Broken Ribs, Crooked Backs, & Seeing Our Vulnerable Selves Reflected in Another

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Having a body that defies cultural norms as mine does (it is crooked, uneven, lumpy, and limpy) can be alienating. The regular absence of anyone who looks like me in my daily routine creates a space that can fill with either negative feelings (shame, frustration, grief) or positive (pride in the scars that testify to [Read More...]

My Story, and My Take on Narrative Ethics, in a Nutshell

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I have a cover article in the current issue of the Christian Century that summarizes the story I tell in my book and outlines my take on how narrative, or story-based ethical reflection can help us learn humility as well as avoid making people’s complicated stories into morality tales. It begins:       In the [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] I Wrote a Book. Want One?

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I will confess something that will be not at all surprising to most of you, especially those who write blogs of your own: My Friday “Snapshots from Oak Ridge” feature is absolutely self-serving. I wanted some regular Friday feature that would be quick and easy, because posting regularly, even if every post isn’t read by [Read More...]

“Wonder” and the Paradoxes of Living with a Disability

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R.J. Palacio’s young adult novel Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a boy with a severe facial deformity who goes to school for the first time in fifth grade. He confronts fear and bullies, but also makes friends—even with some of the very same kids who initially teased him. I thought it was a beautiful story, for [Read More...]

Bodily Betrayal, Redeemed by Love

John Green’s bestselling young-adult novel The Fault in Our Stars is a love story about two teenagers, both with terminal cancer. I was particularly taken with the narrator, Hazel, who has metastatic cancer in her lungs and uses supplemental oxygen. This fictional teenager astutely observes the shame, frustration, and feelings of inadequacy that can come with inhabiting [Read More...]

The Redemption of the Mundane: My Post at Convergent Books

There’s a new imprint in town! Convergent Books is a division of Penguin Random House dedicated to books on progressive Christianity. I am thrilled and honored to have been invited to contribute to their new blog. My first post, on the redemption of the mundane (how I glimpse God’s goodness in the banal details of [Read More...]

[Me & My Naturopath] When Nothing Works

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This is the third post in which I discuss my efforts to deal with chronic arthritis pain through naturopathy. Read the first and second posts here and here.  So. I went to a naturopath in March hoping—believing—that something would help. Knowing that other people with OI (and many other conditions) swear by acupuncture for relief, [Read More...]

Everyday Resurrections (& a New Bench)

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This post is very slightly edited from its original version published last August. You’ll note that I now have a new, much more attractive and comfortable bench to sit on as I work and keep an eye on the dog and soak up the sun.  I spend several hours a day sitting on this bench [Read More...]


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