Author: Matthew and Joy Steem

Killing Relationships One Need at a Time

I’m a sucker for cartoons. Cartoons are kind of like fairy tales. In stepping away from the usual rules of “reality” they can help us see the world, and our part in it, more clearly.   Finding Dory is like that…

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The Problem of (Talking About) Pain

My friend died yesterday.   Grief sometimes has a way of wafting through the cracks of our chambers and lying in wait. A dark heaviness. A soundlessly creeping shroud that descends upon us and subdues our senses. An impenetrable presence…

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Sister Nature

“Oh yeah, Christians totally hate the environment. You didn’t know that?”   I overheard this statement after Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Part One was released in theaters, and it bothered me.   Tolkien’s rich, imaginative work, along with his beloved hobbits…

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Think Little

It’s a little bit passive-aggressive, I suppose, but I enjoy scandalizing my mom. My most recent attempt involved the statement, “I was reading an excellent Playboy article the other day…” When her bespectacled nose wrinkled up a bit, I continued…

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Sins of Omission

There are a few situations in my life for which feelings of near overwhelming disappointment with myself make me wince. Recollections of these failings appear on the projector screen of my memories from time to time, and I am smitten…

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Hitchhiker Hospitality

Not too long ago I was a wandering and weary graduate. Having been in school for over half a decade, my identity had become subsumed with being a student. No one warned me I might feel purposeless and lost after…

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On Questioning

Earlier this year I had the attractive opportunity of traveling to the other side of the country. A good friend was doing some grad research and proposed the seven-week trip. The only catch? The budget was pretty tight, and the…

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Oxygen Masks and Justice

The plane boards, the seat belt lights illuminate, and the flight attendants dutifully close the overhead storage compartments. The pilot’s voice comes through the announcement speakers welcoming everybody aboard and offering a brief flight overview. Next, the calming yet chipper…

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A Good Fear

I have a great-uncle who has a way of commanding attention and tells scads of groovy stories. At one family get together the topic of child rearing came up. As can be likely with a mixing of the older generation…

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The Danger of Being Eternally-Minded

A friend I’ve known for nearly a quarter of my life is lying in a hospital bed pondering death.   Right now.   As I write this, if not sleeping, my friend is contemplating assisted suicide.   I have been…

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