Essays

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

Getting Used to Good News

Sometimes, I’m not sure I’m happy enough for Easter. When it comes around each year, I sing the alleluia’s that we have stopped saying during Lent, and I clap a lot and say, “He is risen indeed,” when I am…

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Broken as Hell

There are these guys at the Starbucks I go to. I think they’re retired. They’re always wearing sweatpants and don’t look like they’ve showered so I figure they aren’t working. These guys are here every time I am, and it…

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How Does Jesus Feel About Guns?

Where I grew up two types of people had guns. Well, three actually: gang members, police officers, and old men. There was a fair amount of gun violence in my hometown. I first experienced it personally when I was in…

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Light the Whole Sky

I made a glass-ceiling dessert. It was a lemon bar with the filling dyed ocean blue. On top I added a thin layer of sugar glaze so it would look cracked when you tapped it. I baked it the night…

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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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The Bright Sadness of Lent

I came late to observing Lent.   In college, I came across a book called Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross. I picked it up because Lauren Winner wrote the foreword, and I will read just about anything she…

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The Gold-Tipped Book

I was six years old when my parents came home with a box full of World Book encyclopedias. My brother was just starting high school, and it was a time where we still flipped through books to find answers to…

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Losing My Salvation | Living Belief

I grew up in a faith tradition where one could lose their salvation. I, at the time, understood this as if I no longer acted like a Christian (loved the poor, read my Bible, attended church, etc.), than I would…

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As If

I grew up in an evangelical, white, middle-class home. We loved Jesus, went to church each Sunday, and studied the Bible. We were Baptist, so we didn’t follow much of a liturgical calendar—in fact, any liturgy was treated with suspicion….

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Learning to Love One Another

In Hebrew, there’s this word ahava, and it’s a godsend as we learn about love. In English, we have just the one word – love – to denote a wide range of positive emotion, but in Hebrew, there’s a handful,…

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