The Meek Ones
I’ve been to the land we call holy – and back. Before I boarded my string of flights from Bujumbura to Tel Aviv I spent time reading, reflecting, praying. One shard of Scripture glimmered like the golden Dome of the Rock: The meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Psalm 37 parses out who will, and will not, have ultimate claim to the land. The wicked and wrathful will not; those who plot against the righteous,…
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Our Meal of Resistance
I first met Debra at our Arizona senator’s office. Our paths crossed again at an ACLU Resistance Training. This time Debra came with her partner, Candy, and shared that for decades, they’ve been organizing to secure their rights and were willing to join with us to continue the work on behalf of others. Truth be told, they offered not only solidarity but a rich education borne out of their experience. After the training session Debra invited me to her resistance…
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Devotions out of the Bread Narratives
This week I've been sharing devotions - and action steps - out of the Bread Narratives of Scripture. Here are all five reflections in one place! MONDAY: Matt. 6:11, our daily bread TUESDAY: Exodus 16:4, bread from heaven WEDNESDAY: Mark 6:41-43, And all ate and were full THURSDAY: Mark 8:14, One loaf on the boat FRIDAY: Mark 6:37, You give them something to eat!   Thanks to Red Letter Christians for inviting me to contribute to Wake Up! You can…
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Hard Work and the New City
It’s hard to imagine newness in the shadow of destruction. In the days after 9/11, we suffered disorientation. How could we think beyond the pile of smoldering rubble, the loss of life and the new insecurity that riddled our national psyche? It was like that after the destruction of the Temple, no one had the capacity to imagine newness in the wake of such catastrophic loss. We feel this sensation more than we realize, more often than we dare to…
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What’s Next
On a Sunday morning one January in 2013, the central marketplace in Burundi exploded into flames. By the day’s end the hub of the local economy melted, ending the livelihood of too many. Dozens of mothers waited at the front gate of our little bank the following morning. They cried, lamenting their loss and fearing their future without inventory or income. My husband opened the gate and mourned with them. It was a day when only lament seemed appropriate. Claude…
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we start at a loss
I am at a loss. In the aftermath of the U.S. election I see the national terrain differently. I see people differently. The veneer is gone. I can’t unsee what’s been revealed. I made time to lament for seven days. Black was all I saw, all I felt, and so all I wore. The grief felt appropriate and yet premature. I retreated to the words of Isaiah, as I often do. (The book of Isaiah is called The Fifth Gospel…
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When We Lament
The days following the American election plunged me into lament. Everything around me was in grayscale; everything in me was melancholy. Yet full-scale lament was premature because the worst hadn’t happened yet. What I witnessed on election night was the first fracture in the wall, not the total crumbling of the city that Daughter Zion mourned in Lamentations. So I tempered my own lament—somewhat. I allowed myself seven days to feel the sadness. Then I was determined to pay attention…
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advent four | kings & children
This Advent as I read through Isaiah I notice the children most of all. Isaiah 7 There is a child. It is the son of Isaiah and his name is Remnant. He walks alongside his father as a sign to an anxious king on the cusp of battle. The ruler is under pressure, the neighbors to the north advancing and Jerusalem under threat. He is too preoccupied with the pending conflict to notice the child by Isaiah’s side, I suppose.…
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advent three | a prisoner will lead us
I sat in the conference room at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. I came to learn about justice – knowing I’d need to confront injustice on the way. How do you prepare for a pummeled heart? I listened to Anthony Ray Hinton tell us what happened to him at the hands of our justice system. As a young man he was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. He spent 30…
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Green Hope | advent two
Isaiah 9 Isaiah watches as the world around him crumbles. “How long, O Lord?” he cries out. Until it all is laid waste, is the short answer. The poetry is more descriptive. Until the cities, houses, and land are uninhabited. Until exile and emptiness mark the landscape. Until a mere tenth remain the destruction will continue. It will leave only a burnt out stump of a city. But while the stump smolders the prophet stokes hope. He says that buried…
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