As a young woman, my great-grandmother, Buda, joined the Renewalist church, which was part of the early Pentecostal movement in Minnesota. The Pentecostal denomination emphasized the restoration of the spiritual gifts (prophecy, miracles, healing, discernment, tongues) to the contemporary church. Specifically, they focused on speaking in tongues. Buda explained to us, her great-grandchildren, that being able to speak in tongues was proof those who joined the church had been baptized in the Spirit, saved. She joined the church on a frigid Sunday in February. She was called to the front of the rented room, just in front of the altar…
And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirt rejoices in God the Preserver, who has been mindful of my humbleness as handmaid.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done remarkable things by me, and holy is The Name. And the Lord’s mercy is for those who revere the Divine from generation to generation.
God has shown strength; God has scattered the proud in the schemes of their hearts; the Lord has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the marginalized.
God has filled the famished…
To be great, be whole;
Exclude nothing, exaggerate nothing that is not you.
Be whole in everything. Put all you are
Into the smallest thing you do.
Fernando Pessoa, Poems of Fernando Pessoa
It was early Sunday morning and it was raining, which seemed appropriate. Rain is a Jungian Archetype, a universal symbol connected to life, death, and their mingling: resurrection. I was sitting in a church parking lot, rain washing over the windshield, and struggling with these concepts. Going to church, at that time in my life, required I amputate part of who I was whenever I crossed the…
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4.18, 19
It is 1989. I am 12 years old. My family sits with other families in the church basement. I notice it is just families and wonder if there is significance to that — I never found out. All the lights are out. I see…
White, able bodied, cishet Americans have been turning away from police violence, racism, and abuse for so long.The way white people are talking about this as a surprise and not American haven't been paying attention.
Abuse and inequality are the tools white people (especially white cishet men) have used to build their success atop everyone else's backs. Our country is founded on the abuse of BIPOC.
I don't know how to begin fixing a country that has white supremacy and violence baked right into its founding. I used to believe that being aware of it and pushing back on it…
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Journey is a rich word capturing both the movement of discernment and importance of our path. My journey into God’s Kin-dom is like a father-daughter canoe trip I took as a teen. We set off at 4 AM in early May and traveled North on I-35 toward the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, an expanse of wilderness, rivers, and lakes on the boarder of Minnesota and Canada so vast that…
This hour I tell things in confidence
I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
There are elements of who we are that we keep in our hearts, perhaps to treasure, to hide, or to forget. We are created beings who wish to keep parts of ourselves to ourselves. Perhaps this is a holdover from one of our oldest narratives. When Eve and Adam ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they felt humiliation at their nakedness, both their being and their actions. This is what makes being human difficult: we fear…
“The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people.”
“Have you completely rejected Judah? Does your heart loathe Zion? Why have you struck us down so that there is no healing for us? We look for peace, but find no good; for a time of healing, but there is terror instead. We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, the iniquity of our ancestors, for we have sinned against you. Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us. Can any idols…