My father’s pajamas

My father’s pajamas

—by Karen G. Bockelman My favorite photo of my father was taken more than 20 years ago. There he is, staring straight at the camera, his nearly bald head rising above a fringe of faintly visible hair. His round, German face beams. His eyes sparkle behind gold-rimmed glasses. It is not a professional photograph, taken […]

God knows what we need

God knows what we need

—by Elizabeth Hunter The questions and demands for quantification from my youngest son can be so numerous they overlap and tangle. His persistence can tire me out, yet I appre­ciate it. I’m grateful for opportunities to communi­cate everything from the fact that jumping off of the garage roof is not a good idea, to the […]

Alleluia! Hallelujah!

Alleluia! Hallelujah!

by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni— In the last few weeks of my grand­mother’s life, while she was still alert enough to talk with us, she started recalling old memories: her childhood in New Jersey, seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and a certain snowy night she spent during World War II decorating the church […]

Sojourner

Sojourner

by Sojourner White— Growing up with the name “Sojourner” is a lifelong ice-breaker. People say: “What a beautiful name! What does it mean?” Or “I love your name. Where have I heard it before?” I’ve come to embrace their questions. I’ll tell you what I tell them. My namesake, Sojourner Truth, was a U.S. abolitionist […]

Enough

Enough

by Susan K. Olson— I spend a lot of time watching my daughter skate. In summer and winter alike, I shiver in the bleachers while she glides over the ice, silver blades flashing. She twirls, she spirals and she jumps. I tend to close my eyes when she jumps. She’s been at this for three […]

When wolves come to dinner

When wolves come to dinner

by Liv Larson Andrews— A wolf killed my uncle’s favorite llama. She was old and weak, with dark brown hair and kind eyes that would follow his truck up the dirt driveway. For many years my uncle has kept eight or nine llamas on his plot of Montana hill­side. One winter, this wolf, large and […]

An “Oh yeah” Advent

An “Oh yeah” Advent

by Sarah Carson— Recently I needed to clean out my medicine cabinet. On one shelf were prescriptions from ailments past—pain medications, antibiotics, several jars of cranberry cap­sules (there must have been some sale at the pharmacy when I needed those!). On another shelf I found a half-used bottle of anti-nausea syrup, a travel-sized tin of […]

Soon and very soon

Soon and very soon

 by Angela Khabeb— When I was eight, my father took my older sister, Chrystal, and me to an Andraé Crouch concert. Often called “the father of mod­ern Gospel music,” Crouch was playing at the historic Orpheum Theater in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. The experience carried me into the sacred reality of the beloved community. […]

A God who lives and dies

A God who lives and dies

by Sarah Carson — When I went in for my check-up at 31 weeks pregnant, I had no idea anything was wrong inside my body. The nurse said my blood pressure was high, and I was sure it was a fluke. When the doctor announced, “You’ve just won yourself a trip to the hospital,” I remained […]

Sacred objects

Sacred objects

by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller In our dining room sits a purple, crystal vase. Most days it’s empty of flowers. It’s there for decoration but also so much more. The vase, like many objects, has a story—a beautiful story of hope, of love beyond death and of the connections we make in this life. When I share […]