The Body of Christ, Broken (a guest post for Restoration Living)


family-old-moustache

Yeah, that’s my family (I’m in the front left). This was one Easter Sunday in the 90’s in Dallas, Texas, at a time and place where (I promise) it was absolutely appropriate to dress like that for Easter (except the glasses, of course). I look at this picture a lot, and not just to chuckle. I find it so oddly and powerfully symbolic of what life in the Bible Belt was like.

You see, my family was deeply wounded by “Church folk” throughout my childhood. Just as in the picture, people in the Church would live their Christian lives dressed up and looking good, all while wearing masks, disguising who they really were. When things were hard at home, people at church had no categories to process it. After all, to be a Christian is to be cleansed by Jesus and walk in new life, right? Failures, sins, and brokenness were seen as signs of some disobedience – some place where you weren’t “okay.”

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And so begins a guest post I wrote for a wonderful site that should be on all of your radars, Restoration Living. Read the rest of the post here.

The Pain & Substance of Gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving. [REPOST]


Yesterday, the annual meal referenced in this post occurred at my work, so I thought I’d re-post this today on this Thanksgiving Eve.

Sorry that this isn’t your typical feel-good Thanksgiving post.

On Tuesday, my job had a large Thanksgiving lunch for all the staff and clients we serve. I got my food and sat down next to some of my coworkers and across from a client I had never seen before. She was very friendly. She didn’t ask me my name or anything; she just began asking me questions about what I was doing for the holiday, where I was going, if my parents were still alive/together, if I had any siblings, so on and so forth.

As she kept firing one question about my Thanksgiving week after another, I started to feel the awkward tension developing because I wasn’t returning any of these questions back at her. I wondered if my coworkers thought this was odd of me to do, but it was very intentional.

Continue reading –>

[art credit: “Freedom From Want” by Norman Rockwell]

The Pain & Substance of Gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving.


Sorry that this isn’t your typical feel-good Thanksgiving post.

On Tuesday, my job had a large Thanksgiving lunch for all the staff and clients we serve. I got my food and sat down next to some of my coworkers and across from a client I had never seen before. She was very friendly. She didn’t ask me my name or anything; she just began asking me questions about what I was doing for the holiday, where I was going, if my parents were still alive/together, if I had any siblings, so on and so forth.

As she kept firing one question about my Thanksgiving week after another, I started to feel an awkward tension developing because I wasn’t returning any of these questions back to her. I wondered if my coworkers thought this was odd of me to do, but it was very intentional.
Continue reading

“On Fuel & Family, and the Costs Thereof” (a poem)


The cell burns from within the pocket
As the needle caresses the crimson “E.”
Justice questioned of the Almighty God
Over inevitability.

Car slows down, it’s time again
To press the speed dial “8;”
Re-bridging two worlds, renewing the scab-
Mom thinks all too late.

The red of the nylon vivid in hue
Tied to the basement rafter;
The blue of the note written on the washer
Heralding the hereafter;

The white of the face of dear old dad
Before kicking the chair from under him;
The brown of the sheriff ,came just in time,
To ring the bell and blunder him.

The images haunt the every thought
As gas necessitates the call
$2, $2.07, $2.75, $3
Causes this one to fall

Back to memories of screams and fights,
Of baseball bats and tears.
OPEC forces one still a child
To confront his darkest years

First once a month, then once a week,
Now once every couple of days.
Mileage doesn’t mean so much
anymore. . . .

Crude incites cruel making distance hit home

The sins of the father.
Justification.
All he’s good at – selfish ways.
Never really seeking the God of this earth
The only thing to save him.

Laying down a family at the altar of his god:
His excuse, his past, his illness, his, his his
Never hers
When she’s deserved it all.

One desires not to talk about it, one never does. Living away, detached from the reality, still hurting.

Pain. Pain. Pain. Tears of pain, fulfilling a role one never meant to fulfill:
surrogate husband to a broken mother.

Making a man of the child but still hurting her in the process.
Just . . . don’t . . . know . . .

Satisfaction and faith in Almighty God
Restores order to it all.
My only real Daddy in this entire world,
No matter “what” I have to call.

One strange paradox defining my world:
Joy, satisfaction, abundant life!!
Amidst all the pain of family hurt -
The constant signs of strife.

Provision not the source of belief,
Rather a recent application.
The value I hold, for my Lord, my God;
Mirrors the gas price of this nation. . .

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