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Listener

Because I am, and “I AM,” and love is, and there must be more love out there—“the greatest of these.” For these reasons, I follow in the long tradition of abiding with God in silence.

Fiercely

Its branches bloomed with little white, fuzzy pearls that I thought were baby rabbits being born.

Above and Below

My mom refers to Cedar as a “thin place.” She means that whatever barrier keeps humans at a distance from the Spirit is measurably smaller.

Plain

I was not just leaving behind a friend, but someone who loves the parts of me I don’t. Sometimes adulthood just feels like a dawn of frequent partings.

Unwilling

My sister owned a copy of Hanson’s first album, “Middle of Nowhere,” that I loved to steal, along with her cream-colored boom box, and play on repeat while I circled the garage in rollerblades and sang along to words I didn’t really understand.

Youth in a Sound

One of the pleasures of listening to a new band is creating an image of who the singer is. What do they look like? What kind of life do they live when they’re not playing?

Imponderable

In the tops of the leafless bushes that stood shoulder height along the path, a sea of spider webs swayed in the soft wind—hundreds and hundreds of webs, perfectly spun and glistening with dew in the morning light.

Good Morning, It’s Christmas

This year I’ll sleep in a guest room, maybe on an air mattress. It will be a normal night of sleep. I won’t be waiting for the rumble of the Polar Express, watching for its headlight to flood the walls of my room in a gold glow.

To Know and Be Known

I first had sex when I was eighteen years old. It was very unromantic. We had to be quiet and careful because her parents were rustling around in the downstairs kitchen.

Doubt

For the first time in my life, I walk out of a church service, driving in silence back to my parent’s apartment. The next day, when I get home from work, I collapse wordlessly in my mom’s arms and sob into her shoulder.

God the Hero, God the Villain

I can’t stand Chuck,” he told me, “I don’t even like being in the same room as him. I’ve tried being nice, but I find everything about him…repugnant. It’s been a struggle for me. I try to love everyone. He makes it hard to love him.”

Love Like Grief

I think in each of us there’s a deep well with love like water at the bottom, but if only the crawl down wasn’t so dark and our hands could carry more.

Ketchup and Blood Part Three

Of course, when you’re actually Ryan “Hey Girl” Gosling, and you’ve got Nicholas “I’ve Never Written Two Different Stories” Sparks writing your script, you have that luxury.

Naked

At the end of the day I’m lying in bed feeling poor and stressed because I somehow wasted all day not feeling correctly. I was too sad, or too lonely, or too indifferent.

Restless

Those old haunts the heart still goes to—even daily comforts brought me to them. That all might not seem like much. It isn’t much. But my heart is still a broken thing. My odd heart.

The End of Things

Things are always ending and beginning, simultaneously and separately. It’s not that an end leads to a beginning—an end is a beginning. They are the same.

Wisconsin’s Own Phox

I’m 24. I’m old now. I have a bedtime. I pay for health insurance. I drink hot tea to prevent kidney stones. But these tickets were free, and I liked the group, so why not?

Ketchup and Blood

My future girlfriend laughed. After that, I probably didn’t say anything for the rest of the time at the table. I had peaked with that joke, already canonized in my head, replaying it over and over in my mind.

Together

Being unique is easy. So easy, you don’t even have to think about it, if you so chose. Not that that stops any one of us from taking a few moments a day to prove it.

Joy in the Midst

“You only live once.” Strange how a phrase used to fight death has no place in death’s presence. It has no place because living once is a tragedy.

Solitude

I’m not sure if it’s the grey skies, the bitter cold, or the profound solitude of post-college life, but She has taken residence in my thoughts once more.

Fear of Orthodoxy

I wrote a piece earlier called “Mere Atheism,” and if you read between the lines of the opening paragraphs, you will find lurking within them an ugly fear—the mystery of why I am faithful was pinpointed on my family rather than the Holy Spirit; the mystical nature of...
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