On Off the Page . . .

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I had the great privilege of writing for the Off the Page “What to Celebrate and Lament” column throughout the month of December. The opportunity not only gave me experience in writing weekly for a publication, but it turned out to be such a centering spiritual practice for me to personally take time for focusing on what I was indeed celebrating and grieving in my life or in our world. It helped me make space and take time for holding both the deeply rich and deeply hard simultaneously.

Here are some snippets from the pieces along with a link to read the rest. And while you’re over there, peruse the other fantastic content on their page as they work to connect with those who are on the margins of faith.

Season Marking and Cold, Cold Nights | What to Celebrate and Lament this Week

We said goodbye that day for the first and last time. She was a ghost who blew in only long enough to ignite a pilot light within me that would influence my next ten years’ worth of work and love and life among those in poverty. On cold nights, every single year, when we break out our thicker blankets and the first fire-pit logs of Louisiana winter–when I know that DC must be that much colder–I wonder if Vickie’s made it inside if she’s made it this long.  And I grieve a world where I cannot reconcile the great suffering of some of my most significant teachers with the great privilege that is my daily life filled with travels and ornaments, blankets and logs. (read more . . . )

Eye Contact and Gun Shots | What to Celebrate and Lament this Week

She cocked her head and stared at me, squinting, a smile forming. “That moment right there that you and I just had,” she said slowly, “was the best conversation I have had all week.”

“Me too,” I inhaled. (read more . . . )

Evangelicalism | What to Celebrate and Lament this Week

But there I was, thanking God for the red box of funfetti cake mix from a local Baptist church to think more simply and slowly about Christmas for the first time in years. At that moment, I recognized my eagerness to label and reject all aspects of what is traditionally associated with evangelicalism as things that are harmful, ineffective, or unable to grow me. And I felt humbled by the reminder that I am the one who loses when I decide that there are people and experiences from whom I can learn nothing about God. (read more . . . )

Mary and Change | What to Celebrate and Lament this Week

Between her hips. Screaming into the dark, dank, dung-laced air of an innkeeper’s extra space.

Did she know the irony and significance of shedding her blood to bring forth his life? Did she consider all of the social constructs he was dismantling by drinking from her flesh and coming under her maternal guidance? Did her chest develop within it the anxieties and guilt, like mine did, when such a special and impossible love was entrusted to her? (read more . . . )

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