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Messy Faith

Two Days After Christmas in a Coffee Shop in Indiana

My family met this year in the middle of the country. One family coming from each coast, and one from the middle of nowhere, so why not Indiana? The holiday itself has been a wild smash up. I filled myself up way too full, to the brim and to bursting, with food and fellowship, games and laughter, chaos and wildness and joy. And then I left. Burst out, introvert, gasping for breath. Must find silence. My two-year-old was so mad that I left (my husband texts me) that she went into our room and slammed the door and put herself [...]

By |December 27th, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories), Messy Faith|4 Comments

Ten Ways a White Person Can Be Interrupted by the Ferguson Movement

I have just been in a million conversations with white people about allyship. All weekend long. We have a ton of questions. To protest or not to protest? To post pictures of oneself getting arrested or not to post pictures of oneself getting arrested? To preach sermons about race or not to preach sermons about race? And, incidentally, how many hours per day is it acceptable to spend worrying about whether or not we’re doing this right? I’m going to state my position on this as simply as I can. I believe the most important thing a white person can do, [...]

By |December 11th, 2014|Messy Faith|8 Comments

The Borders of God’s Country

I heard on the radio this morning that our president is doing something "illegal." Also, I read a post just now...but I won't link to it. I don't want to give the devil legs. Suffice it to say, I see people of faith across the United States of America claiming today that God's law would secure our borders. I see people of faith claiming that these borders, these concrete walls in sand, are expressions of God's will for humanity. I disagree. I am a person of faith. I am a Jesus follower. I do not support the conflation of US [...]

By |November 21st, 2014|Messy Faith|8 Comments

What Faith Really Has To Do With Art

It is approximately a biannual occurrence for me that I quit blogging. Usually I announce this to my best friends, those tall trees that always encircle me. Usually in a very loud voice. "THAT'S IT. I'M QUITTING." When getting to a wifi signal requires sliding down a very steep and snowy hill…? SERIOUSLY. And no, we do not have these new-fangled concrete barrier things like they have on the highway. Not here. What we have here is a canyon. One side up. The other side down. Blogging is the first thing to go. Any sane person would agree. Yet, here [...]

By |November 17th, 2014|Messy Faith, Writing Life|16 Comments

Jesus and the She-God (On Using Female Pronouns For God)

I was converted to Christianity after hearing a church congregation recite together the Our Father prayer. I was ready to join in, I thought I knew what I was doing, having been in church plenty as a kid, but then they started right out praying to “Our Father and Mother” and I left my mouth open but nothing came out. I was just as stunned a little later in the same worship service when the choir sang the 23rd Psalm with all female pronouns for God.

By |October 17th, 2014|Messy Faith|14 Comments

#Ferguson and Me, or, Why Should I Care?

I was standing on a subway train. He was sitting in the corner. It took me a moment to realize he was talking to me. I looked up from my book, which I was holding in two hands around the silver pole. I realized he was inviting me to sit next to him and I recoiled. "No thanks, I'm okay." I put my head back down into my book. He stood. I rolled my eyes. He made a mock, exaggerated bow and offered me the whole two-seater bench. I didn't like the attention, but I sat, curling my arms around myself. He spread his [...]

By |August 14th, 2014|Messy Faith|22 Comments

The Hollowing (When I am a Singing Bowl)

Years ago a friend of mine experienced a series of losses. I said to her, “God is making all this space in your life. I can’t wait to see what comes along to fill it.” I don’t know if she felt like shooting poison daggers into my heart at that moment. Do you think? If you said that to me right now I think I might. It started for me around last Christmas. Maybe only the straining of growth, which is synonymous with endings. Maybe a rhythm I set years ago -- or had set for me by the struggle that [...]

By |June 20th, 2014|Messy Faith|14 Comments

When White Women Talk About Race: A Case for Thoughtful Self-Censorship

This is not a neat, wrapped-up-with-bow kind of post. It's just a list of thoughts: messy, challenging thoughts. These are thoughts about what happens when white women talk about race, and what goes wrong, and why. And, most important, what we can do to make things better. Thought #1. Stereotypes actually change what we see.  This is such a racket, girls. It's the devil. Here we are, perfectly intelligent people, and we can be going through our lives saying things like, "I see that black people are in service jobs, while white people are the ones being served. That's really awful." [...]

By |June 3rd, 2014|Messy Faith|18 Comments

A Love Letter to the Boston Marathon

This is a re-post of what I wrote on this day exactly a year ago…  All my love to you Boston! I wish you all a great weekend and a great April vacation… It's nice out here in the woods, but you know sometimes I miss you.  In 2012, I took my two children to see the Boston Marathon. They were two and four years old and I was pregnant. The scariest thing about it was the traffic on the turnpike. I wasn’t there, last year, when the bombs exploded at the finish line. Last year I was putting up [...]

By |April 17th, 2014|Messy Faith|3 Comments

Two Kinds of Justice (And When Streams Run Uphill)

I don’t remember why I was talking about God’s justice. But I was talking about it the way I do, all starry eyed and hopeful. An acolyte and student of the kingdom coming: a kingdom in which kings are brought low and the innocents rise. She said, “That isn’t what I think of when I hear the word justice. We always heard about justice like it was God’s punishment for the wicked.” I made the kind of sound you make when you’re having an emotional response to something but your words haven’t caught up with you yet. She went on, [...]

By |April 15th, 2014|Messy Faith|20 Comments

A Love Letter to All the Girls I’ve Ever Been

The last time I went to a conference I was 21 years old and immortal. It was the KC/ACTF college theatre conference. I got fifty bucks for winning the undergraduate scholarly papers contest. Then I got drunk and did sixteen pirouettes in the parking lot. And then we went to Denny's to steal ashtrays. I don't what happened to that girl. Man. She was a riot. This past weekend I went to a conference again. Thirteen years later. Different. (Very different.) But when my friend Cultural Savage met me in person, he said, "You're more punk rock than I thought [...]

By |March 11th, 2014|Messy Faith|24 Comments

To the Well

I'm taking a couple of days off, friends. I need it. I'm ragged around the edges. Down right worn. Overexposed, undernourished, a lot raw and vulnerable, too much punchy. There is tired, of course. And there is t.i.r.e.d. There is tired that needs only a good sleep. And there is tired that needs the Well. I need the Well. Friends, I'm not sorry I told my story this week, about how frazzled and frantic it can get. Living close to the bone, living close to the edges. I'm not sorry I told a story of the days when opting out [...]