stepped back from writing as much to […]

Loving After Trump

I was one of the 19 percent. Nineteen percent of voting white evangelical Christians did not choose Donald J. Trump to be president. And, like most non-Trump supporters, I spent the first days after the election in grief and fear over what a Trump America would look like. The morning after the election, I was […]