Dead Boy’s Devoted Daddy

Editor’s Note: This will be my last post on Patheos. I am grateful for the opportunity provided but I feel that my readers will be better served at an ad-free site. Please make note of the new blog address: karenzach.com  I hope you will join me there. Thank you for all your years of engagement. I hope we can continue the dialogue at karenzach.com     Peter was a friend of my husband.  They were both educators. They coached soccer together… Read more

Urban Intellect talks Comedy: Jelani Greenidge

I knew of Jelani Greenidge long before I met him. We were friends in Social Media, drawn together by faith and community. So imagine my delight at the Faith and Culture Conference when Jelani and I finally had a chance to connect in real time. “Aren’t you Karen?” he asked. I don’t know how he ever picked me out in a room full of blondes. We all look the same. And thus it began, a conversation that ran smack dab… Read more

The Holiness of a Place

Can you see the holiness of a place beyond the “No Trespass” sign? That moment  when you knew the things unknown even to the “Video Surveillance”? Bowed your heart                         in silent gratitude because words                            nor song were enough. Only sucked back sobbing  would suffice                       in such a… Read more

Appearances: Bristol, Johnson City, & Knoxville

  I am on the road this week. I have a couple of book events lined up in Tennessee. If you are around for either of them, I’d love to see you. Come on out. Bring your friends. Tell your librarians & book clubs. Author Signing Jun 22, 2014 2:00 PM Barnes & Noble Booksellers Johnson City Franklin Terrace 3030 Franklin Terrace Johnson City TN 37604 423-952-5577   Tuesday, June 24, 6 p.m. Union Avenue Books 517 Union AveKnoxville Tennessee37902I will… Read more

The Problem with Evil

I have been intentionally silent.  Instead of blogging, I have spent time listening to the ramblings  of Elliot Rodger. I watched the news reports of Richard Martinez grieving for his beautiful son, Christopher, one of Rodger’s victims. Mostly I have sat in silence and grieved for the dead and the families they left behind. Those law enforcement officers in Vegas. The Wal-Mart shopper. The students at Seattle Pacific University. And now the family of Emilio Hoffman at Reynolds High School… Read more

A Soul Void

Let’s get something clear, okay? Hatred is not a mental illness. It is a soul rotted. A soul void of kindness gentleness goodness thoughtfulness empathy A lot of mentally ill folks are good and kind, gentle and thoughtful. Not all, mind you, but most mentally ill folks don’t go around killing people. All of these shooters are giving the mentally ill a bad image What these shooters have in common is not mental illness What these shooters have in common… Read more

Elliot Rodger’s Right

  I have been sitting here in silence. Silence broken by birds chirping, dogs barking and this loud bursting of fireworks going off in my head. Behind the veil of gray matter, beauty and terror reside, a couple at cross-hairs. One chillingly silent in the presence of the other’s fevered shouting. I was only away three days. Out on Friday, back on Monday. Time Traveling via Delta Airlines. The world I flew away from is the not the world to… Read more

Do Something Sacred

  When I went to Vietnam the one thing that disturbed me was the way the Vietnamese exploited their own children for the sake of a dollar. I encountered girls as young as 7 or 8 out on the streets of Saigon (nobody but the press calls it Ho Chi Minh City. HCMC  is a political statement) late in the evening approaching complete strangers, trying to sell us one plastic thing after another. Our encounters with children and adults trying… Read more

Summers at Christian Bend, TN

         Wild dogwoods were in bloom when Mama’s Aunt Cil died in spring 1968, and it nearly broke her heart. Aunt Cil was her last physical connection to her mama, Granny Ruth, and with those two matriarchs gone, Mama’s world just crumbled around her. Frank, Linda and I had spent a good bit of time at Aunt Cil’s after Daddy died. Mama would drop us off at her farmhouse whenever she had errands to run. Cil, short… Read more

A Soldier’s Funeral

    The funeral service was held Wednesday morning, August 3, 1966, at McCloud Baptist Church. Mama was up at daybreak. I don’t think she’d slept at all the night before. I could hear her trying to move quietly around the trailer, so as not to wake any of us. Shortly before the sun scrubbed the sky pink, I could hear a pot of coffee percolating. I loved to watch the coffee darken as it thup-thup-thupped through the glass knob… Read more

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