I want to hold my worth in my hands; to trace my accomplishments in gilded letters on spine and cover; to smell them in ink and paper. But my desire is a dream awakened, and all I can trace are tears of shame, that I have nothing to hold out in offering but empty hands. Empty hands—not clenched fists, angry, or grasping at given gifts; Empty hands, ready to hold another’s, to serve,
For my father’s birthday, I made him a set of bookends that featured the silhouette of a lion. I chose to design the bookends in this fashion because a lion seemed to fit with how I view my father. This reasoning may appear natural to some, and odd to others. Those who deem it odd are probably the more observant. Why should a silhouette of a lion have any connection with my completely human father?
The world is charged with the grandeur of God I have always loved the morning. There is something especially moving in the cool fresh air, untainted by the day’s hustle and bustle; there is something so provocative in the dawning of light; there is something reassuring in human quietude and nature’s songs to its Creator. Surely when the psalmists wrote things like: “Oh LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”;
They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. —Psalm 1:3, The Living Bible What if the season is barren rather than bearing? How if the leaves have curled and the river has curved away—away from from this tree, empty? “Empty? Why art thou empty?” Asks the Spirit-wind, rustling through parchèd leaves. “Have you ceased to delight
“…as long as we have a body and our soul is fused with such an evil we shall never adequately attain what we desire.” – Plato (Phaedo, 66b) I often wonder what it means that God gave us bodies made of bones, flesh, and water— with fingers, for example, to pop open sodas for sipping on some hot summer day—or with eyes to wander into the gaze of others—strangers, enemies, lovers—
Here at Conciliar Post, many of us are avid readers. These are a few of the things we’ve been reading lately. Jarrett Dickey, House Church The Man in the High Castle (Philip K. Dick) Philip K. Dick’s novel imagines a world where the Axis powers won World War II. In this alternate reality, the United States is divided into three districts. The Nazis control the eastern seaboard while the Japanese administrate the Pacific States. In the
To immanence, to the heart, Christ is redundant and all things are one. To eminence, to the mind, Christ touches only the top, skims off only the top, as it were, the souls of men. -Annie Dillard, Holy The Firm, (Harper & Row: New York, 1977), 80. Is it possible to live in this tension? Can humans achieve the “peace that passes understanding” (John 14:27, Phil 4:6-7) in a world that appears increasingly chaotic and
Kindness flowing out in wine and chocolate chip cookies, in smiles and eyes, in words and hidden acts Grace flowing down in water and wine and blood over dark soul nights, to unworthy us Love flowing over from hearts and hands, eyes and lips in forgiveness again, and again—every time Gifts ever flowing that we cannot earn, cannot repay, we humbly receive with open, empty hands Full over flowing hands and
From director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), HBO’s Big Little Lies is a slow burn drama that rewards careful viewing. Set in idyllic Monterey, California, the story centers on the world of wealthy wives and their children. Yet unlike many star-studded portrayals of Hollywood glamour, the opulence of Big Little Lies unveils, rather than obscures, the common humanity of its protagonists. [Spoilers Ahead] Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) is an outsider to the Monterey community. The
Advent Heavy lay the snow the last warm breath just lingering inside our gloves next to fatigue it slowed and chilled me and my brothers toying with a seam at winter’s hem until the cold was far too much we stumbled home and stood like living clouds of steam our thrown scarves garlands for the railing and the chairs Mother I even began to feel afraid when the last light topped its arc those slender
What if prayer is a furnace? When we confess, every sin and every evil thing is burnt away into ashes. But every prayer in line with Life and Love —stemming from God’s Spirit— is refined like gold and silver. What if that?
All the Secrets You don’t believe me, look there, part the grass, he’s walking through the kitchen in his shirt you laugh he’ll hear you and come looking. He keeps (I saw it from a faded picture snagged at midnight on a full-waned moon a solitary awning’s bulb the best light going) a frog that talks, oh yes I mean it don’t you say I lied, I’ve heard it croak a choked horn’s wheeze that
by Cameron Brooks On an early September morning I hear Fall whispering. Rushing out the front door I catch its thin voice in an unexpected breeze, faint, crisp, foreign to my bare skin, which is leathered and browned from four months of sun and sand and runs along the river behind our home. I pause in the paved lot to listen closer. As I lean into the breeze, I remember how my world has
Images of the Shroud I stay up late at night searching for high-resolution images of the Shroud of Turin weighing the evidence and different theories. I can see the blood on his arms, ringing round the bicep and shoulders, running like tattoos, the wound on the hand, and those on the feet, ribcage, and brow. They trace a body on the cloth, the relic of a crux connecting earth to heaven, there to issue blood
You scallywag scavenger, throaty chatterer, who rows through the sky with graceful pride, your wings black and white dipping the wind, tipping like a canoe but never capsized— that is you, O magnificent Magpie!
The King of All Creation The Book of Tobit The demon Asmodeus swept the sky all ownership and prowess, casting through each curtain of wind, cresting toward the maiden’s bower. “I am the king of all creation, I am the high-rise towering over the tenements! I am the mighty Asmodeus, conqueror, seducer, deepest shadow of the strongest light, widower, crucible, biggest bubble in the soaphouse, bug of bugs!” Swifter than an accidental fart, he
I Want a Solution for Charlottesville, VA I want a solution but my mind offers platitudes maybe they’re enough to seal the gap the whistling cold the difference between yesterday and today in Charlottesville where others carry thoughts like a sickness that kills them first swinging their fever in censers anointing their steps with ash walking by them I try to keep quiet and pass unseen my easy answers held out of sight like
Over the last few months, there’ve been more than a few controversies about art. For instance: the National Endowment for the Arts has found itself on the budgetary chopping block; white artist Dana Schutz’s painting of murdered black teen Emmitt Till has been denounced as exploitative; Netflix’s suicide-themed drama “13 Reasons Why” has been called an irresponsible and dangerous work; a standoff between sculptures on Wall Street has raised questions about artistic integrity. These brouhahas
Like So Many Things Through invisible fissures bones invested the jelly and were spooled around with veins that traced a floating scaffolding of fibers, twitching with electricity, suffused with untouched blood newly made for this alone. This new being is like a heron perched on the concrete box that catches the beach after the hurricane swept away the sand. How still he stands before he lifts into the heavy air, rolling his wings once and
Her Play Vroom-vroom! Pushing a toy bus she disturbs my thoughts’ quiet with her prattle. I’d have lain untroubled as a mule slipped from the halter, tugging up the roots of clover with their tangled clods hung unmeaning, broken up and shifting down my chin. I would have missed seeing the day intrude through the shutters, shining here and there between her shoulders and her golden hair, the light as clear as language when she