A Letter to My Christian Sisters

Sisters, I want you to know how strong you are. Growing up in the church, we learn things about ourselves— How to be modest and virtuous, how to have a steady quiet time, how to be the best future wife we can be. It’s not often said, “Ladies, you do hard things. You are strong.” Instead, we often don’t even realize what’s being told to us— That our place is in the home, that we are only as strong as… Read more

The Tension of the Lord’s Supper For Today

  Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” –Luke 22   If you’ve heard this story as many times as I have, the events of… Read more

GENERATIONAL GOD: a wild goose poem

  [I wrote this poem on a Friday afternoon, laying in my tent looking up at the trees through the screen door to the Smoky Mountains surrounding the campsite. I wrote it as I listened to my children playing with Legos beside me, as I remembered that through our ancestors, we learn how we belong to one another. I shared this poem in the OPEN Network tent on Saturday afternoon of the Wild Goose Festival.]   The God of our… Read more

God Says You Can Still Transform

transform: to make it through a dramatic change in appearance or character.  On the very first day, God transformed nothing into Something. Something good. A world, a universe, an existence, created to flourish, bear fruit, live. God created people to live in that flourishing, and just to help us understand our own promise to transform, we watched leaves fall from trees, flowers die and blossom again. Transformation was the very metaphor of our laboring, our living, our enduring. It was… Read more

God For Those Still Holding On 

Taste and see that the Lord is good. This word is not for the faint of heart. It is for the ones who have been through something. It is for those who have had reasons to think that life is not good, Those whose senses are blurred, who cannot see or hear or taste, who are broken and afraid, those who are struggling but know– at the end of the day, there is always a sunset. And when the morning comes, the sun… Read more

IDENTITY CRISIS: on faith, color & call

FAITH. Last week when my husband and I took a trip to a small lake to rock climb, I found a walking stick. I’d been looking for one for over a year–a tall, slender, sleek stick that I could hold in my hand as we hike. It was laying there in the woods, right off the path. I saw the smooth skin beneath the brown bark and I grabbed it right away. It was the perfect height, the perfect thickness,… Read more

LEARNING TO BREATHE IN THE WORLD

When we got home from an afternoon at the pool, my oldest son took a nap. While he was sleeping I crept in to lay down beside him for a few minutes. I looked at his fresh haircut and his eyelashes, listening as he quietly breathed in and out. For a minute, I synced my breathing with his– in, out, in, out, in– and watched as he slept, dreaming of brighter and brighter tomorrows. I am often asked how I… Read more

PEOPLE WHO HOLD SPACE WILL HEAL THE CHURCH

When I married my husband, he’d just cut off his dreads and was an avid rock climber. He married me– a girl from a small town, comfortable in everything that I knew, in everything that I’d been and was going to be. As Johnny Cash says, we got married in a fever, and before we knew exactly what we’d done, we were home from our honeymoon, beginning the long journey toward figuring out who we were–together. When he married me,… Read more

O God, Make Us Rich

O God, make us rich by the richness of a Kingdom– created by you, sustained by you, untangled time and again from the mess we make of it. That Kingdom– a place where prosperity gospel is turned upside down– is a wild culture that is so “other” we could not seek to explain it. It is the firefly in flight, dashes of lightning that we try to catch and hold for as long as possible. It is the ripple of… Read more

WHY I STILL CALL GOD “FATHER”

When I first came to my current church, I noticed that in many worship songs, a line would be changed here or there for a very particular reason. Instead of referring to God as a “he,” it would become more inclusive, reflecting an idea that God is without gender, opening up the possibility of God as a woman, even. One of the most amazing things about God is this way the boundaries that we create for God are transcended, yet… Read more

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