The Girl Who Was Born Dead

“We’ll have to put you to sleep.” I remember the mask going over my face, and then nothing. Darkness. I heard the words “fetal distress” and “slowed heartbeat”. No time to wait, they said. No time to wait. * It was Christmas Eve. An epidural wasn’t going to be enough. I already had two epidurals, […]

A Mother’s Courage

She never knew a man, yet life began inside her. In the secret place where mysteries are woven together as a tapestry from threads of variegated color the spirit of Jehovah intermingled with her flesh. Her name, Mary, means beloved. The beloved one she carried within her womb would reveal great mysteries to the nations, […]

Having Courage to Hold On

Can you love someone who has betrayed you? In a mix of Norwegian fairytales (influenced by the Greek Cupid and Psyche and European Beauty and the Beast), author Joanna Meyer weaves a tale that feels familiar and foreign in her book Echo North. A young woman named Echo agrees to live in a house with […]

Valor’s Unsettling Saints

Previously posted in March of 2020. What kind of women are women of valor? I think they are women who are courageous enough to use their God-given gifts, others-oriented, and are willing to buck the status quo to follow Jesus and bring forth goodness and justice.   Right off of the bat, I think of St. […]

Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

Courage for Living Connected

Editor’s note: Author Afton Rorvik’s words here are an adaptation from her new book (released today), Living Connected: An Introvert’s Guide to Friendship. Her call to the courageous, connected life comes just in time—and for such a time—as THIS. *** My friend Sharla recently had a significant birthday. Her sister noticed from Facebook that I […]

Stepping Into the Beautiful Mess

Perched on the balcony, like the Black and White Doel¹ that serenaded me from the windowsill in the spring, I watched over my little corner of the world. In the most densely populated city on earth, that one little intersection of Road Six and Safwan Road felt like a microcosm of humanity itself.  I would […]

The Beauty of Community

Jane Harper’s books transport the readers to some of the most challenging locations in Australia and its surrounding areas. She regularly sets her stories in inhospitable locations like the infamous outback such as in The Lost Man or a remote seaside village in Tasmania in The Survivors. Both of these books are murder mysteries but […]

Where Truth Lies

You’ve seen it. In rush-hour traffic or the drop-off lane. Bumper Sticker Theology: Big letters. Bright backgrounds. Bold and brief statements . . . About eternity. A precursor to the Socials’ holy eye candy, Christian bumper stickers pack the one-two punch of VISIBILITY and IRRITABILITY for captive audiences. Like their political counterparts, critics have responded […]

A Spool of Thread and a Piece of Pie

I was searching for a spool of black thread last summer. I couldn’t find one. Supplies were depleted in brick and mortar stores, and nothing was available at the online marketplace named after a gargantuan river. A simple roll of black thread proved to be a scarce commodity. All I needed to do was mend […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

Broken Body

The Deacon walked from group to group administering the sacraments. Each family stood masked, in front of their camp chairs, in an empty parking lot. Our church had pivoted during the pandemic, which allowed my husband and I to feel safe bringing our asthmatic 18-month old to worship. But while our church’s new protocols kept […]

Love Justice

I stand on a dirt path in the Philippines.   It has been raining for weeks. The path is muddy and rocky where rivulets of water have washed away the dirt.   Above me a young mama looks out the window. The frame of an open window.   There is no glass pane on the […]

Releasing All But the Main Thing

 “In every circumstance, regardless of the outcome, the main thing Jesus has asked me to do is to love God and my neighbor as religiously as I love myself. The minute I have that handled, I will ask for my next assignment. For now, my hands are full.”[1]   The Main Thing is Seeing All […]

Simplicity and Justice

I remember Tom and Jerry, Leave it to Beaver, and Sunday paper with comics mom cut out and taped on the refrigerator door. I remember Laurel & Hardy, The Rifleman, and watching boxing or NFL with Dad in between Sunday services when I was supposed to be napping on the bed or on the floor. […]

Simply Writing

Recently I began the practice of handwriting verses in calligraphy. Fingers grasped around a pen, slow movement forms each letter, each word, each phrase. This intentional placement on a vellum page brings me peace and focus. Ink outlines the meaning of each line, causing me to ponder….why did the author choose this word? What meaning […]