The Tenth Leper

512px-ChristCleansing (1)Guest post by Kelly Foster

If you grow up in the South, you learn to write thank-you notes. You write thank-you notes for kind gifts. You write thank-you notes for kind words. You write thank-you notes for kind thank-you notes people send to you.

It’s a vicious circle of gratitude, but I suppose there are worse circles to be caught up in, and plenty that don’t provide one with an excuse to keep a ready supply of handmade stationery in reserve. So it goes.

[Read more...]

The Sex Offender and the Cross

crucifixGuest post by Paul Luikart

One day the girl I loved called me up—out of the blue—and said, “We could really use some help out here. We’re short-staffed.” She lived and worked in Phoenix at a Catholic Worker house that served homeless people.

So I hopped on the first plane from my parents’ house in Northeastern Ohio to the edge of the Sonoran Desert, to a city I’d never visited before, in a state I’d never even seen. Into the heart of a subset of humanity I’d only ever glimpsed from behind the sneeze guard of the soup kitchen where I’d once served a meal at my parents’ church.

I wasn’t even Catholic. But I was in love.

[Read more...]

This Dark World is Precious to Me: 14 Songs for 2014

4842505983_b76ddf0307_mGuest post by Joel Heng Hartse

This is my seventh yearly playlist for Good Letters. I’ve been racking my brains to come up with a theme for this one, but to be honest, I think the theme of these playlists is almost always the same: basically, the human condition—joy and sorrow, faith and doubt, triumph and tragedy, and all that.

These songs are roughly arranged in two parts, with the first half being more sad and angry, and the latter half more hopeful and upbeat. Really, though these are just fourteen songs I heard this year felt warm, human, and true. You can listen to them on a playlist here. I hope you like them. [Read more...]

Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury Awards: The Top Ten Films of 2014

Guest post by Kenneth R. Morefield

In my post announcing the formation of the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury, I stated that I hoped we would “enlarge or expand the perception of what is meant by either labeling a film a ‘Christian’ film or suggesting that it should be of interest to Christian audiences.”

I’d say we did that. [Read more...]

Barry Moser: I Knew I was Home, Part 2

glenGuest post by Barry Moser

The following post, continued from yesterday, is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A few years after my first Glen, the drawing class convened once again. One of the members of that class was a woman from Florida named Patricia Oetting, a registered nurse.

She had never drawn before, and obviously had never had the experience of drawing from live models. But she was game and was taking my instruction with seriousness and the mandatory good humor. And she was getting a real kick out of the fact that she had worked with naked patients most of her life, and knew the anatomy of the human body quite well—better than I, but had never actually looked at a naked person in such an honest, forthright, and casual way. [Read more...]