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Captain Marvel-less

Captain Marvel-less

Recently I had a dream that I could fly. This isn’t an unusual dream, though not as common as the one where I find I haven’t completed my dental school requirements — naked — and am racing against the clock to save my career (which I am not currently practicing, btw). It’s also mentioned around […]

REPENT!

REPENT!

The end is near! We’re all gonna die! Life is an exclamation! This urgency has been fully framed by the New York Times reporter whose essay “The Coming Collapse” declared: “It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.” We […]

The Scene-Police Punker in All of Us

The Scene-Police Punker in All of Us

Every couple of years I get bitten by the nostalgia bug and revisit musical obsessions from my teens and twenties. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s just what happens to you post-40, right? Maybe it’s just me. Of late, I’ve found myself climbing into endless YouTube wormholes. Before I know it, it’s 11 PM. There are […]

The Flower That Ate the Pines

The Flower That Ate the Pines

This lovely reflection was written by Derrill Hagood: All my life, I’ve heard that the vine that ate the South was a little leafy plant called kudzu. Not so in March in Macon, Georgia. The bearer of that titled crown is a brilliantly blooming flower known as wisteria. Growing up in the South, I’ve always […]

Anno Domini and the New Era

Anno Domini and the New Era

The first day of April this year brings the announcement in Japan that that country’s calendar cycle is about to re-set to Year One. The matter is obscure outside of Japan itself and its immediate neighbors, but you can see the option for a Japanese calendar—cued to the beginning of each emperor’s reign—on iPhones and […]

I Have Decided to Go to Church

I Have Decided to Go to Church

Grateful for this reflection by Sarah Gates: I have decided to go to church. It’s a good idea. It’s at least a better idea than not going. I’ll probably feel bad if I don’t go. Specifically, I’ll feel bad about myself. I should go. I don’t want to go anywhere lately, but I will go. […]

Confessions of a Fallen Soldier (in the Battle for Male Purity)

Confessions of a Fallen Soldier (in the Battle for Male Purity)

This post was written by Clifton Hanson. I know of too many instances where girls have been taught, implicitly or explicitly, that the love of God is somehow contingent on their ability to remain “pure.” So writes Sarah Condon in her recent piece for this site. Well, that gets right the heart of things, doesn’t it? […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Psalm Chapter Thirty-Four Verse Eighteen

This morning’s devotion was written by David Zahl in The Mockingbird Devotional. (Note, if you haven’t read David’s guest column in The Washington Post from this past weekend, visit here to do so.)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18, NIV)

There are many, many great songs about broken hearts. One of the greatest has to be Jimmy Ruffin’s 1966 hit, “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?” The record is as close to perfection as pop music can get: a powerful lyric married to an irresistible melody, delivered with feeling in just under three minutes. Pure Motown gold.

The song captures something powerful in its vivid description of brokenheartedness: “I walk in shadows, searching for light, cold and alone, no comfort in sight, hoping and praying for someone to care, always moving and going nowhere”. Most of us can point to a time when these words felt true for us, when we were hurt so badly that we thought we would never heal. The end of a romantic relationship is the most common culprit, but there are plenty of others. The death of a loved one, the disappointment of a dream, even the wrong candidate winning an election—and the list goes on.

Sadly, heartbreaking experiences tend to be definitive. They leave their mark whether we like it or not. I am reminded of a friend who broke up with his college sweetheart almost ten years ago. He confessed to me recently that he still thinks about it every day and wonders if the majority of his subsequent relationships have been an attempt to mitigate that pain. He can’t seem to “get over it” because he cannot mend his own heart.

A broken heart is characterized by need. The psalmist reminds us here that God meets us in that place of need. He does not shun people who have been hurt. He does not reject those who have been rejected or disappoint those who have been disappointed. Thanks be to God, He is close to them and saves them.

“All Is Lost…and All Is Not Lost”: An Introduction to <i>Life Is Impossible</i> by Nick Lannon

“All Is Lost…and All Is Not Lost”: An Introduction to Life Is Impossible by Nick Lannon

No one ever said life would be easy. But does your life ever seem…too hard? Does self-help, strangely, not work? If so, consider Life Is Impossible: And That’s Good News, the new book by longtime Mockingbird writer Nick Lannon. It’s a slim work, biblically sound and buoyed by vivid illustrations from culture and everyday life. Read […]

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

Grateful to share this piece by Mischa Willet: The exercise goes something like this: at the start of class, I ask students to take out a piece of paper, which more often than not these days means they cast about looking helpless till a more-responsible classmate offers aid. I give them some prompt, whose subject […]

Bauer Out(r)age

Bauer Out(r)age

This post was written by Kyle Dupic.  In the last issue of Sports Illustrated, MLB pitcher Trevor Bauer was featured due to his lightning rod of a personality. Bauer is a perfect example of the way social media has expanded and highlighted our love/hate relationship with nearly everything. He is on the cutting edge of […]

The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

This one comes to us courtesy of an actual college student, Charlie Meyer: Waiting in the airport today, my family chipped away at a crossword. We were stuck with only a few clues left to solve, so needless to say, stakes were high. In a family where crossword answers are like currency, one can feel […]