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From the Stranger in Me to the Stranger in You


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It may have been the first time someone had used the word pornographer to describe me, but it was not the first time I felt the punch of its meaning in reaction to my writing.

The Whole of Russia


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Even now, as you sit with the baby asleep in your arms, there are humble farmers amidst those lakes and rivers, their bodies bent close to the soil, and God is with them, the proof of his beating heart present in the summer’s pond lilies and the winter’s great gusts of clean white snow.

A History of Everything According to God


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The first moment
is this moment,
this one right now.

Quiet Times


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What times these are.
No one knows what’s happening.
The air is filled with words.

Good Faith


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Jessica Treadway spins a tale of rivalry, scandal, and sacrifice in a small-town church community.

The Girl God


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The night of my most pain
a new girl came and was put
in the opposite bed.

The Devil’s in the Details


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That was terrorism,
she says. I know evil.

. . . I love her and how do we

explain her?

Judge Not


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How to do it, how hold
in balance

what misses the mark
and what hits it

In the Studio


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As a child, I would write letters to god, then fold and throw them behind the wardrobe in my room, as if it were some sort of divine void.

When your father is barely literate enough to read from the Bible aloud, but you so love that there is even this one moment he will share with you


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The voice of your brother’s blood 
is crying to me from the ground.

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Mentored by the Dead

In the midst of a viral pandemic that has shuttered schools and universities, why go on writing essays about the syntactical anomalies of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, or learning when and how to use the French subjunctive tense, when humanity itself is threatened by a massive, though microscopic, enemy?

The Power of Absence: Reading Graham Greene during Lent

Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship have had to close at a time when faith and the comfort of community are needed most. But faith finds a way to lift us, even from a distance.

April 7, 2020

We say flattening fattening smashing the; and do I look sexy (chin’s up, buttercup) in my balaclava? We say what is ZOOM, then we Zoom. We say zoom is malware (but it’s all malware). Check this box if you are not a robot, now do you wanna zoom?

Reading Together: Recommendations for Parents and Children

Today I share some of our family’s favorites—stories that reflect the power of community, the value of resilience, and the possibilities of hope—all with enough depth to engage even the adults in your family.

Attention as Prayer: Public Art in the Pandemic

Simone Weil once said that “Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer.” On this sunny morning, getting up close to the wall, I’m beginning to understand what she means.

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