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Prayer

How a Comedian Helped Me Pray the Ghosts Away

How a Comedian Helped Me Pray the Ghosts Away

The first time I remember being terrified of ghosts, my mother had taken me on a well-meaning bonding trip to Natchez, Mississippi. There, on the plantation home tours, the guide would allude to all of the Victorian-era blonde girls who kept making ghoulish appearances on the grand stairwell. Even as an 8-year-old I remember thinking, […]

Bedside and the Lord’s Prayer

Bedside and the Lord’s Prayer

Those who had a chaotic childhood often have vivid memories of going to bed. There was relief from the confusion and fear of an out-of-control parent but also the silent terror that the combustive anger would continue past being tucked in. For my poor mother, this ritual of bedtime meant that she could legitimately absent […]

On Praying in the Bathroom, and Giving Up on Self-Control

On Praying in the Bathroom, and Giving Up on Self-Control

Leslie Jamison’s book The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath uses a broad scope of material to construct the experience of addiction and attempts at recovery: through personal memoir, research into historical figures, and reflection on the methods and theories associated with treating substance abuse. There are many, many reasons to read this book, and none […]

On Having Faith When You Have No Faith

On Having Faith When You Have No Faith

Sometimes you think you have things figured out, but you quickly see that you don’t when you find yourself in a men’s shower room, enveloped in a gust of steam and inches away from a half-naked Tunisian man because you walked past the shower room you were supposed to use and missed the memo that […]

Lessons on Prayer from the Cast of <i>Jane the Virgin</i>

Lessons on Prayer from the Cast of Jane the Virgin

When I found out that Netflix added the most recent season of Jane the Virgin to its streaming repertoire, I knew exactly how I would spend my weekend. I may or may not have watched all seventeen forty-minute episodes in about 72 hours, complete with a rollercoaster of emotions as I walked alongside these characters, […]

The Golden (Arches) Rule

The Golden (Arches) Rule

This tasteful reflection was written by Andrew Taylor-Troutman. On the first Sunday of the month, I gathered with the other middle schoolers early in the morning before church and piled into the motley assortment of cars driven by our church’s college leaders. I worshipped those undergraduates and would have gladly tagged along wherever they drove. […]

Lessons from the Mid-Lent Slump

Lessons from the Mid-Lent Slump

This year for Lent, I decided not to get crazy. In the past, especially as a kid, I’d sometimes give up three things at once, candy, my Gameboy, and fun in general. In the absence of those worldly distractions, I’d take up the terribly sanctified tendency of comparing and contrasting my virtue against my brother’s: […]

In Defense of Thoughts and Prayers

In Defense of Thoughts and Prayers

Tragic school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida this week are becoming an all-too-common occurrence in our culture. Ubiquitous screens and news outlets surround us as we encounter these tragedies, in a second-handed fashion, in a strange collective way (only those directly affected can experience them). As with any repeated and communal form of […]

<i>The Crown</i>, Season 2: Reconciliation and Her Majesty

The Crown, Season 2: Reconciliation and Her Majesty

This piece contains possible spoilers from the Netflix Original Series The Crown, Season 2, Episode 6.  The second season of The Crown is just as beautiful as the first, and more complex. As we watch the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip ever-so-slightly unravel at the seams and Princess Margaret’s love life take […]

Vulgarity, Anguish…and Truth

Vulgarity, Anguish…and Truth

Punksters and non-punksters alike will be able to relate this one by Cole Hartin: I’ve always had something of a penchant for punk rock. Anything gritty, really. This eventually extended itself into post-hardcore. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure, though. I only listen to it once in a while, after sneaking glances over both shoulders, […]

When Whitney Houston Writes Your Prayers

When Whitney Houston Writes Your Prayers

It’s that time of year again! Oh, you thought I was talking about the holidays? Nope, I’m referring to the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, known as Engagement Season: the month and a half where your social media feeds seem to consist solely of diamond rings and “YES!!!! I get to spend the rest […]

Spiritual Healing and Alzheimer’s

Spiritual Healing and Alzheimer’s

We’re very grateful for this piece written by Gail Baker. On a day with the sky blue and high and the smell of hyacinths in the air, everything began to crumble. I picked up the phone to hear crushing news. My Mom, Pat Baker, was experiencing her first signs of memory loss.   The family remained […]