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John Wesley, After Field Preaching

By Jill Bergkamp Poetry

Among the marsh marigold and cowslip, I found myself speaking of the spirits’ fruits, blackberries tangled on the vine. Spire pointing skyward proclaiming piety— this is where I left you to your tailored prayers. At Kingswood Hill I climbed and entered a topography of grace among the miners, unabashed, spoke that all our gifts are…

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Something Understood

By Michelle Syba Essay

MY MOTHER’S FIRST PRAYER was by phone, with a call-center employee from a Toronto Christian TV show. My mother was at a difficult moment in her life—health not good, family on another continent, a small child in her sole care. When she saw the show’s smiling, boyish host, she decided that he was an idiot and,…

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Web Exclusive: A Conversation with Lauren F. Winner

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

Each chapter of Lauren F. Winner’s new book, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God (HarperOne), explores a single biblical image of God through a mix of exegesis, cultural history, and personal essay. The chapter excerpted in issue 84 is about bread. Image’s Mary Kenagy Mitchell recently asked Winner about her…

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The Sea Here, Teaching Me

By Moira Linehan Poetry

the sea saying, This is how you pray to your rock of a god, your massive cliff of a god, sheer drop into the bay, immovable, not-going-anywhere kind of god. Look at photos from a hundred years ago. Your god’s not moved. Glacial remains of a god. Impenetrable. Can’t-wear-it- down god. Rock face of a…

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Learning to Live on the Spiral Jetty

By Jeffrey L. Kosky Essay

IN JULY OF 2014 I went to find Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in the Utah desert, about two hours by car from Salt Lake City. Massive, remote, and seemingly useless, Spiral Jetty has the feel of a lost work—one so far out of sight as to be out of mind:  most of us don’t even…

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Prayer

By Anne Shaw Poetry

Bathrooms are the best locale. All that waste and water and getting clean. Or trains. The nearly equal passengers. A phone rings in the kitchen but no one picks it up. Milk goes bad at room temp. You don’t check your email anymore. Could only scrawl a message: “I____you with all my harm.” Each day…

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You Couldn’t Believe as I Did

By Judith Sornberger Poetry

What became of the nice pagan girl I married? you complained one morning after I’d found my way to the church down the street and kept walking back every Sabbath. Over dinner you’d quiz me on the sermon, argue with the absent preacher, and me if I defended his BS. Maybe you resented any other…

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Man Is But an Ass

By Harrison Scott Key Essay

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I had two dreams. One of those dreams was to be a preacher. I wanted to preach because I loved public speaking, and because I loved memorization, and also because I grew up in the Church of Christ, which taught that baptism was the only way to get into heaven, but…

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Bread

By Lauren Winner Essay

The following is excerpted from Lauren Winner’s new book, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God, published this spring by HarperOne. Each chapter explores a single biblical image of God through a mix of exegesis, cultural history, and personal essay.   IT WOULD NOT BE a gross exaggeration to say…

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