Essays

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

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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Memory as the Best Education

“I don’t want to pitch, coach. I’m no good.”   This summer I coached an inner-city baseball team for 4th and 5th graders. The goal of this league is to allow kids to learn some baseball skills, try all the…

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Not So Scared

In May of my senior year of college, on a Thursday to be precise, I was supposed to be studying for final exams with my friend Alison. I had no interest in higher education, because this was the night of…

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Love Letters from Prison

The night of my Paw Paw’s funeral, I sat in his ancient, tattered leather chair, family photo albums piled around me, flipping through the pages of our history and having myself a good cry. Pictures of the life my grandparents…

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Interacting with Kids as a Single Person

A few years ago, I was privileged to meet an amazing woman named Virginia. She was in her nineties, but still lived alone and drove her own car. She had remained single over the course of her life; she had…

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All Things Are Yours

The last few months I’ve been reading books by writers some people condemn as heretics. Heretic is an interesting word; it means “a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.” To most people, then, Christians are…

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Different Cultures, Same Desire

The repurposed wood was the first thing that stuck out to me as I walked into the church. A greeter said “hello” as she handed me a bulletin, but didn’t ask my name or give hers. I sat in a…

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Changing Landscapes

The sky is deep blue, and the lake is calm and waveless—flat as a piece of glass for as far as the eye can see. The expanse of the horizon melts into the largeness of the blue of the water….

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Responsibility of Listening

The first day of math class in my junior year of high school, Mr. Henderson told us to sit in alphabetical order, by last name. The boy who sat in front of me was new. A sophomore. Foreign, but I…

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