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Grace in Practice


Love Is Also One of the Things That’s True

Fifteen years ago this winter my dad drove me up to Madison for the third and final surgery on my right collarbone, which I had shattered earlier that year. (I had front-flipped onto blacktop, accomplishing a football injury while playing basketball. It’s a whole sad, dumb story.) We left home early in the morning and […]

Leslie Jamison on Grace Without a Backstory

“This is the story of a layover. Who tells that story? I’m telling it to you now. One January evening, my flight got delayed out of Louisiana, where I’d been talking to people about their past lives, and I missed my connection in Houston. I had a night there. Trying to have a travel experience […]

When Atheists Have More Faith Than You Do

Harold Braswell grew up a nice atheist Jew. Then, he researched hospices, and he started to ponder Jesus. The hospice he studied was Our Lady of Help in Atlanta, a free Roman Catholic facility for those who are dying but can’t care for themselves at home. The Dominican nuns there offer extraordinary service, and the […]

Human Being > Human Doing : A Favorite Piece of Spiritual Advice and Mary Oliver

In my first year of college, a few simple but profound words poured light into the deep, dark depths of my depression-riddled world. The words came to me thanks to an old friend of my dad’s who also happens to be a leader in a ministry I was beginning to dip my toes in. His […]

PZ’s Podcast: Indiana Wants Me, Down Down, Disco Inferno, World Contact Day, Lobo in Taiwan, and Pre-Code

EPISODE 291: Indiana Wants Me The secret that explains life — I say “secret” because it’s an open but denied truth, known most directly in popular music but suppressed in most “narratives” and conceptual systems — is the aspiration for a connection of love with another human being. This aspiration transcends politics and affinities, affiliations […]

Netflix’s “Cheer”: Law and Grace in Action

It took just three days to plow through the six episodes of Netflix’s latest docuseries Cheer, but it was well worth it. I’m not a cheerleading expert, or even a casual fan, but my initial skepticism was quickly won over by the show’s tear-jerking storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, the flips are as amazing to […]

A Top Ten TV List for the Decade

The following is not a definitive list or an official “Mockingbird list” — it’s just my list. Responses are welcome below! Criteria: Must be a scripted TV series (no reality shows or documentaries, etc.) Series must have “begun” in 2010 or later (hence why you don’t see Breaking Bad) Shows with much love here at […]

Mr. Archie and Waiting in Advent

Every month, we pay a certain sum of money for music lessons. In theory, this is so that our children will learn how to read music, perform in front of a crowd, and take direction. In reality, they learn so much more than that, and that music tuition is worth every penny. Our youngest, Ben, […]

Mockingbird’s Favorite Books (2010-2019)

When I set out to assemble a Mockingbird-themed end-of-decade books list, some guiding measures came into focus. We decided to stay away from books that came from our own imprint — of which many made a good splash this decade. Notably, ten years is a long time — so this is a long list! But […]

Auburn Sandstrom and the Pinhole of Light

This, as the kids say, is everything. Everything we fumble toward in our writing and everything we hope in, especially at Advent Christmastime. No idea how it escaped our attention before but good god almighty… Take 10 minutes today – you won’t regret it, ht CWZ.

Law, Gospel, and Sexual Harassment

Grateful for this anonymous contribution: The man who sexually harassed my wife at work was fired this week. Here’s a light-on-the-details summary of what happened. When she began a recent job, her supervisor quickly started in. “I wish your skirt was a little shorter.” “That’s a nice tight sweater you’re wearing.” There was also the […]

Good Hair, Grace, and a Better Image

In October of this year, Paragon Charter Academy in Michigan informed the parents of 8-year-old Marian Scott that her red extensions precluded her from participating in picture day. According to the school’s official policy, students should only wear natural hair tones in order to have their photos taken. Marian’s style violated more than school policy, […]