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Prodigal

By Richard Jones Poetry

My aged father and I enjoy the silence between us as we sit in the Adirondacks, watching the children playing tag on the lawn and running in circles, happy to be it or not to be it, happy just to be, though I know they give no thought to being. My father leans toward me…

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Finding Our Names

By Leslie Leyland Fields Essay

Fathers and teachers, I ponder, “What is hell?” I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. —Dostoyevsky How did I get so lucky to have my heart awakened to others and their suffering? —Pema Chödrön WHEN MY FATHER DIES, I may not know about it for days. The people at his…

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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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Normal

By Richard Jones Poetry

Tent Revival, 1957 When things get back to normal God will put on black robes and ascend to the mercy seat to judge the world, the ruined cities, the devastated hills, the living and the risen dead. When things get back to normal, He’ll open the Book of Life and read what each man has…

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The Priest Stops in the Churchyard

By Joanna Solfrian Poetry

after Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory It is not quite peace, this breathing rain, for peace requires human company. I have only tattered cuffs and wisps of thread in my pocket for each soul I could not save. I first mistook the whitewashed brick for barracks, but now, while the rain heaves in…

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Divine Wrath

By Adélia Prado Poetry

When I was wounded whether by God, the devil, or myself —I don’t know yet which— it was seeing the sparrows again and clumps of clover, after three days, that told me I hadn’t died. When I was young, all it took were those sparrows, those lush little leaves, for me to sing praises, dedicate…

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Ideal Marriage

By Janet Peery Short Story

THROUGH A WARMING NIGHT the ice dams on the Big Slough thawed, and in the morning the first robins, antic in their hunt for worms, hopped in the south yard. Freddie Cahill’s spirit, dormant through what had seemed the longest winter of the eighty-some she’d spent on earth, stirred once again to meet the season’s…

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The Preacher Addresses the Seminarians

By Christian Wiman Poetry

I tell you it’s a bitch existence some Sundays and it’s no good pretending you don’t have to pretend, don’t have to hitch up those gluefutured nags Hope and Help and whip the sorry chariot of yourself toward whatever hell your heaven is on days like these. I tell you it takes some hunger heaven…

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