Ida Know, but We Gotta Go

It is Saturday. We’re packing up to drive to my sister’s house in Jackson before Hurricane Ida hits our part of the world. “Ride it out,” they call it when you evacuate to another area. But you fly from the storm, grabbing your file of necessary papers (oh, right: add COVID vaccination cards) and hurriedly deciding what...

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A Random Sunday

Today at the Free Church of the Annunciation, we wrapped up the month of June doing We R Righting Group where, during the hour before church, we wrote about Re-Orienting Our New Selves after the discombobulating last eighteen months. We had fun. Fun, I say, if that’s what you think of the Holy Spirit appearing while almost-strangers share...

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Nekkid People

This morning in church I was a lay reader for the first time in my life. You usually have to go through training or some such before they let you stand at the head of the church at the heavily-carved lectern with a microphone in front of you and read the word of God—we say that after the reading, intone it, actually: “The Word of God.”...

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The Gifted Young Professional

In the summer of 1981, when I was clerking at the Wise Carter law firm in Jackson, Mississippi, and living at my grandmother’s house, I walked the five blocks to my job in downtown Jackson. Pedestrian commuting was not the rule in Jackson, but my other option was to drive Bigmama’s 1965 land shark Cadillac, fondly known as “Big Blue.“ At that time,...

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Lent 2021: Update

It’s really interesting. Most Lents, my disciplines don’t come easy. I have to be very intentional about observing them. After a bit, they will become a new habit, but it takes a while. This Thumb Prayer discipline is different. As I talked about last week, this Lent I’m working on Thumb Prayers each day. Each day,...

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No More Giving Up

This is the way it goes: Christmas, Epiphany, Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras Day, Ash Wednesday, Lent. We are now in the 40 days of Lent. (This is a religious calendar, but life in New Orleans revolves around it; there’s a season of Mardi Gras for a reason). This year, I’ve made a hard shift on Lent, one many of you might disagree with. Traditionally,...

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I Love You

I see you looking at my mask with disdain. You think I’m a coward, afraid of getting a virus that is no worse than the flu. One that probably doesn’t even exist, anyway. And if it does, masks sure don’t work. I’m just being a sucker.  I envy you the freedom to believe that way. I’m jealous of your luxury of theory because you’ve known no...

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Time is and was: 2020 into 2021

Do you believe in what might have been? How about what was and is again? Do you believe in that? Multiple strands of time, I’m talking about, so that, in what might have been, the twin boys I longed for in my first life—King and John Powell—are nearing thirty years old. Brown-headed handsome young men. It could have happened, if I hadn’t...

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When a White Woman Accuses a Black Man

He was a writer, a man I’ll call Jonathan. Jonathan was in writing group with me one hour before he was accused of having snatched a purse from a woman on the street, a felony even though the purse had less than $10 in it. I told the investigators that Jonathan had just left writing group when this crime supposedly occurred; there was no way...

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