The Spirit & the Dreamer

dream

On Wednesday night, my Hebrew class translated Genesis 41—the dead center of the story of Joseph. The word plays in Hebrew are hilarious and skilled, the storyline suspenseful yet playful. In one verse, the seven scrawny cows of Pharaoh’s dream devour seven pleasantly plump cows, but you can’t tell because the skinny cows come to "the innards” (kidneys, livers, tripe—food thought to be delicacies by everyone but me during my Cambridge days), gobble them up, and stay scrawny. As one student puzzle … [Read more...]

Passing on the Faith in a Makeshift Choir Stall

holding hands

Uncle Willie had a mellifluous voice. On Sunday mornings he could be relied on to fill our little church with sweet tones, while the rest of us screeched old, familiar gospel hymns with grainy and gritty voices, accented by the harsh sincerity of New Yorkers. Uncle Willie was old—really old, not just old from the perspective of a young boy. And how Uncle Willie could sing—he single-handedly carried our choir of six. Uncle Willie could laugh with me, as if he too were twelve years old, as we sha … [Read more...]

Prodigal Blood: a response to Sheridan Voysey’s Resurrection Year

Voysey book

A post by Priscilla Pope-LevisonThe day before I started to bleed I turned 30. Jack and I celebrated my birthday and a baby on the way underneath a crystal chandelier in the dining room of our 1920s home. So many corners of the house needed work, like most of the homes on the once posh street in Kansas City, but we had fallen in love with its delft-tiled fireplace, crisscross wooden beams, and real crystal chandelier. We planned to restore the house to its original glory, starting with the … [Read more...]

The Power of Regularity

3 old men 2

Three old men—one 70, one 80, another 90—are sitting on a park bench. The 70 year old says, “Geeze. I don’t know what to do. Every morning I stand there and try to clear my bladder—and nothing. A drop or two. I’m disgusted.”They sit for a while longer, then the 80 year old says, “Yeah. I don’t know what to do either. Every morning I sit there and try to eliminate—and nothing. I grunt. I groan. Nothing. I’m disgusted, too.”They sit even longer, then the 90 year old says, “I’m disgusted wit … [Read more...]

Bullies, Baseball, and an Open Door

Baseball Jeremy

“A few summers back, Jeremy came down with a fever, so we lay low, lounging in the hammock together. As we swung lazily, in the perfection of a Seattle summer sun, Jeremy posed a question to me. 'How come some Christians are so mean, and other people are so nice, Dad?' Jeremy used to do this at times. He’d look carefree, with his blond hair, blue eyes, easy smile, and endless energy, but then he’d come up with a question about the way things are, as opposed to how they ought to be.” That’s how t … [Read more...]

Faith Without Formulas

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Beaster725

In 1968 or so, when the rest of the world was reeling with revolution, someone gave me a Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book, a slender little paperback with a list of quotations. Each was a biblical promise. Every promise portended a bright future for me. Every promise promised that things would be okay.I grew up with formulas—as you probably did, too. Study hard, and you’ll get a good job. Be good to others, and they’ll be good to you. Raise a child in the way he (or she) should go, and when h … [Read more...]