When I Hate the Cross

I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember. My Christianness predates my Phillies fandom, my Survivor-mania, even my innate wandering spirit. Seems I’ve always known about God and Jesus and the cross and how I’d be nothing without Him, nothing without those two coarse beams of wood. And yet something about the cross irks me. I see people with gold chains and a dangling cross around their necks, and I don’t see them saying and doing what I’d expect […]

Will the Words Still Come?

Today I’m halfway through my 30-day blogging challenge. It was fun and novel at first, blogging every day. Like I’d put on skinny jeans or a trendy scarf for the first time or decided to “go vegan.” 15 days later, it’s still fun. It’s become automatic that after work every day I come to a coffee shop to blog. Or on the weekend I go out and I know I can’t come home until a blog is posted. I’ve especially […]

God is Good, God is Great?

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll probably say it time and time again: God bless Panera Bread. It’s a microcosm of society. From coast to coast, I’ve seen Christians unite at Panera after church and homeless people sit by the fireplace and little old ladies knitting and playing Scrabble. I’ve also seen students of all ages working with tutors of all ages over coffee and danishes and textbooks, a grouping of which I’ve proudly participated. I’ve also seen […]

I’m Hitting the Road Again

When my roommate left for a trip a couple weeks ago, I determined I’d dive back into Couchsurfing again. I’d hosted 10-15 folks going back to my move to Asheville in February, but only one in the prior four months. I stopped hosting for various reasons. My roommate and I had lots of friends visit this summer, so there were weekends we legitimately couldn’t take in another body. But for all the other weekends and, yes, weekdays, my excuses were […]

We Are Not Forgotten or Wasted

A man recently approached me at a gas station. This doesn’t happen often; in fact, I only remember one such other occasion, and it wasn’t particularly pleasant. My initial reaction when anyone approaches me while I’m busy doing something goes something like this: I’M UNDER ATTACK. WAIT, NO I’M NOT. AT LEAST, I DON’T THINK. WAIT, WHAT DOES HE WANT? UGH, DO I HAVE TO TALK TO HER? I see the encroaching form from the corner of my eyes, and I tend to […]

Gay Marriage and Me: The Post I Couldn’t Write

Last Friday. What a day. I got a flat tire that morning. I had an hour-long phone interview. I helped a friend move. I stuffed in some writing. It was hustle and bustle from sunup to sundown, and somewhere midway the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all fifty states. Oh. That was my first reaction. Just “oh.” I mean, gay marriage was already legal in 36 states. It was gonna happen eventually. What was 14 more in one fell swoop? But then I came home and saw all […]

This is why I believe in Jesus.

Forget the Bible. Forget historical records. Forget faith and personal conviction. Forget all those things for this single aching moment. I believe in Jesus because of forgiveness. But not just an afterthought-sort of forgiveness made for misdeeds done decades ago. No. I believe in Jesus because of face-to-face forgiveness for a man who took someone you love less than 48 hours prior. Hardly 2 days. I could maybe understand a forgiveness like that after 2 decades — “enough” years of grief and acceptance, if […]

I Visited Westboro Baptist Church

DAY 114: For years they have intrigued me. I’ve watched their interviews and demonstrations on TV and YouTube. They travel the world, hailing from the innocuous center of Kansas and America. They call themselves Baptists — supposed believers of the same Jesus I follow. As I park my car in a Topekan residential area, I approach 12th Street with a distinct shudder. NO TRESPASSING signs adorn their fences. GOD HATES AMERICA drapes down from their wall. FAG MARRIAGE DOOMS NATIONS, another sign reads. I am visiting the one and only Westboro Baptist […]