Nothing cured me of living in Atlanta like actually living inside the city. That's my answer to any surprise that I would leave Georgia for my original hometown of Birmingham. (Atlanta friends, I miss you. Atlanta traffic? I do not.) Six years ago, during a difficult divorce, I visited three favorite Southern cities: Atlanta, Nashville and Birmingham, the city I'd left behind when I moved to Illinois in 2000. This bird needed to find a true nest. Listening to deep, wild instinct – every … [Read more...] about Exodus: Atlanta to Birmingham
Two college friends showed up uninvited after my divorce six years ago. These guys were like brothers, friendly kin by choice to each other and to me. One held my hand while the other hugged me. Then I woke up. It felt like a true visitation, this dream, not from them but from some other holy energy. The unspoken message louder than my fear of the unknown for a few precious minutes was that I was so very loved. That I would be okay. That my new life would carry me through a healing season while … [Read more...] about You are so very loved.
God speaks at Georgia grocery stores. That's my experience, anyway. God is always present and working, whether we notice or not, and holiness is everywhere, seen or unseen. "Here comes Grace!" I heard a message before I saw the messenger back in 2017. I was standing in front of that familiar island of cheeses found in so many supermarkets, alone and feeling far more fragile than I looked. Concussions or other traumas to the brain are invisible injuries, and I was at the beginning of a long … [Read more...] about Strange Grace
As a child, I learned about a God who walks with us, a faithful companion even in dangerous weather who sometimes rescues us in a wild act of Divine intervention. God was the still, small voice, not the mighty rock-cracking wind in I Kings 19, but God sent it. The same God who spoke to Moses in Exodus 3 was inside the bush ablaze but not consumed. While my actions contribute to the amount of peace or drama I experience, I am not in full control of it. (And I thank God for that.) The One … [Read more...] about Trust the Storm
I sat cross-legged on a basement floor one evening each week for three years in a class on the Upanishads, a holy text from India. As the only non-Hindu student, I was a resource for questions about related Bible verses and Christianity. The latter topic was the most challenging. Most of my youth was spent in either Southern Baptist or Independent congregations. When venturing into unfamiliar territory, I'd include the disclaimer that Christianity diversifies some of its dogma across roughly … [Read more...] about Silence on Holy Saturday
As I walk, someone is watching. He is working, and so am I, stepping in circles and following loops of patterned brick. I'm focused on my feet and my feelings instead of the cold breeze. Twenty minutes later – when I'm finished – he stops grooming shrubs and asks what I was doing, what it all meant. This is the heart of that conversation. A labyrinth is not the same thing as a maze. There's one way in and one way out, but the shared goal of labyrinth and maze is reaching the … [Read more...] about How to Walk a Labyrinth