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God’s Call and American Idol: Part 2

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If you’re a contestant on American Idol, you may have the holy desires to uplift your fans through your singing and to earn a living for your family. But if you sabotage another entrant to better your chances of prevailing, your holy desires have become warped. While many desires prompt goodness, others trigger evil and…

God’s Call and American Idol: Part 1

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I love American Idol and could hardly wait until this spring when the show was revived after a two-year hiatus. I’d watched it all through the previous seasons: those judged by Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson; those when Kara DioGuardi stepped in; the stints of Steven Tyler, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj; the reigns of…

A Sky of Parchment Made

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Leaving work the other evening—a cold, blustery twilight that belied the spring it’s supposed to be—I drove down D.C.’s North Capitol Street and passed the usual crowds that give the neighborhood its shady reputation. Things are “trending” in these parts—new restaurants have arrived and townhouses are being renovated—but you still have a lot of people…

Poetry Friday: “The Years Were Patient with Me”

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I love this poem because it mirrors the passing of time, patiently guiding readers through the speaker’s perspectives on truth. The structure of the poem resembles a list, providing four metaphors for how truth moves in the world. The poem’s relationship with truth is a relationship characterized by time and movement. Even before we reach…

My Mother, My Daughter, Myself

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My daughter Anna Maria was born on Orthodox Easter Sunday—Pascha—in 2009. That year, the date fell on April 19. While her brother had blasted his way into the world at the very bottom of the night, in a delivery that was swift and surreal and unmedicated, my daughter arrived in the late afternoon as the…

On the Path to Freedom

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First seder, Passover 5778. Esther recalls climbing Mt. Pisgah in the early ’80s. She was in her fifties. Visiting her daughter and son-in-law at the time and first grandchild. What did I know about climbing a mountain? she says. I was from Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn. We were walking behind some other hikers, women older than…

The Skirt of God

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Dear Saint Francis, I imagined I saw you today out of the upstairs window. Your cowl had slipped off your head, and you were fighting uselessly with the wind to put it back up again. The recently fallen leaves around your feet likely understood the inevitability of your struggle. Your habit, patched and torn and…

Getting Lost on Good Friday

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My Good Friday plans got hijacked by 11:00 a.m. I’d forgotten the big “marshmallow drop” (don’t ask), and suddenly we were rushing around the house finding shoes and coats and plastic bags so we could join several hundreds of our fellow Evanstonians at the park. While there, we ran into friends, who invited us to…

Poetry Friday: “The Sea Here, Teaching Me”

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Moira Linehan’s powerful poem scarcely needs commentary; “The Sea Here, Teaching Me” becomes the experience it describes. Linehan turns familiar biblical images of comfort into images of desolation. The reader overhears the sea teaching how to pray, not to a god who is the Psalmist’s rock of refuge and protective fortress but to a “rock…

Revisiting Moonrise Kingdom

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“It’s the rhythm in rock music that summons the demons,” said the church community of my childhood. So I took my musical thrills where I could find them. In front of my grandfather’s turntable, I air-conducted Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite,” Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” and Benjamin Britten’s “The Young Person’s Guide to the…

Image’s Daily Blog

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.

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