It Didn’t Count: Sexual Assault and Virginity

“An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.” 1 Timothy 3:2“Deacons must be husbands of only one wife.” 1 Timothy 3:12When I was 17 years old, I was sexually assaulted by a classmate. It was my first sexual experience, and it changed the course of my life. In addition to the psychological damage, I had to reckon with what my status as an assault victim meant in the context of a Christian campus ministry … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: Monsters Inside Me

I’ve never been much for being scared out of my mind by horror flicks or haunted houses. I don’t need trumped up Halloween lure to find myself terrified. And I am hardly fond of demon talk and exorcisms and such. Yes, I know it’s all true and real and all that. But my mind does of a heck of a good job of scaring me on its own.Want to scare me to death? Put me in front of that show “Monsters Inside Me." I'll succumb fairly early on to the assumption that I too am being eaten alive from the ins … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: Lazarus Syndrome

He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” --John 11:45 (1) (Re)birthI am waiting. I am waiting in a waiting room.  I am waiting in a waiting room until the event which I am waiting for happens and begins.One year, I am looking at a drip. A bag of Bleomycin hooked up to my port.  The time it takes to enter … [Read more...]

Dark Devotional: Holy Saturday: Sitting Outside of the Tomb

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the grave. (Matthew 27:59b-61) The two Marys, sitting opposite the grave. In some translations it says that this was a garden, so when I picture this, I imagine two women on a park bench surrounded by flora. Mark tells us the … [Read more...]

A Band of Misfits

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17) "Heaven must be messy." --Eric Elnes, Gifts of the Dark Wood Last week I wrote about Eric Elnes's Gifts of the Dark Wood, but there's something more I want to share. Something so central to the mission of Sick Pilgrim that it merits its own post. Elnes calls it "The Gift of Misfits."To recap my last post: The Dark Wood is an ancient metaphor for emotional, psychological, and spiritual distress. Nobody chooses to enter the Dark Wood. Who'd do … [Read more...]