A Different Kind of Sight

A Different Kind of Sight

I found out today that the habit I’ve picked up in the past couple of months is called doomscrolling. Even if the term is new to you, as it was to me, you can probably guess the meaning. And perhaps you, too, have picked up this habit, as the events of each day — along with people’s astonishing reactions to them — fill up your news feed and capture your attention, even as every new item you scroll through heaps disbelief…

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The Priesthood of All Believers in the Face of Racism

The Priesthood of All Believers in the Face of Racism

Even though I watch from Australia, the other side of the world doesn’t seem so far away. The turmoil and grief of my native country, of my black brothers and sisters, fills my mind and heart as I pour over news articles and podcasts and grasp for some way to act wisely and faithfully in response.  Muddled though my thoughts and emotions are, one idea has surfaced again and again this week: the priesthood of all believers. Might there be…

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“A Weighty Burden of Guilt”

“A Weighty Burden of Guilt”

“As a culture we have spent a great deal of time in recent decades naming and deploring the crimes and injustices in our history. This is right and necessary. But the present crises have exposed crimes and injustices deeply embedded in the society we live in now. So we provide our descendants with a weighty burden of guilt to lament. This irony—too mild a word—casts grave doubt on the rigor of our self-examinations. “All this comes down to the need…

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Pentecost & Justice

Pentecost & Justice

Today — the Feast of Pentecost. Today, we remember the sending of the Spirit, the gracious outpouring of God himself on his people.  As I meditate on God’s gift of his Spirit, I think of Jesus’ words:  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year…

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The Help We Need

The Help We Need

For us cross-cultural workers, so far away from our mothers, we tend to mother ourselves — to hack and schedule and self-care our way into health and flourishing. And we can get pretty good at it. We are creative, resilient people, and we couldn’t keep going if we didn’t have some measure of endurance and spirit.  We’ve learned to live without our mothers, and many of us are perhaps living without mother-figures, as well. We feel the weight of cross-cultural…

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COVID-19: A Prolonged Sabbath in a Culture of Productivity

COVID-19: A Prolonged Sabbath in a Culture of Productivity

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, in the middle of school holidays and feeling untethered in many ways. Now, as Term 2 descends, “Sabbath” does not quite seem the right idea for what I’m facing now. The same maybe true for you — or not. I’m sure that our experiences of this time will be as diverse as we are ourselves. Even so, I’m hoping that what I was thinking about a couple of weeks ago may be…

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March 25: Annunciation of the Lord

March 25: Annunciation of the Lord

“Here am I, the servant of the Lord: let it be to me according to your will.”– from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals This morning I had another conversation with my children about what is happening in the world. They woke up ready to launch into complaining, particularly about the limits on their social life. Normally, they mark the days of the week by which friends they will play with. Now, tears come regularly. They’re not alone. While…

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The Better Portion

The Better Portion

Does the story of Mary and Martha bother anyone else? Honestly, for much of my life I’ve had a hard time understanding what exactly I’m supposed to take from the story. I’m not obviously the Martha or the Mary — I’m happy to be in the classroom or the kitchen. But I’m not happy to be left alone in the kitchen when guests are over. To me, Mary’s abandonment of Martha seems selfish, justifying Martha’s indignation. In my mind, the…

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Not My Own

Not My Own

“I am not my own. I am bought with a price.” The woman recited the words quietly, without power of voice or presence. A petite, white-haired woman in a simple polyester dress, she spoke simply and matter-of-factly as she told the small youth group her story.  Although I had read many stories of cross-cultural workers, she was one of the first I had heard give her story in person. Her name was Orlena Boyle, and she spent almost 50 years…

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Seasonal Disorientation

Seasonal Disorientation

In the northeastern United States where I grew up, the holidays of the church moved with the rhythm of the seasons. In November, the days grew shorter as our part of the earth tilted away from the sun, and Daylight Saving Time kicked in. Most of the trees shed their last remaining leaves, creating a stripped landscape. The temperatures dipped, bringing frost and snow. As darkness and death descended, in December the light of Advent slowly pushed against it, growing…

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