What Happens When We Pray

I don’t understand how prayer works. But I believe in a God who is good, a God who is love. I keep praying because I believe that prayer, somehow, makes that goodness and love more real and accessible in the midst of whatever nightmares mark our days. [Read more...]

A Story About the Abundance, and Absence, of Memory and Faith

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Walker has written a story about Alzheimer’s, yes, and about her mother, and about her. But fundamentally, it is a story about memory and faith—about times when they surround and buoy us, and times when they evade our reach. [Read more...]

Grappling for a Christian Response to Syria

Oh, but this is an uncomfortable place to be, this place of uncertainty, where we are confronted with the grave suffering of God’s beloved children and want to do something but suspect that there is nothing we can do to make it better, now. [Read more...]

Resurrection Year: Learning to Live, and Thrive, with Life as It Is Given

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Our Western cultural attitudes are not well-equipped for failure. We are a culture of optimists and fixers, holding fiercely to the notion that “pain is gain.” We want to believe that any problem can be overcome, any broken thing fixed, with hard work, a strong will, smart decisions, and hefty doses of modern technology. Christians can [Read More...]

Factory Disasters in Bangladesh, Consumerism, and Original Sin

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I approach buying clothes for my children with the same compulsive attention to my kids’ individual needs and wants that I bring to Christmas gift buying. Focused attention to my kids’ clothing needs is, for me, as much an embodiment of maternal love as cooking is for some moms. Finding a shirt that I just [Read More...]

A Different Take on Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Questions around suffering and pain are stock in trade for me as a writer. I know that I can’t stand most Christian justifications (i.e., bullshit) for why terrible things happen. I know that even well-thought-out theological arguments around how God can be all-powerful, all-loving, and yet allow great suffering still fall far short for me. I [Read More...]

My Cancer Playlist: On Wallowing, F-Bombs, and How We Suffer

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This is a slightly edited version of a post originally published in July 2011 on my former blog. I thought it worth a revisit given that Mumford and Sons’s popularity has exploded since I wrote this post (such a cultural bellwether I am), and that some readers are taken aback when I occasionally use profanity [Read More...]

A Message to the “Nones”: Don’t Reject God Because of Human Suffering or Christian Bullshit

It’s one of the most notable cultural statistics of our time: According to the The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the number of people claiming no religious affiliation—the so-called “nones”—is rising rapidly. About one-fifth of the U.S. population is either atheist/agnostic, or has no particular affiliation at all. A fair number of the [Read More...]


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