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I hated the Church, too.

When I was about 18 years old, I had a few not-so-great experiences with Christians and decided to leave the Church. It’s not worth digging up the details on all that right now; that’s another (long) story for another time. Let’s just summarize it all to this: it felt like a big decision for me, but it seemed like no one else cared at all. No one chased this lost sheep. No one attempted a conversation with this isolated woman at the well. No one drew a line in the sand for this chastised sinner. At that point, I was…

Distinction, Dissension, and Dominion

The Church loves the concept of redemption. We sing about our living Redeemer and we praise the One who paid our debt week after week in our worship services. We’ve created after-school programs to redeem education inequalities, championed sponsorship programs to redeem third world poverty, launched non-profits to redeem racial divides in our culture, and pioneered conferences to redeem tired leaders who need a break.  For thousands of years Christians have been lending their voices for redemption to nearly every crevasse of society and thank God for that. It is needed and it is the Gospel made tangible to the…

Nameless Women // The Bleeding Woman

She steps her toe out of the tent. The sunlight hits her foot, and as she leans the rest of her body forward, she feels the magnitude of her movement in the pit of her stomach. Before her weight can move from the ball of her right foot to fill her heel, she shifts to her left and pulls herself back into the tent. Back under her covering. Back into the shade. Back into the darkness. She dances forward and back two more times before she pauses with her eyes closed. “Let all that I am praise the Lord. With…

Nameless Women // Talitha Koum

He has never felt so helpless in his life. In twelve years of parenting, fear has never run so deep and failure has never felt so close. She’s been laying in this bed for what seems like an eternity, and each day she’s gotten worse. He is a leader in the local synagogue, a man of deep devotion and faith, but he hasn’t left her bedside for days. In the early days of her illness, he spent hours on end at the altar on his knees in prayer; but lately, he cannot drag himself from her side. His prayer feels…

Nameless Women // The Woman Who Anoints Jesus

“I have to get there,” she thinks to herself. Sweating a bit from the run back to her house, she grabs the jar and stares at it for a moment. She rolls it around in her hands to admire the way the alabaster creates a marble swirl and feels cool to the touch. “I have never seen something so beautiful,” she mumbles out loud. “He is deserving of this and so much more.” She tucks the jar under her arm and runs out of the house. She races down the dirt road with so much haste that her head covering…

Nameless Women // The Wise Woman

            Her people had been engaging in a civil war of sorts for far too long. Her heart was grieving for the lives being senselessly lost, but even more so for how easily persuaded her people had become. Breaking her heart even more still was that King David, a man once most beloved, had become controversial as his son, Absalom, formed a rebellion against him.             Hatred consumed Absalom for most of his adult life. Since the rape of his sister, Tamar, Absalom never again found peace. He became obsessed with revenge, assuming it would satisfy the fire in his…

Nameless Women // Proverbs 31 Women

Her phone dings through the Bluetooth speaker on the counter and she knows who the text is from but the message will have to wait. She’s elbow deep in toilet bowl cleaner and smells like wild orange, baking soda, and white vinegar; a concoction she’s been blending since her first little girl, Sarah, was born and she was afraid of her toddler discovering a cabinet full of cleaning chemicals and using them as toys. As she’s scrubbing, her middle daughter, Kaylee, runs in the room and slams a suitcase on the ground, making a declaration for all who would listen:…

God doesn’t need to show up.

With the recent acts of injustice that are being shared all over social media right now, there is an outcry from pastors and believers to see God move. My Facebook and Instagram timelines are filled with people crying out for the God of justice to show up and do something in our world. This cry of lament is a healthy practice of the Christian faith. We see it from prophets like Jeremiah, kings like David, and in an entire Old Testament book called Lamentations. And, while it’s important to seek God in times of trouble and lay our burdens out…

For such a time as this // Isolation and Esther

I still remember being in my 9th grade science class and my teacher turning on the TV while saying, “Remember this moment. Someday, your kids are going to ask you where you were when 9/11 happened. You’ll be shocked how you remember every detail.” He’s right. I remember leaving English and seeing the panic on my teacher’s face as someone told her what happened. I remember seeing my classmates freaking out in the hallways and I didn’t believe what they were saying. I remember going to science and Mr. McGraw turning on the TV. I remember Edison Jr. High, the…

Papa // Joy & Grief

Chapter 4 – Papa             I was 23 years old when I found out my grandfather was Santa Claus. My grandfather, or “Papa” as he was most commonly and affectionately known, loved Christmas with every fiber of his being. The only things Papa loved more than Christmas were Grandma and his family. Papa grew up in-and-out of the foster system, and when he met my Grandma he vowed that their family would never experience what he did growing up. Papa did things like winning a guy’s suit in a poker game and then wearing that suit to a job interview…