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The Doubt that Breathes Beside You

By Stina Kielsmeier-Cook Essay

1. We are late to church and sneak along the outer edge of the sanctuary, the pine floors creaking under our careful steps. I slide into the pew next to my husband. My leg brushes against him, this man I love, a man who recently lost faith in God. I scan the bulletin and try…

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Jacob’s Ladder

By Javier Acosta Poetry

Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely God is present in this place, and I did not know it!” Shaken, he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven.”                      …

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Texas Blues

By Mark Wagenaar Poetry

Someone pulls a burning splinter from the devil’s thigh ————————————————& holds it up to the sun— August in Texas. And slides it down the frets to get the dying cicadas going, half wheeze & half-halted gospel hum, if it’s Blind Willie a hundred years ago, Blind Pilgrim born a stone’s throw from here, if it’s…

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Daughter of the Ancient Law

By Adélia Prado Poetry

God does not give me peace. God is my goad. He bites my heel like a snake, makes himself verb, meat, glass shard, stone against which my head bleeds. I cannot rest in this love. I cannot sleep in the light of this eye fixed on me. I want to return to my mother’s womb,…

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Fighting Fish

By Samuel Thomas Martin Short Story

FRED, THEIR BETTA FISH, IS DEAD. Christopher tips scummy water into the wilted tomato on the fire escape and gazes at the red body in his hand. He thinks about tossing Fred into the alley for the neighbor’s tabby before Damien wakes up from his nap, but decides against it. Ruth always strolls up the…

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Shouts and Whispers

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

HAVING been a participant in any number of roundtables and panels on the state of religion in America, and in particular the relationship between faith and culture, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing my conservative colleagues argue that contemporary writers of faith are flabby compared to the more muscular writers of the early and mid-twentieth century.…

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Bent Body, Lamb

By Molly McCully Brown Essay

THE LAST TIME I TELL ANYONE I don’t believe in God is the summer before ninth grade. My mother and I are lying in my parents’ bed, still awake at three a.m. This is how we spend almost every night that July, because it is a hundred degrees even in the dark, and the casts on…

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Grief Daybook: Evans’ Gulf of Mexico

By Carol Ann Davis Poetry

There are panels of sky as good as forgotten, Evans’ gelatin folds of Florida circa 1934. The line of sky is dark at first where the gulf hits it, then comes to me like a halo around the palm tree with its neck bent, its spray of branches leaning out of frame as if to…

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Jerusalem Manor

By Ben Birnbaum Essay

Why Believe in God? Over the past few years, the Image staff contemplated assembling a symposium based on this simple problem. But we hesitated. Should we pose such a disarmingly straightforward question to artists and writers, who tend to shun the explicit and the rational? Or were we hesitating because the question itself made us…

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Young-Adult Fiction Comes of Age

By Hannah Faith Notess Book Review

The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas (Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2008) Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes (Hyperion, 2005) Trouble by Gary Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2008) Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown, 2009) AS A TEENAGER, I was given several novels in a series of inspirational young-adult (YA) books. On their pastel covers, modestly sweatshirted girls with big hair and…

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