MLK’s Christian Call and Why It Matters

By Wendy Murray Today is  Martin Luther King,.Day, which also marks the release of a new book highlighting King, his legacy and the Christian faith that animated it. Birmingham Revolution (IVP) by Edward Gilbreath, offers an intimate exploration of how King’s faith informed his vocation during the challenging issues of his time. I worked with Ed for several years where we both served as editors at Christianity Today magazine. We cut our teeth together learning the important role of religious reporting and writing. Ed recently took time to… Read more

3 Meaningful Truths to Embrace Wildly This Year

By Wendy Murray 1.  Don’t Interrupt Talk ought to be sacred because it is so light, so tenuous, so trivial, if you will; so frail and easy to destroy. Cutting short its life is worse than murder; it’s infanticide. It’s like killing a baby that’s trying to come to life. It can never be restored to life … . A good light conversation can never be put together again when it’s broken to pieces; because you can’t get back all… Read more

5 Hopes For the New Year

By Wendy Murray Dear Friends and Readers, I have been on hiatus from posting and it has been time well spent, though I apologize for the prolonged and unexplained absence from Poets & Lunatics. In the upcoming year I will be writing, as I have tried to in the past, about issues that highlight the complicated humanness with which we tangle while at the same time trying to remain people of authentic faith. I have spent these months in transition,… Read more

Remembering St. Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi died 787 years ago today, and yet he seems more alive than ever despite the passage of time. In the Catholic tradition, this anniversary marks the “Feast Day of St. Francis.” Remembering the champions who have gone before seems an appropriate tradition and one which Protestants lose out on. Francis of Assisi is certainly one whom Christians of all traditions ought to know and celebrate. I lived in Assisi when I wrote my book about St…. Read more

Do Not Let Others Judge You (and Don’t Judge)

  People will judge you, of course. That is my point. Determine in your heart and mind, ahead of time, how this will affect you. Depending upon your moment in life and the circumstances in which you find yourself, others will always take liberties with opinions and conclusions about your situation, your efforts, stratagems, applied logic or whatever else. It is good if you possess the ability to thank them. It is better if, after thanking them, you think about… Read more

What You Do, Do — With a Swift Pace and Nimble Step

Clare of Assisi died 760 years ago tomorrow (August 11, 1253). Yet she remains as much a beacon for women and men of faith today as she did in her own day. For centuries the story of Clare  has been interpreted through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the one-time playboy who was destined to become Catholicism’s most popular saint. Yet her indomitable faith complements that of her guide and truest love, St. Francis, whom I wrote about… Read more

Stones Kill Everybody

One of the most confounding and at the same time consoling passages in the New Testament is that of Jesus’ encounter with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:4 to 11). Some scholars assert that this short portion of the gospel of John was not contained in the original text  since it is missing from some of the earliest manuscripts. Others demur. Regardless the episode clearly represents and is consistent with everything Jesus did and taught in his earthly ministry. 4… Read more

The Sanctity of the Airport

  Only in an airport are human beings compatriots in a netherworld of suspension, neither here nor there. They are on the way. An airport is the in-between space where an eccentric confluence of human specimens are reduced to a common ilk, though traveling methodologies could not be more diverse. I stood in a check-in line recently behind a large woman in a kaleidoscope sarong, her hair braided tightly and effusively about her crown, with painted fingernails grown so long… Read more

Unceremoniously Insulted

I have been working these past weeks on a Bible study guide (details forthcoming) and it has been a helpful and vexing exercise. It is difficult to assume the position of spiritual guide (being the author) when you are afflicted with uncertainties of your own and contending with common struggles that have been known to men and women throughout all time. Inevitably, I would be put to the test regarding whatever virtue I was exploring at that point. For example,… Read more

The Hidden Life of Clare of Assisi

The hidden life of Clare of Assisi (119-[something] to 1253) is forever bound to that of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), though Clare was a force unto herself who cast her own light and left a unique echo. I have already written a book about Francis (A Mended and Broken Heart, 2008, Basic Books) and have now turned my thoughts to Clare–the medieval feminine expression of Francis’ spiritual vision. She has a lot she can teach today’s women because she… Read more

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