Social Justice

What Does Integrity Look Like? 

What does it look like to walk in integrity as a Caucasian follower of Christ? (I’m focusing on white folks because that’s my heritage and because I believe we need to up our game in the integrity department.) A contemporary definition of integrity reads “to consistently adhere to moral and ethical principles.” To have integrity […]

Love in Shades of Multifaceted Men

From the passenger seat, I watched you turn your head in the inky black of the night and smiled to myself about how your face still shined through the darkness. You looked like a gem and you are one, with your many aspects and your beauty. I wished that everyone saw you the way I […]

Centered. Unapologetic.

I am Centered. I am Unapologetic. In due season, I praise God for everything I never got. I am not, by nature, given first to gratitude, though I am deeply, profoundly grateful. I am by nature “…of a few days and full of trouble.” First of all, I conformed, or so I tried. I sat […]

Being is the Greatest Act of Resistance

Birds are our greatest storytellers. Consider the ruby-throated hummingbird migrating from Central America to Eastern North America. These pajaritos carry generations of story within themselves. They are vessels of witness migrating from one place to another, much like humanity, and how stories themselves migrate across generations. Birds do not worry about belonging. Their work is […]

Belonging to a Broken System

One of the main reasons I stay at my church is also one of the things I dislike most about it. This is it: it’s a large institution. I go to a biggish Presbyterian church. A “Presbyterian” church is literally a church governed by “presbyters”—Greek for elders, or leaders. That’s one of the big reasons […]

Foster Care: More Than I Can Handle

Broken bones and bruising on a child who can barely pull himself up is more than I can handle. A one-month-old baby with a history of sexual abuse is more than I can handle. Foster care is more than I can handle. A few weeks ago I was sharing about the trials of our foster […]

Flashback Friday: Ida B. Wells

This post was written by Velynn Brown for our Women’s History Month theme on March 25, 2015. Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, […]

Learning to Listen

Many years ago in the midst of a particularly heated argument with my husband, I made a tearful plea: When I’m angry, what if rather than getting defensive you just listened to me? An unfamiliar look came over his face and he stood speechless. Clearly, this was a new thought. When he dialed down, he made […]

Introducing Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros!

At the beginning of the year I send our monthly contributors an email highlighting the previous year’s stats and ask them to answer a few questions about their ongoing capacity as writers for The Mudroom. Last year was hard for our writers. A few took sabbaticals due to family crises, a couple of us experienced prolonged […]

When Sacrifice Yields Life: Leaning into One Another

I got something really big, really wrong this year. It came out of a sincere desire to make a difference and what I thought was an ingenious invention. I love to leverage the offerings of concerned citizens (donors, activists, front lines service providers) to meet needs and fill gaps. For years, I have galvanized our […]

Listening as Imperfect Resistance

Ever since the election last year, I have wanted to resist. In my introversion and general lack of political activist skill, this has been a mixed bag of efforts. I have attended protests. I have called my congressional representatives. I have signed petitions and read articles. I have prayed with undocumented people. I have also […]

Belief vs. Beloved

First I’m going to talk to you about the Bible and being beloved, and then I’m going to talk to you about politics. The other day I had a conversation with a new Christian in which she expressed some negative feelings about the Bible. To my surprise, her words shocked me. I thought, doesn’t she […]

White Privilege Means I Can Look the Other Way. It’s Got to Stop.

What do we do in the wake of Charlottesville? What good are words on the Internet when hate, death, and violence are the order of the day? How does one white woman writer with a small platform engage issues of racism now — when videos show us how hate mushrooms, how the image of God […]

When We Don’t Want Others To Belong

  I’m looking for spaces that are a homecoming. I’m realizing it’s not easy to find places of true belonging and it’s even harder to be a person who offers it. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to belong, but I know many who want to disconnect, to distance, to separate and […]

Portrait of A Both Girl

I am not black. I am not white. I am somewhere between the ink and the page, the word that is blurred      out. I am not what you assume She speaks Spanish… can’t quite place her…. definitely not from around here I am from around here. I grew up down that stone road […]

Sound the Bells

Can I not talk about the Enneagram? Please? I’ve taken the test what feels like a hundred times. Each time I have taken it with the guidance of someone who really knows and loves the Enneagram. First I thought I was a 9. That fit for a while until it didn’t. Try again and find […]