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“Where is the Promised Joy?”

John P. McNamee’s 1995 memoir, Diary of a City Priest, traces a year of his parish ministry in inner-city Philadelphia. It’s a tough read. McNamee does his best to minister spiritually and physically to parishioners and neighbors alike, aware at all times that his efforts don’t begin to budge the needle of intergenerational poverty and […]

Deferred Maintenance: Finding God in the Breakdown Lane

Earlier this week, right before dinner time, our refrigerator started to sound slightly off. Its normal low purr became something of a soft wheeze. When my wife made a passing remark about it, I shot back, “It’s fine! I think it does that sometimes,” as if I were defending the fridge for having been personally […]

In Praise of Emotional Time Travel (Sort of)

It arrived while we were at the beach. I had almost delayed our trip to be there to receive the package in person. Even from afar I could feel the tectonic plates of my personal archaeology click into place. After decades of dreaming and pining, a copy of New Mutants 87 was mine. We’re talking […]

Please Scream Inside Your Heart

A couple weeks ago the Wall Street Journal wrote about how several theme parks in Japan have recently reopened, but in an effort to keep the coronavirus contained, they’ve banned screaming on roller coasters. To enforce this no-screaming policy, their message is this: “Please scream inside your heart.” Of course, it didn’t take long for […]

Black Sheep, Doubt, and Unburdening

This thoughtful post comes from Trevor Almy: From as early as I can remember, I’ve been at least mildly eccentric; that is to say, I don’t conform to the cookie-cutter, southern Christian stereotype. Growing up, my idiosyncrasies accentuated my feelings of weirdness in a church where the “standard” Christian youth was a high-performing student athlete. […]

COVID Stole the Wienermobile and Everyone Is Grieving

Well, the virus finally hit my small town in rural Pennsylvania last week, and it hit in a way that surprised us all. Don’t worry, we’re all fine and healthy for the most part. But the virus hasn’t just come for our bodies and spirits. The most recent casualty of COVID-19 was our annual town […]

July 4th, Sufjan, and the Wake-up Call of Death

Thankful for this post from Grace Leuenberger: This week, Sufjan Stevens announced a new, forthcoming solo album titled The Ascension, his first since Carrie and Lowell debuted in March 2015. I remember listening to the album on that frigid March morning, sitting with my legs cramped underneath my dorm room desk. Tears sprung up in […]

The Emotional Plausibility of Faith vs. Doubt

When many think about Christian doubt, they tend to imagine it as a kind of midpoint between faith and unbelief, existing in hues of grey. Matters of faith in a transcendent God are rarely so black and white, it is said, and the stance of faithful doubt is perhaps the appropriate stance all Christians should […]

Grace at a Funeral

Racial Reconciliation and a Glimpse of God’s Kingdom

Dylan on COVID and Little Richard’s Fugitive Good News

Reflections on a Rare Interview with the Rough, Rowdy, and Brilliant Bob Dylan

A Grave Burden

You Can Carry Your Memories, and God Can Carry You

Comfort to Afflicted Saints

Trading the Manageable To-Do List for Revolutionary Paradox: Blessed are the Broken