Racism is as Old as Moses. Older, even.

Racism is alive and well in our world, and it’s as old as Moses. Older, even. Brian and I were in Southern Illinois last week, visiting my family. My parents grew up there in the same little town. Their childhood houses—where my grandparents still live—are just 5 miles apart. My paternal grandma lives in town….

Reading the Bible with Mary Oliver, Vol. 1

I begin with a story I named “wherein Jesus moves to a new place to start a new thing with new people.” Others have named the same story: “Jesus Calls the First Disciples.” READ Matthew 4:12-22. 12Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13He left Nazareth and made his…

The 3 Songs that Raise Me

Three songs rest, willing, between me and the renewal of my baptismal call. Anytime, anywhere, I push ‘play’ on these three, and I am re-made. The baptismal waters float me, and I know my purpose—to heal and be healed; to belong and share belonging with others; to rise and raise others—again. THE FIRST IS “HOLD…

Come Away with Me

AT FIFTEEN, MY FRIEND, WHO WAS TWO YEARS OLDER AND DRIVING, would pick me up on a summer night in her Ford Mustang. Together we drove all around our hometown through the dark, humid nights with the windows down. We danced our arms out the car windows, and sang along with our favorite songs.  We…

Faithful and Doubting Thomas

TURN TO YOUR NEIGHBOR, AND SAY, “GOOD MORNING!” Now, turn to your neighbor, and say, “Thomas is faithful.” Turn again, and say, “Thomas follows Jesus.” Yes, even though our story about Thomas, after Jesus’ resurrection, has been for all time, named—the story of doubting Thomas, I wish we could name it something else. I wish…

The Lord is my Transit Shepherd.

I WAS IN HOBOKEN THIS WEEK. But, I wasn’t suppose to be in Hoboken. My train ticket said ‘New York Penn Station.’ I was in the wrong place. I had a big day planned in New York—to see a friend and walk around a museum. I woke up thinking about my trip. I downloaded the…

Marshmallows. Bikes. Life.

WHEN THINKING ABOUT TEMPTATION, one iconic image comes to my mind: “The Marshmallow Test.” In 1960, researchers at Stanford University conducted experiments with preschool children, in which they basically asked them, “Would you like one treat now, or 2 treats later?” The children were led into an empty room, where a marshmallow was placed on…

“Love Your Enemies”: Jesus’ Words, Our Foundation

MY COLLEGE ROOMMATE WENT ON TO STUDY BIOPHYSICS, and print artificial jaw bones on 3-D printers. This was her doctoral work. I knew I wasn’t called to a sciency career in the 10th grade, after only squeaking by in Algebra II, and only because of the benevolence of my kind teacher. I’m grateful for my…

God Bless Every Step

IN GIRL SCOUTS, AS A KID—we’d sing silly walking songs while hiking. One went like this: “My leader don’t wear no socks. A ding-dong. I saw where she took them off. A ding-dong. She threw them under the chair, now my teddy bear has no hair. A ding-dong, dong, dong, dong. A ding-dong.” Another like…

Too Tall Trees (and other imperfect things God uses)

MY PARENTS MAILED ME A CHRISTMAS PACKAGE, with a childhood favorite enclosed: Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree. Here’s how it starts: “Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree Came by special delivery. Full and fresh and glistening green— the biggest tree he had ever seen. He dashed downstairs to open the door— this was the moment he’d waited for….