Church

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 […]

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. […]

Serving Simply

As I walked down the uneven sidewalk, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people swarming past me. Many carried umbrellas (though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky), some impossibly napped while squatting, while many others walked oblivious to the body spaces of others. This was a typical day walking in a city […]

Walking Hope

The sky had been stormy for hours already, so the transition to night was difficult to discern. Disoriented, soaked through, and shivering—we waited for direction.  We had started out the day staring at an “x” on a map, a destination we needed to reach. As the day grew long, our surroundings didn’t look right and […]

Prayer in the Night Review

After the success of Tish Harrison Warren’s bestseller, Liturgy of the Ordinary, her new book, Prayer in the Night comes out January 26. Combination memoir, rich theological work, and cultural commentary, this book is truly remarkable. It is about the very real and common human struggle with theodicy (the problem of evil) and anxiety in […]

Hurting Yet Whole

Adaptation from Hurting Yet Whole: Reconciling Body and Spirit in Chronic Pain and Illness  by Liuan Huska Chapter 10, “A Community of Wounded Healers” We are not a few weeks post-Advent, but I am ready to repent and lament again. Call me melancholy, but Advent and Lent are my favorite seasons in the church calendar. […]

The Hope of Remembering

In art class one day, I was attempting to paint a landscape with oil colors. I couldn’t get a particular area just right. It seemed off. I began to pull my canvas off the easel when my teacher stopped me. “What are you doing, Paula Frances?” “I’m going to start over. It doesn’t look right.” […]

Las Posadas: Enacting the Paradox of Advent

Advent is a time of waiting, a longing for Messiah in a special way, looking back to the first coming of Jesus as a baby and forward to the second coming of Christ as King. Seasonal Scripture readings link both “advents,” making Advent a season of paradox. Christians celebrate an already-but-not-yet faith: Christ has come, […]

This Is How I Talk to God

This Is How I Talk to God Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14 NKJV Cru defines prayer as a way. . .  to communicate with God. That can mean thanking Him, praising Him, confessing something […]

Twisted

My high school mascot was a pretzel. I know. It gets worse. This—and middle-child status—explains a lot of my issues. On the upside, you won’t find my alma maters in the fray of mascot-related rhetoric lately making news. Ex: “You can eat us but you can’t beat us!” and rival schools trampling pretzels by the […]

Untangled

My mom has a particular story about me that she likes to tell: As she was doing dishes in our kitchen, she looked out the window and saw me in the backyard trying to catch frogs and kiss them. While it’s rather cute to think of a porcelain-white toddler with black curls and thick baby […]

A New Way of Seeing (Saved For Each Other)

Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth. –The New Zealand Anglican Lord’s Prayer I wanted to savor each sip of chai in the tiny aluminum cup. I didn’t mind its heat on my hands even though my scarf already stuck […]

Shame on Me

I think I’ve been brainwashed.  The unexpected thought pierced my sleepy fog. Although after midnight, we girls were dragged from our sleeping bags for a special lecture. Clumped together on a couple of couches, we yawned and tried to listen. I was sadly aware that my alarm was going off in less than six hours. […]

Stealing Joy

Mindful of mental wellness and practicing self-care, I sought solace for my soul. I am overwhelmed. I am weary and seek to manage my anger and disappointment. My practice? Staying mostly quiet, writing, and stealing joy.

Nipped

I have this distinct childhood memory: I’m six or so, outside our little frame house with a big, wide porch, next to the azaleas whose buds we nipped before they could bloom. Everything is sort of floating by my eyes—I’m spinning. I am realizing, smartly, that you don’t need to go to church to be […]