Category: spirituality

The Wholeness of the Forgotten Ones

Part of healing from fundamentalism is staring straight in the face the kinds of things I used to say to other people as an obnoxious evangelical. It’s not the easiest of tasks. Actually, it’s more like trying to cleanse an open, blistering sunburn with rubbing alcohol. The sting is excruciating in the midst of being exposed over and over again…

Black and white close up of white girl's eyes; her face covered all around by a wooden scarf, light reflecting in her eyes.

What Are We Seeking?

When the pain of the world filters through my vision all at once, I easily focus on what I’m seeing rather than what I’m seeking. Without thinking about it, what I’m seeing then determines what I seek. And I can seek cynicism, fear, and distraction with the best of them. I feel entitled to my cynicism. And to my fear.…

Angels & Demons: Do We Still Need to Believe in the Supernatural?

This past Sunday was the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels or Michaelmas (Michael’s Mass). In some countries in the northern hemisphere, it’s a Christian version of celebrating the equinox. For Lutherans, it’s one of the only feasts to commemorate supernatural forces in the world. It was a strange movement coming from evangelical worlds that took supernatural entities literally…

Celebrating Mabon: A Season of Thanksgiving

The autumnal equinox has wheeled around once again. Every year I am reminded how this season has become my favourite season. Historically lacking the consumerist trappings of Christmas or Easter, it has been free to explode a worthy celebration on the world without forcing it into a plastic mould. Without knocking the lovers of pumpkin spice lattes, I can’t help…

Those We Meet on the Road

Roads are thin spaces. I often romanticize thin spaces — their defiance of clear boundaries and their endless possibilities. They represent a reality of spiritual realms that are often rationalised in our pulpits and pews. And I love them for it. The world can drain for us even the desire to believe in what can’t be understood, and thin spaces…

When Healing Make Life Complicated

When I skimmed this week’s gospel reading from the lectionary, I rolled my eyes a little bit (my mother would be so pleased, quite possibly declaring I was looking for my brains). Jesus heals the man at the pool. Lovely. It was an optional reading, but avoiding difficult texts is a sure-fire way for any clergy person to dive headlong…

White church with black spire with cross on top against a white sky. Text reads: "40 Lifelong Gifts Over 40 Days"

40 Lifelong Gifts — Part I

Part of my Lenten practice this year was to think of one genuine gift each of the forty days that the world of evangelicalism gave me. It’s not an earth-shattering practice or one that will herald any second comings of Jesus or anything. I really only wanted to find beauty and meaning in a past that has done damage. It’s…

Photo of the front of an old church, front wall blown out, and view of a meadow at sunset. Text reads: "And with God-the-Father absent...or somehow remaining invisible ..., God-the-Mother must bear witness.", Erin Thomas

Women of the Crucifixion: The Sound of God

I’ve done it since I was young. Focus on the absence of God, I mean. Not that any one group has any precise, theological understanding of exactly what happened the day Jesus was crucified. No one was actually there — in Palestine or in heaven. If that’s where God-the-Father resides. Which I’ve come to have dubious suspicions about. We’ve fought…

Welsh island of pastures and rocky headland with white and red lighthouse, surrounded by blue water. Text reads: "Common ground: '...we're all stuck on this world's edge together. And active participation is a choice.' www.reluctantmysticism.com"

Peace At The Edge of the World

The Welsh have a word that possesses no definite translation: hiraeth. Roughly, it means: missing something, longing for places and spaces that feel like home. It is a word heavy with sound, breath, beauty, and meaning. I’m reminded once again how impoverished the English language is, how careless. What’s worse, we English-speakers don’t even care about its poverty. We’re content…

Black & white photo of a bench on a grassy hill overlooking the ocean; a ghostly figure dressed in a hoodie & sneakers sits on the bench; text reads: "Luke 15:11-32, The Parable of the Absent Mother, 'Sometimes absence is my choice, and sometimes it's a choice forced upon me so that I walk upon the earth as a ghost."

The Parable of the Absent Mother

I had the chance to participate in a pulpit swap this past Sunday. My Lutheran congregation occasionally trades pastors for a morning with the local Anglican church a few blocks north of us. It was a great chance to discover different liturgical perspectives as well as meet new folks. The pericope, however, was the prodigal son — familiar to the…