The defensiveness rose in my chest as we spoke, and I wished I had not worn my department sweatshirt that day.

“We don’t need anything else,” she was saying. Despite a personality that generally tolerated most peoples’ soap boxes and the Christianity I too professed, the buzzing in my mind–a slow uncomfortable resentment–persisted. Continue reading



The girl sitting next to me on the subway had the whimsically short cut I had admired since realizing, at the age of twelve, the unreachability of Disney princess hair, and she seemed past the point of defending it. Her corduroy jacket looked refashioned from an old carpet bag, and when asked, she said that she worked in “textiles.” She looked the sort of artist who would never claim to be one. She looked like my long-lost friend. Continue reading



She showed up to Bible circle with her iPhone, sprig-legs tucked neatly under her in the plastic chair. She scrolled Line. Kissy-face emojis–“wish I was there”–sawatdee ka–never lifting her face to the room of people.  Continue reading


three gifts in One

The eastborn kings brought special gifts

of gold, of myrrh, of frankincense,

which held much deeper symbol than

the givers’ stately opulence.


All stable witnesses did sense

that Mary held a newborn prince,

so gold—it seemed a natural choice,

but why the myrrh and frankincense?


Perhaps the second wise man knew

the kinds of works the child would do—

to serve as priest, to read the Law,

light incense as the holy do.


But present three made Joseph take

a darker look at Jesus’s face,

for precious oils like myrrh were used

to prepare bodies for the grave.


Yet somehow this king understood

before the child’s family ever would

that life would demand sacrifice

and death upon a cross of wood.


And Jesus did as Priest-King serve

to live and preach the Holy Word;

not only this, he–sinless–dragged

our rebel souls back to the Lord.


But in His body, He did bear

the wounds we sinners never share.

He came, He died, He made a way;

His soul, for us, formed heaven’s stairs.


So let’s thank God for presents—three!—

foretelling love and Satan’s tree.

The gift God gave at Christmastime

was Jesus Christ who sets us free.


And let’s with Mary ponder Him

who by His love makes dark grow dim,

and all year, treasure Him who is

our gold, our myrrh, our frankincense.