Toppled from My High Perch of Holiness

The alarm went off, and I drifted, reliving my dreams. Startling awake, I checked the time. I still had an hour to make it to church. Until I looked closely. The secondhand was stuck on the 4, click, click, clicking. … Continue reading

How to Fail at the Race Talk

I failed at the conference for racial justice this weekend. I gave racially tinged advice to a perfectly innocent question that had no race element to it. I mistook one African-American woman with glasses and short hair for a different … Continue reading

Spiritual Bottleneck

Early Wednesday morning, the man who’d spent the night on the streets walked the hallway at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. He stopped at my table, lingering. He did not look happy. I think of this church hallway as the “neck” … Continue reading

Prayer, A Rule of Thumb

A while back, I conducted a workshop where I took my writing mentor Rebecca McClanahan‘s book Write Your Heart Out and translated the types of nonfiction writing into types of prayer. I don’t remember all the parallels (writing from joy, for … Continue reading

June: Not a Sentimental Person

Many years ago, when I was letting the Spirit lead me around by the nose, I went to Door of Hope and asked if I could start a writing group for men and women living on the street. Dr. June Mann … Continue reading

Spiritual Dyslexia and Central Command

I call it “spiritual dyslexia.” When I was teaching myself to write, if an offering really, really did not appeal to me, I reluctantly signed up. That’s how I discovered literary journalism—literary journalism? I gasped when I read the syllabus … Continue reading

Why Christianity as We Know It Won’t Survive: An Easter Saturday Reflection

Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Christ, and in American Christianity today we debate whether women should be allowed to be in the forefront of the church. Mary the Mother of God took the radical, courageous step … Continue reading

Christian? Don’t Make Me No Nevermind

Here’s a story: conditions are so bad at an apartment complex in Jacksonville, Florida, it brings a council member’s assistant to tears. A tour of the complex affects the mayor to such an extent he’s activated to work with the Department … Continue reading

Don’t Thumb Your Nose at the Spirit

I hate the Holy Spirit. Okay, hate is a strong word. But I have issues with this Spirit that constantly tells me to do things that embarrass the hell out of me. Take the recent prayer vigil I attended. A … Continue reading

THAT’s Creativity?

Creativity is the glue that holds my life together. This week in my creative life, I: re-explored Facebook’s Notes feature published a long, involved blog post put together a new outfit that I liked so much I wore it two … Continue reading

A Southern Woman’s Vocational Credo

I come to Deborah Koehn Loyd’s Your Vocational Credo: Practical Steps to Discover Your Unique Purpose (IVP Books, 2015) as a Southern female raised in the 1960s and 70s. The adjectives this statement evokes for me are “stricture,” “judgement,” “demanding.” … Continue reading

Oh, my gosh—they’re listening

I’m quoted. In a book. By a “thought leader.” A woman with a Doctorate in Transformational Leadership, Dr. Deborah Koehn Loyd. The quote appears in her new book, Your Vocational Credo: Practical Steps to Discover Your Unique Purpose. Dr. Loyd was kind … Continue reading

What Can I Do-Part 3 (and probably last)

I thought I’d be shot. Dean Andy Andrews announced that, following the Wednesday morning service, he would be walking the neighborhood around St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. He invited us to join him. I attended the Wednesday service, but I believed … Continue reading

Lucky Seven

It began on the veranda of the Gibson Inn in Apalachicola, Florida, the town locals call Apalach, where oysters once reigned and the river whispers of pirate ships disappearing in the streaky dawn. In the waning heat of a summer … Continue reading

What Can I Do—the Bree Model

She had a crisis of faith. But so much went before that. Her work, her reading, her awareness. Her travel, her commitment, her participation. Her use of her talent. Her love of God. In her statement following her direct nonviolent … Continue reading

What Can I Do?

I’m starting a new series here. I’m announcing this new series so you can skip over my followup posts if you want, ’cause I’m a polite Southern woman, and I sure don’t want to impose. But some of you want … Continue reading