Fear

The Most Honest Thing

The magical, white fairy lights look almost friendly on this forest-dark night. There they are, wrapped around the cables swooping from one side of the rushing river to the other. And from those steel ropes hangs a suspension bridge—the bridge that stands between my little family and our cozy cabin on the far side of […]

These Three Lines

Creepy Lines His classmates trickle into school, trapped Brady-Bunch style in their respective squares. Each boasts a customized backdrop: outer space, Minecraft, background blur, a zoo . . . and Mom-zilla fixing to eat her offspring for breakfast. “Your mom must be thrilled with your background!” my son’s teacher types in the chat. I read […]

Tree Hugger

I am a literal tree hugger, and my husband can vouch for it. I’ve embarrassed him often by curling my arms and cheek around a gnarly old trunk. My favorite trees are the sprawling, ancient live oaks that grow where I grew up. We planted one in our backyard a few summers ago, a tiny […]

Learning to Linger

He peered at me from under his unruly bangs of brown fur, hidden in part by the grate of the cage. I commented on how much he looked like my own Yorkie, Junior, though this dog was much smaller and where Junior’s fur was a silvery grey, his was a black that accentuated his small […]

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 […]

Whatever Tomb You’re In

Listen to the audio recording of Tammy’s words here, or read the transcript below:   Based on the story of Lazarus in John chapter 11. John begins the story as the distant narrator, telling us that a certain man, Lazarus of Bethany, was ill. We, the readers, are then introduced to this man’s sister Mary, who is […]

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 […]

Turning Toward Hope

If I asked you to describe 2020 in one word, what word would you choose? Pandemic? Chaos? Disappointment? Virtual? Social-distance? All of the above are apt descriptors for this merciless year but at least for me, they don’t quite capture it as succinctly as this one: powerlessness. I’ve felt incredibly powerless in the past ten […]

Happy, Happy Christmas?

Listen to Ingrid Michaelson’s “Happy, Happy Christmas” here. “Happy, Happy Christmas” There’s something about this time of the year It’s always so dark out and you’re never here But I hear the whispers inside of the snow Live well and let go Happy, happy Christmas Love the ones who love you (too) They say time […]

Green

It’s 3 AM, and “Pachelbel’s Canon” is on loop in my head.  So much for a silent night. Is that too much to expect after a year of noise? Apparently. More music. More tossing and turning. More of the sheet escapes from its comfy home between mattress and box spring. Newly exposed feet embrace a […]

Here, Between the Storms

Mirror Lake shimmers in its craggy casement like a portal to another world. It begs a closer look, so we break from the trail and summit an obliging boulder. Our breathing slows to the rhythm of waves lapping up the muddy shoreline. A granite peak looms overhead. There’s a moonlike tranquility here that I’ve never […]

How We Remember Matters

When I was in my early 20s I had a few opportunities to go up in a small plane. Jets are fine, but have you been up in a small plane? I mean a real small plane that’s got you just feet above the cracked tarmac: A plane with windows you crank to open so […]

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 […]

America Looted The Black Body: (RIP George Floyd)

America . . .  Since our society’s conception You have looted the Black body. Take, rape, stripped us bare to our core, while you feast, prosper, stay safe, and ignore. All the blood you’ve shed, lives left dead, children unfed so that you live free in this claim of inheritance for liberty and justice for […]

And You Will Hear Thunder

There were sleepless nights. Covers hiding eyes shut tight, palms clamped down over tangles of ears and hair, all to no avail. The summer storms sweeping over my midwestern childhood home would not be tamed. Lighting stole through shades, sheets and eyelids as I lay trembling in my bed. Night winds tore through our hickory […]