how Jesus made a liberation theologian out of me

Marx led me to the people, and in the people, I found Jesus. — Paulo Freire, paraphrased

*** Note: this post is my response to a discussion in my Theology of the City class, in which I was asked to reply from a Biblical perspective to the particular issue of the immigration crisis, specifically that of young children approaching our borders and being turned away. The title of the original post is “Salvation for all, Read the rest

count the cost

it seems no matter where i turn these days, i can’t get away from three little words:: “count the cost.”

it all started a couple weeks ago, after i read through the gospel of luke. in 14.25-33. Jesus speaks of building a tower and a king going to war, of carrying one’s cross and the act of sacrifice to follow after him. count the cost. 

since then, i’ve been wrestling with this passage, these hard Read the rest

when love looks nothing like you thought it did

in the nine months i’ve been out of liberia, i’ve spoken countless times of the deep ache that comes with saying goodbye. there are moments when i miss liberia and her children so strongly it takes my breath away, where the loss and all the emotions that come with it feel as real and true as the hot blood running through my veins.

i miss liberia. a lot. i miss my kids. a lot. my … Read the rest

an embodied story

back in my baby Christian days, i hated tattoos.

at that time in my life, the world around me was very much black-and-white. there was good and bad, “Christian” and not, and i hadn’t yet learned about the beautiful in-between, the sacred tension that comes from the gray areas.

tattoos were sinful in my book because of that one little verse in Leviticus that had been taken out of context, twisted to fit a … Read the rest

when grace both hurts and heals

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several months ago i chose a word for my 2013: grace. it’s a word i had heard often through my years on this faith-walk, yet i had only come to understand it just recently. the dictionary defines it as an act or instance of kindness or courtesy, which is all well and good except that grace every once in a while wasn’t enough for me. i didn’t want neatly packaged grace, the kind that … Read the rest

when saturday actually means something

as a Christian, this past weekend was full of significance for me. on friday, i joined with countless believers worldwide as we remembered the sacrifice of the God-man on the tree. on sunday, we celebrated with one another the miracle of his resurrection + his victory over death forevermore.

what i noticed, though, is that little was said about saturday. the in-between day. the day of which we don’t know much about. the day that … Read the rest

holy places

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i’d had a long, hard day; a long, hard week, if i was being honest. dirt under fingernails, feet covered in dust. my bones ached, and my head and heart felt full and heavy. words were few, replaced instead by deep sighs and weighted breaths.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
his words found me in my thin place, where i felt stretched and sore, barely hanging on. “yes, i’m tired,” i Read the rest

when we’ve come undone

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can i just be brutally, completely, in-your-face honest with you for a minute? this whole being a missionary thing is no joke. it is hard, you guys. really hard. and there are some days where i would rather be anywhere but here, doing anything but this. some days, i feel so totally, completely done. depleted. empty.

i’m having one of those days. only this day has gone on for the past three weeks. i’ve … Read the rest

[messy]

i already know what my word for 2013 is going to be:: grace.

beautiful grace. lifesaving and life-changing grace. i don’t think there’s a word so lovely in all of the English language.

grace.

here’s the thing, though:: grace is so much more than a word. it’s this powerful, mysterious force that has worked its way into every fiber of my being, affecting the way i think and feel and act and … Read the rest

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today was supposed to be iFast day. today i was supposed to go to the gym and do a couple errands and pack for my trip on Thursday andandand…

you see, there will always be a lot of “supposed to”s. but this day is different.
because if i still myself long enough, i can hear the quiet whisper that is telling me to simply rest.
don’t strive; don’t do. just rest.
if that … Read the rest