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Suffering

Charlottesville and Suffering: The Best Church Retreat I Ever Did

Charlottesville and Suffering: The Best Church Retreat I Ever Did

Last year, in late August, we began to hear that a storm was headed for our community. They were not sure what the extent of the flooding might look like, only that it was possible. My husband and I met during Hurricane Katrina, and I did relief work in the months that followed. I knew […]

The Difficulty of Drawing Near the Suffering

The Difficulty of Drawing Near the Suffering

This comes to us from Father Kenneth Tanner.  When I first came to the parish I serve, there were about twenty persons over the age of seventy. We have since buried a few, some have retired to Florida or warmer states, but until recently about half were still active participants in our worship and community. […]

Requiescat in Pace: The Naming Power of HBO's <i>The Leftovers</i>

Requiescat in Pace: The Naming Power of HBO’s The Leftovers

Last week, the Earth made a seismic shift, though mostly unnoticed. A gentle giant among us in terms of Anglican church music, John Bradford Bohl, died unexpectedly at the young age of 37. I had the joy of serving with him at Saint Paul’s K Street in Washington, D.C., and when I took over the venerable […]

Depraved Puppetry: Is There Any Good News in Dark Humor?

Depraved Puppetry: Is There Any Good News in Dark Humor?

A shining example from our Humor Issue, here’s an essay about rude puppets (and love, and death). You can order the magazine, or subscribe here. The most inappropriate show that has ever aired in the history of TV is Wonder Showzen. It’s amazing that the show survived MTV2 for two whole seasons, from 2005 to […]

The One Power Source That Never Fails ("Without Your Wound, Where Would Your Power Be?")

The One Power Source That Never Fails (“Without Your Wound, Where Would Your Power Be?”)

I don’t know about you, but in recent months I’ve been avoiding the news. It’s as if I’m using those skills we develop to screen out the advertising that bombards us in order to screen out the painful news cycles around me, only letting in the ones that seem to be key to my understanding […]

<i>Ordinary People</i>: The Only Possible Path to Healing in Sorrow and Tragedy

Ordinary People: The Only Possible Path to Healing in Sorrow and Tragedy

Many people say there is no wrong way to grieve. Every person mourns differently and to try to prescribe a formula that fits all is foolish. Indeed, those in mourning need to be given a great deal of grace, freedom, and patience. However, there is one horribly wrong way to grieve, a way that can […]

The Future of Our Children: Doom, Gloom, and Love at the End of the World

The Future of Our Children: Doom, Gloom, and Love at the End of the World

This week Roy Scranton wrote a stirring op-ed for the New York Times called “Raising My Child in a Doomed World.” Frankly it’s not a headline you would have seen before 2016. Now, this rhetoric is everywhere. Fictional dystopias are no longer phantasms of who we could become, of where we might go, but of […]

My Most Selfish Prayer

My Most Selfish Prayer

This one comes to us from Andrew Taylor-Troutman: Dear Lord: let me die before my wife. I’m bouncing our baby daughter on my lap as she drools on a wooden rattle. Her mom makes pancakes every Saturday morning, but the baby has only recently gotten her first taste. Our middle child, age two and a […]

New Blackened Dawn Approaching: Deafheaven as a Mirror in the Darkness

New Blackened Dawn Approaching: Deafheaven as a Mirror in the Darkness

There’s something deliciously ironic in the fact that a blisteringly hot summer such as this one should serve as a portal for bone-chillingly cold black metal in the form of a new Deafheaven LP. But yea verily, the underworld doth cackle at the fittingness of said album launching on Friday the 13th. Swirling within this […]

We Are All One Bad Day from Derailing a City Zoning Meeting

We Are All One Bad Day from Derailing a City Zoning Meeting

Meet Lisa. She just moved here. Nobody is helping her, and she has had enough of that. Btw, this was at a zoning meeting for Portillos in Davenport, Iowa. pic.twitter.com/9yYbvcZyr8 — Collin Strajack (@collinstrajack) July 10, 2018 Her “testimony,” for lack of a better term, is misguided at best. She is getting a divorce, but […]

Theorizing, Grieving, and Feeling Scared: Grappling with Modern Discourses on Suicide

Theorizing, Grieving, and Feeling Scared: Grappling with Modern Discourses on Suicide

Very grateful for this piece by Sarah Gates.  Almost five years ago, my father died from suicide. The violence of his death, and the suffering that preceded it, marked the tearing of a temple curtain in my life. Since then, I’ve found myself in positions I never imagined that I’d be in—traumatized by certain violent […]

Bad Takes and Gospel Truth: The Subtle Art of True Profanity

Bad Takes and Gospel Truth: The Subtle Art of True Profanity

I was eight years old when Back to the Future came out. (Fine, do the math. I’M FORTY.) I remember recapping the movie to a friend on what would now be called a playdate but at the time was just called being a kid. We were in my front yard, and I told her about […]