The Cost of Unity

Now is not a unified moment in the life of the nation, and it shows. The congressional district where my mom lives, and where I’m spending my maternity leave, is still covered with signs leftover from Midterms. It flipped from decades of red (including names like Newt Gingrich and Tom Price) to blue, but by less than a percentage point. In the district next door, the winner still hasn’t been officially called and the two candidates are separated by only around 500 votes.

Now is also not a unified moment in the life of the church. 75% of white evangelicals voted Republican in the Midterms. Meanwhile, almost all of my Christian friends, most of whom would formally fit the definition of an “evangelical” even if they might not like that label, voted D down the ballot.

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Fear and Trembling

Before I left Boston I would think with longing of the beginning of my maternity leave: baby still inside my belly (and therefore silent and automatically fed!), a minimum of daily obligations, temperate weather, family, fall foliage…

Though I tried not to, these dreams of lazy days made me less motivated in my last few weeks in Boston. I got a kind of ministry senioritis. After five and a half uninterrupted years of some kind of leadership role–school fellowship, small group, diaconate, you name it–I was more than ready for a break and ended up decelerating into it rather than trying to finish strong.

As for these last few weeks–they’ve been every bit as lazy as I had hoped and dreamed. But this past Sunday I experienced a needed interruption. Continue reading

Let us consider…

On this side of heaven, every community we experience, no matter how tightly-knit, is temporary. People move on both in terms of geography and life stage; especially in a city like Boston, three or four years with the same group of friends is hard to come by.

In fact, it’s reasonable to expect that the joy of close fellowship will soon be followed by the loneliness of transition–aching for friendship to come while missing community past. Continue reading

Permission to Impost

“Imposter” is one of those funny words that doesn’t have the root it should. If “shopper” is one who shops and “reader” is one who reads, shouldn’t “imposter” be one who imposts?

But of course, impost isn’t a word, and in that regard the very word imposter is a fake among others like it.

Imposter is also what I’ve felt a lot like recently. Continue reading

Human Working Time

In dentistry, there’s a term for materials called “working time.” We us a lot of materials which start out as a pliable liquid or paste, but after a few minutes set into a less movable solid. If you’ve ever had to get an impression of your teeth for braces or a crown, you’ve experienced working time firsthand. If you’ve ever used putty to fill a hole in drywall, likewise.

For us, working time represents  how long we have to make changes, to manipulate and troubleshoot, pack and shave, add and subtract, before the given material starts to set and can no longer be bent without breaking.

Lately, I have been thinking about the human equivalent to this pliable, workable state.

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Psalm 74: Swinging Axes in a Forest of Trees

Ever since Ferguson happened years ago, I’ve posted a few times on this blog and my facebook about Black Lives Matter and racial injustice, but of the posts I’ve left up, there are a half dozen I’ve deleted.

Mostly, this is because I feel cynical about whether posting on facebook or social media does any good, because when I read the comments that some of my white and Asian-American friends post about these issues, it’s clear that they’re cuccooned within an entirely different internet of their own choosing that insulates them from these issues anyway. I feel in these moments that speaking out about racism is like preaching to the Woke choir, while those who really need to hear it just change the channel. Continue reading

The most terrifying part of Gone Girl is your (plural) self.

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Even as someone who tends to skip to the last page, I have to precede with a big fat spoiler warning and tell you that you will ruin a huge element of the movie for yourself if you read this without watching it.

That said.

Last night I saw Gone Girl with my fierce, flawless, fast-talking girlfriends.

2/6 of us had read the book before, and knew what was coming the entire time. 6/6 of us left the movie shaken.

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