Essays

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

The Weight and Joy of Community

I call my neighbor Robyn in the morning on my way to the hair salon. “What’s up?” she says, with her characteristic full laugh.   “Just getting my hair colored,” I say. “Do you think I should go with dark…

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Breaking Bread with The Leftovers

On the advice from a friend, I recently watched the critically-acclaimed HBO series, The Leftovers.   And by “I watched,” I mean this:   I watched the pilot, got really excited, watched another two or three episodes, got my wife…

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Your Gay Neighbor is Closer Than You Think

The year is 2002, and I’m in middle school. The girls seem freakishly tall and wear a lot of eyeshadow. The boys are mostly obsessed with video games.   In youth group, they split us up sometimes. The eyeshadow-wearing girls…

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The Faith to Doubt

I still remember the panic welling up from somewhere deep inside me. I had lingered in the classroom after all the other students had left in hopes of getting some answers from my professor. No, “answers” is the wrong word….

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The Defenders and Law Enforcement

Following in the footsteps of its older, more popular sibling series, Marvel bills The Defenders as Netflix’s prestigious streaming TV alternative to The Avengers.   The Defenders are Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, a blind attorney with supernaturally-heightened senses and martial…

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Privilege, Blessing, and Others

Six years ago my wife and I had the choice before us of where to send our oldest son to school. Our neighborhood public school had been in a state of constant flux for years as administrators and teachers moved…

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The Awkwardness of Being a Long-Distance Aunt

With an armful of children’s books and DVD’s, I make my way through the glass library door. I feel awkward as I carry these items, as foreign to me as the rocks on Mars. I feel like I should explain…

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The Girl in the Pink Dress

“Both my parents are dead,” she said with her smiling voice, “they died from AIDS.” “Oh,” the man replied. “That must have been hard for you.” “It’s okay. I don’t have AIDS.”   The man paused and I listened more…

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A Wide Gate for Kids on the Margins

Drive past our house in downtown Atlanta on a Saturday evening this fall to find a predictable scene. Our backyard brimming with teenage neighbors, the projector screen pulled down, and UGA football playing loud against the backdrop of brilliant blue…

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Other People’s Kids

In the days before my daughter started elementary school, I was sometimes overwhelmed with the social aspects of parenting. I needed to be alone with my thoughts from time to time, but my daughter was constantly dragging me back to…

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