{ ShePonders: Jezebel }
While never accused of having a Jezebel spirit, I’ve been in the room when others were so branded. Circulating in charismatic churches for many years I learned no one wants to be called a Jezebel. When we described someone (always a woman in my experience) as having a Jezebel spirit we meant she was controlling, manipulative, bossy and aggressive. It seemed to be the perfect insult clouded in Christian-speak. I began to wonder who this woman was and why we…
Continue reading »



call & response
In the throes of transition she asks: When you take away the church buildings, where is your tribe? When you take away your parents and sisters and grandparents, where is your family? When you take away people who like the same food or music or God, who are your friends?     And then my son asked: How do you create a community? How indeed… I think you begin by dipping into the clouds, leaning into the breeze, wiggling toes between…
Continue reading »



a lament: faith & violence
Faith and violence have no business being in the same room. Whenever they mingle, their handiwork is hell-bent. True religion, as James described centuries ago, involves reaching out to the widows, orphans, the most vulnerable. Violence only creates more vulnerability. Our postures of prayer, hands clasped or bodies bent forward and prostrated, should create space in us for faith in increase, hope to stir, love to rise up. Our houses of prayer should move us to the threshold of the…
Continue reading »



faith statement (riffing on Barbara Brown Taylor)
Barbara Brown Taylor with The Work of the People (follow this link to see the clip Travis Reed / The Work of the People filmed with BBT capturing her reflections on pain & faith.) Barbara Brown Taylor makes this faith statement: '...if I will trust that what comes to me is for me - that what comes to me in my life is for me and not against me.' She says this in the context of her relative experience of pain, and I…
Continue reading »



back to school can bring me to tears
Twenty new first graders from the Batwa village in Matara begin school today, Monday. They prepared for school as if it were normal, as if expected. This is a new normal. Three years ago these kids came to Matara with their families. They were two years old. The story they were living did not include education or hope for a bright future. The story they were born into made it almost impossible for Batwa to go to school and an…
Continue reading »



{ ShePonders: Awake to Creation }
I’ve never been a nature girl. Growing up I hated hiking – in large part due to the stiff brown hiking boots from the boys department my mom made me wear. But the dirt, poking pine needles and incessant buzz of bugs made each trail torture. I was never a big fan of sitting outdoors for a picnic or round a fire braving (enduring more like) the elements. If an outing required more than sunglasses and sunscreen, safe to say…
Continue reading »



our bright future
Diet Coke in hand, I plopped in front of the t.v. to watch the Republican National Convention where visions for the future are cast. (The Democrats are currently hosting their convention complete with vision casting.) The candidate for President painted his picture of a ‘bright future’: That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it. (applause) That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that…
Continue reading »



conversation with my son: fairness
[caption id="attachment_149" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Nikondeha men sharing a meal in Burundi.[/caption] My son 's antenna is fine tuned to detect any hint of unfairness. He sees more milk in Emma's cup, more watermelon in her bowl and is convinced she has the bigger slice of pizza. He cries 'it's not fair' other kids have cell phones, iPods, an x-box and sugar cereals. It's not fair is his new battle cry. So standing on the shoulders of all the wise parents…
Continue reading »



She’s Going to Harvard Law
This week she starts Harvard Law School. I remember when she spent the summer with us in Burundi, walking the dusty neighborhood, trying out her Kirundi and lovin' on my kids. She wanted more than the American dream, she hungered for God's dream for the world and her place in it. She left the comfort of Arizona, inviting instead confrontation with a different reality lived on the African street. She saw injustice, she had eyes to see those living in…
Continue reading »



Blessing & Departure
I awoke to the sound of the shower. Suitcases were already packed and weighed, electronics charged, boarding pass printed out and tucked into his passport. He was leaving again. In the days prior we ran errands about town to get toiletries, niceties and necessities. Unzipped luggage stretched out - hungry for clothes, a new camera, more pens, lotion and chili sauce. The night before we dined on pizza with our kids (since no one wanted to do the dishes). Then…
Continue reading »