Perfect Age in an Imperfect World: 7 Blessings for My Son

Seven is the perfect age. I’m sure of it. This morning my seven-year-old son woke up early, padding into the den in sock feet. I can see the sleep still lingering in his eyes as he curls up in my lap, all knees and elbows. I rest my chin in his tousled hair and breathe […]

Read More

A View from Way Up High: Summer with Ezekiel & Jeremiah

The broad wooden planks felt warm beneath my feet as I stood leaning on the rail of the deck overlooking the valley. From my vantage point on the high ridge, I could see hundreds of miles in the distance. I watched the clouds gather and darken and roil low on the horizon. Occasionally lightning electrified […]

Read More

Sketches of Love: Postcards from My Father

When I was fresh out of college, I moved overseas. And while I was living in Sofia, Bulgaria, my father used to send me postcards. The internet was still in its infancy (a reality my kids find impossible to fathom), so people sometimes sent real stamped paper mail that arrived in actual mailboxes. Emojis hadn’t […]

Read More

The Inestimable Value of Unintentional Mothering

When I was in high school I had a sort of on-again, off-again relationship with God. My mom would often see my navy blue Bible with my name printed on the cover in silver laying on the clothes dryer at the foot of the stairs to my room over the garage. She knew I’d dropped […]

Read More

The Arena of Wonder…and Laughter

My grandfather had a shock of white hair and a physique that testified to his love for food and celebration. He was a Baptist pastor born and bred in the Appalachian mountains not far from Hickory, NC. He had seen moonshine devastate so many families in his community that he was a strict teetotaler, but […]

Read More

A Flame in the Desert

The way we pray shapes who we become. Our prayers reflect our understanding of God’s work in the past and our hopes about the way God will interact with us in the future. This Egyptian Coptic prayer testifies to the expectation that God walks with believers through the storm, that His presence is a sustaining force and source of joy. And it reflects their desire to become a flame of love.

Read More

Lamentations & the Steadfast Love of the Lord

I glance over and see my four-year-old daughter sitting on the couch. Still in her pajamas, she’s coloring happily, a spray of multi-hued markers in reach of her right hand. She’s healthy, she’s safe, she’s here with me. Glancing over to my computer screen I gaze at a photograph of a four-year-old girl in a […]

Read More

Will We Eat and be Satisfied?

Five barley loaves and two fish—not much to feed more than 5,000 hungry people. But in Jesus’s hands not enough is transformed into abundance. Not enough, it turns out, is more than enough. The feeding of a crowd of 5,000 men, along with women and children, is the only one of Jesus’s miracles other than […]

Read More

Fellowship: Can a spiritual reality draw us together even when we feel miles apart?

If I say the word “epiphany,” what immediately comes to mind? I think of a bright, startling moment of understanding or inspiration. I imagine an unexpected insight in which the contours of a truth once hazy snap into place. Once seen, they can’t be unseen. In this sense, epiphany is revelation—something made manifest to us […]

Read More

When a Blessing Breaks your Heart

“Blessed are you among women, ” Elizabeth ecstatically exclaimed to Mary, but I wonder. In the run up to Christmas this year, I’ve been thinking about Mary, about her experience of motherhood, about what it means to say that she was “blessed among women.” How could a mother who would one day witness the suffering […]

Read More