Pansy growing among dead leaves

This little pansy caught my eye in the flower bed last week. An early sign of spring on a frigid February day. Bloom where you are planted, indeed. Whenever you’re freaking ready.

I could pretend that I’m writing this to lift the spirits of a dear friend who’s going through a dark season, but here’s the truth; this is for me, but not only me. Maybe it’s for you. Or your dear friend.

See, I’ve been at this writing thing for a long time. 15 years professionally (18 if you count my internships in college), and 31 years if you count my crayon-scribbled masterpieces as a young child. I’ve always, always wanted to be a writer. And now I am. Not many people can say that they’re living their childhood career dream. I can, and I’m grateful. Not many …

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This post was written and submitted by my cousin Janelle Stamm, and is her open and honest journey of faith. Like so many, our family was shattered by the betrayal of clergy sexual abuse, but the power of hope is stronger even than death. I was profoundly impacted by her story, and I think you will be too. Awareness of clergy abuse is at an all-time high, but we must be moved beyond apathy to action. I admire her vulnerability in admitting that at one time, she didn’t believe us. Reading those words stung, but more like the injection of a life-saving serum than the prick of the poisoned spindle on the spinning wheel. If we want to have real change, we have to have really hard conversations. ”

“I didn’t want to believe what I know …

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It is Absolutely my Business

Kansas.com

I type the name into the address bar, and breathe in. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…hold 2, 3, 4…

I’m beginning to recognize the physical signs of an impending panic attack, and have learned to use breathing techniques to ward them off. But it doesn’t always work.

Kansas priest removed from parish after hiking trip with children”

Fuck. Forget triggered. Try annihilated. Strangled. Dropped from a 50-ft cliff. The month of October is already a PTSD-triggering mine field, but this just set them all off at once.

A dear friend alerted me to the article, but I already knew. I’d been informed of the pending investigation and his removal weeks ago, and I’ve been harboring it in my closet like a rabid gorilla, eager to escape. I’ve vaguebooked about it. I’ve talked to family …

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“It can’t be true because he’s so well loved.”
“It can’t be true because he was around so many others and it didn’t happen to them.”
“It can’t be true because they waited so long to come forward.”
“It can’t be true because they’re conspiring to ruin him.”

I know. I get it. None of us WANT to believe someone we know, respect or admire could be a rapist. It shakes us and makes us question all those around us in positions of trust or authority. And yes, occasionally, unfortunately, rarely, false accusations are made which ruin someone’s life, and that’s not right either.

But when you begin to defend someone (and this time that someone in the news is Bill Cosby) based solely on the reasons given above, I can’t help but feel old angers rising …

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Letting the Imago Go

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 22-24

The night air was surprisingly refreshing when I stepped barefoot onto my cold concrete porch. The light from the living room streamed through the closed storm door behind me, but I was drawn to a light beyond the overhang. Above. The moon. Brilliant and white, it pierced through the inky black sky. It was cool and calming. Clouds, narrow yet with clear definition, were drawn here and there, almost like quilt batting that’s been pulled thin. I let my toes hang off the edge of the porch, my hand on the 8-inch cedar post for …

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How can I desire to shine the light of justice and mercy into the world when I won’t let it shine into the dark places of my own heart?

Some of you won’t want to hear this. Some of you will. Some of you will be angry. Some of you will rejoice. I realize I run the risk of alienating some friends and family if I expose just where it is that this journey is taking me. And for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, start reading here.

I’ve known for awhile now, but haven’t told many. It’s just too hard, and yet, it’s really quite simple. I started out on this road thinking I would write this book and get this all off my chest and finally …

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