I spent the weekend speaking at the Bent Not Broken conference, a gathering of cancer patients and their loved ones that was held at a Franciscan retreat center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As I looked across the audience, I saw bald heads, scarred bodies, sallow shades of skin.  I saw lots of smiles, and lots of tears.  Throughout the weekend, I saw flashes of hope as well as fleeting glimpses of despair.  I heard voices quiver with fear and anger… Read more

When I was 28 years old, I received a call from my OB/GYN.  I’d gone through 7 months of chemotherapy for breast cancer, which had almost cost me my life. My periods stopped when I was on treatment, and my doctor was calling me with the news that my ovaries had completely shut down. “You might as well have a hysterectomy,” my doctor said.  “Because you’re never going to use those parts anyway.” When I hung up with my doctor,… Read more

One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever got was, “Write the book you needed to read but couldn’t find when you needed it.” And that’s how The Invisible Girls came to be. Because when I was going through cancer treatments, I read a lot of books written by women who’d had breast cancer, or had been through deep grief, but they didn’t quite resonate with me.  Some were sassy and sarcastic.  Others were hyper-spiritual and minimized how… Read more

Twelve years ago today I was lying in Yale-New Haven Hospital. It was the day after a bilateral mastectomy.  I was in more pain than I knew how to say. A resident attributed the pain to muscle spasms in my chest wall, and wrote an order for the nurse to give me a 10 mg tablet of Valium, which she did — on top of the IV morphine I was already getting. After I swallowed the tablet, I groggily asked… Read more

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “for.” Because, while it’s important to take stands against things like lies and injustice and hypocrisy and abuse, it’s not enough to be against evil.  It’s crucial to go further, and be for good.  I like the word “for.”  It’s versatile word (conjunction, preposition and prefix) that appears in some of my favorite verses. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” “For God so loved the world…”… Read more

The last few blogs I’ve written have been an expression of concern about why evangelicals continue to support, defend and justify the behaviors of Donald Trump in the name of God.  Whenever I write about this topic, I frequently hear the same phrases from his supporters.  The most common being… 1) Only God can know his heart.   2) Who are we to judge?   3) David was flawed, too, and he was a man after God’s heart.  It’s concerning… Read more

This morning, millions of evangelicals who voted for the current president, and continue to not only support but defend him, went to church. They sang hymns about holiness, while defending a man who has had multiple affairs and paid hush money to a porn star. They sang about grace and mercy, while supporting an administration that’s deporting innocent kids to dangerous countries. They sang, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight,” while doing nothing to… Read more

In 1952, President Truman instituted a National Day of Prayer.  It falls on the first Thursday in May — which was yesterday, May 3, 2018. President Trump held an observance of the National Day of Prayer, with 200 people of faith in attendance.  At the end of the ceremony, a pastor led the attendees in a 566-word prayer that was specifically written for the 2018 observance. I read over the prayer this morning.  Then I read it again.  And again…. Read more

This week I had the opportunity to stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and stare into the abyss that’s 1 mile deep, 18 miles wide (at its widest point), and 277 miles long.  It’s the most vastness I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Ridges and rocks and crevices span as far as you can see in all directions. I hiked along the rim with my dad and after 3 hours of brisk walking, we’d only managed to to… Read more

Yesterday I flew home to San Francisco after spending the weekend with my brother and sister, their significant others, and my nephew in Pennsylvania. Yesterday was also my dad’s birthday.  I called him from the airport as I was waiting to board my flight because I wanted to tell him Happy Birthday, and remind him how much I love him. On my layover in Detroit a few hours later,  I was watching CNN in the airport lounge when I learned… Read more




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