Confronting Sarah

Hagar is misunderstood. And misrepresented. Her outline is sketched in contrast to Sarah, Abraham’s wife and would-be matriarch of Israel. In Sarah’s shadow, Hagar is a slave girl from Egypt who caters to her whims. But she also serves at her point of deepest woe—barrenness that denies her the glory of a child, the respect […]

Hidden Identity

As an adopted person I’ve lived with the reality of a hidden history. My origin story remains unknown to me, sealed by a court order for almost 50 years now. I know little about my mother—just that she was Mexican and an accountant at the time of my birth. When I was three months old […]

Ponder and Protest (Like Mother Mary)

I received my favorite Christmas card this year from D.L. Mayfield. A simple image in black ink on white cardstock of Mother Mary mid-step, skirt hiked up and fist in the air. She looks fierce. The words of the Magnificat encircle her: “Cast down the mighty. Lift up the lowly. Send the rich away. Fill the […]

Holy Hindsight

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. According to Luke, the days were an unprecedented blur. The emperor called for a worldwide census, the first of its kind. The leadership in Judea (and every other region in Roman territory) scrambled to facilitate the massive registration […]

Fighting Words

Jesus is Lord! I’ve been singing this since I learned my first praise song under the wing of Mary at Saint Nicholas Church. Those around me sang it with a triumphant yawp. We’d summon our religious fervor and pierce the sky with our declaration about God who reigned supreme. We stood exuberant in our praise. […]