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Listening to Beautiful Darkness

By Brad FruhauffNovember 21, 2016

Waking from the Nightmare A little girl awakens in an autumn wood. She stands, looks up through the red-orange fire of the leaves to see a small patch of white sky. Then she brushes the leaves from her cardigan and walks out of the frame. Someone screams. The idyll is broken. We’re back in the…

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Creative Tension in the White Imagination

By Brad FruhauffOctober 18, 2016

Tension Isn’t Usually Pretty A Facebook video shows a deputy sheriff getting in the face of a young black protester attempting to access the courthouse lawn in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. The young man keeps his cool, insisting their intentions are merely to pray peacefully, but the deputy isn’t interested. He just wants them to…

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Microbes, Miracles, and Monstrosity

By Natalie VestinAugust 31, 2016

I’ve always promised myself I wouldn’t work with anything living, a prohibition I applied first when, in high school, I job-shadowed a pathologist and fainted when watching a lung biopsy, fainted when seeing the wall of stored blood, fainted ad infinitum into the twenty-first century. I couldn’t deal with watching pain, and I hadn’t considered…

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A Letter To My Sister

By Christiana N. PetersonJune 7, 2016

Eve, my sister The one who took the fall Eve, my sister Mother of us all Lift up your head Don’t hide your blushing face The promised One Is finally on His way —Mary Consoles Eve, “Rain for Roots” You have been my first companion in a lifetime of laughter, quarrels, and confidences. Without you,…

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The Long Regretful Wait

By Tony WoodliefMay 19, 2016

My mother’s quavering voicemail was right: I hadn’t called in a long time. I justified my neglect with the assurance that I’d called on her birthday, I’d called on Mother’s Day, I’d made my dutiful calls even though I suspected she was mad at me. I made them and she didn’t answer. I hadn’t called…

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Grief and the Weight of Glory

By Christiana N. PetersonMay 17, 2016

The wind whips through the quilts and sheets on our clothesline, cracking now and then like a benign thunderclap, tugging at the clothespins I inherited from my grandmother’s childhood farm. My daughter and I watch them as we swing together on the playset her father built a few seasons ago, before she was born. This…

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The Wounds of Resurrection

By Christiana N. PetersonApril 19, 2016

As my husband prepared for an Easter sermon a few weeks ago, our dinnertime conversations during Lent turned to Jesus’s appearance to the disciples after his resurrection, to the episode where poor Thomas is saddled with his unfortunate moniker. Carravaggio painted a terribly potent picture of Thomas probing Jesus’s wounds, his lord’s flesh curving over…

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Believing in the Beach Boys

By Tania RunyanMarch 29, 2016

The first church I attended as a teenaged new believer swiftly taught me two doctrines: There won’t be any Democrats in heaven. Secular music is tantamount to heresy. The first one was easy enough to get. Reagan had saved us from the devil Jimmy Carter, and now Jesus had the go-ahead to return whenever he…

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Refugees Are People, Not a Crisis

By Peggy RosenthalMarch 22, 2016

Sometimes the horrors in the news are so overwhelming that I’m left speechless. This is how I feel now—have been feeling for months—about what is being called Europe’s “refugee crisis.” Refugee crisis. Encapsulating massive human suffering in those two simple words strikes me as demeaning: a slap in the face of every refugee from the…

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The Living Among the Dead

By Natalie VestinMarch 14, 2016

Thanksgiving Day after I turned four: high fever at dinner, a drive through a blizzard, then a spinal tap. Meningitis. The nurse promised me angels, and they floated from the bright examination light to the floor, and this is all I remember: paper angels filling the emergency room, snow falling outside, my mother crying. For…

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