Essays

Short personal, cultural, and journalistic essays for those on the margins of faith

My Unexpected Journey to Fight Gendercide

Water laps against my ears, and I hear the sound of my breath and the gentle thump of my heart with rushing blood that keeps me alive. This sanctuary calms my troubled soul. Water is my comfort, and the bathtub…

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My Biology is No Accident

She stands at the front of the church and raises her arms in greeting. “The Lord be with you,” she says. We reply, “And also with you.”   My pastor is not tall, about five foot three, give or take—just…

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The Hidden Conditions of Heroism

When I first saw the film Hidden Figures advertised, I determined to take my sixteen-year-old daughter to see it. As the white father of a biracial daughter (a father who remembers the days of the “Math is hard” Barbie), it…

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Orthodox Comfort

A couple of months ago I resigned from my job. It wasn’t a good resignation—it was scandalous and controversial and public. I am still reeling from the effects of this trauma in my life. Many times a personal crisis reveals…

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The God Who Sees Women

I still remember the faint whispers—the hushed conversations carried from church pews into my hardened heart. About a God I wanted no affiliation with because this God, from my perspective, did not value women. The stories of pastors who told…

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The Portrait

I felt completely seen and understood when I saw her.   The light fell dimly in the room where she was bent, on her knees, her thighs and calves supporting her torso and upper body. Her legs seemed solid and…

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When the Church is Too Small for Women

It’s not easy for a thoughtful, driven woman with leadership tendencies and a mind full of questions to grow up in a patriarchal, fundamentalist Christian community, but that is precisely my story.   The Christian community I grew up in…

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A Letter to My Daughter on Her Body

I’m not sure how to talk about this. But I’m scared for you, my daughter. You have such a bubbly, sweet, and fiery soul, and this makes me afraid that the world is going to tell you to stop listening…

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Sassy Jesus

“Lydia,” I said, “you be Jesus.”   I had to assign each of the kids in my Sunday school class a role in acting out one of the Gospel stories. This particular story called for four guys, Jesus and three…

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The Homemaker

She stands at the counter with a chopping board and knife, her wrist driving down, cutting through the skin of a pepper. Once, twice, again and again—she knows this repetition. The pepper falls away into long, thin slices of red….

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