The Other

Swastikas to Windmills

Lorenzo and Willow ate the last of my granola bars, but I can’t be mad at them because I like having the neighborhood kids around. They are third graders, the same as my daughter. Their world revolves around after-school bike…

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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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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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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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The Unseen Life of Refugees in Greece

Sitting on the floor of my Afghan friend’s small apartment, our mouths watered as the smells of turmeric and basmati rice covered in hot oil and salt floated from Masuma’s kitchen. Stuck in a never-ending game of UNO with her…

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Be Not Afraid

We don’t know quite what else to do We have all our beliefs But we don’t want our beliefs God of peace, We want you. –Aaron Weiss   I have irrational fears.   They used to be small–pumping my own…

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Life in Za’atari: One Month in a Refugee Camp

I remember seeing the images, pictures of children covered in dust, debris, and blood. The 2015 photograph of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, who drowned during his family’s flight to Europe, left me devastated. More photographs followed, images of devastation…

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Inhabiting Instead of Defending

I’m making dinner when a group of strangers comes tromping through my garden to the back pasture where the steers and pigs live, stopping first to see what I’m growing in the garden. My dog is barking at them. He’s…

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The Refugee Down the Pew

Sitting down the pew from her, you wouldn’t be able to tell. She’s got a small scar on her cheek from a fight with a boy in camp. She has another on her knee, the result of a fall as…

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