Hanami: What an ancient Japanese tradition can teach us about Covid-19

It had only been a few days, but the collective tension in my house was a pressure cooker about to blow. “We need to get out,” my husband said with glazed eyes. He’s been working for the Pentagon remotely from home amid helping me homeschool three kids, breaking up fights, dolling out snacks and assembling…

Here we go, Rona

I’m keeping a daily journal to document our new, bizarre lifestyle. It helps me feel a little less crazy to process what’s happening in words. Here’s my entry from Monday, March 16th… I wake up feeling terrible for the sixth day in a row. My throat is dry and my head feels like a swollen…

Stumbling through a City of Darkness

“There’s something in the air, isn’t there?” I ask Patryce, my Lyft driver. “Yes, girl, YES! Oh my God, what is it?” she begins. It’s a cold, rainy night in Washington D.C., and I’m trying to get to a writer’s workshop across town in a Lyft cab because the trains are delayed. Nothing is functioning…

The Ghost Moth

This essay was originally published in SheLoves Magazine as Untangling My Twisted Theology of Creation It was the time of day in Bangkok when dirt and dust from sidewalk chalk covered my kids. With darkened faces, glowing eyes, and wild hair, they looked like creatures from another planet, doing loops on bikes in the shade…

The Christ-Consciousness of Anthony Bourdain

There’s a soup lady on my street in Bangkok whose soup is so nourishing it makes me cry. Anytime I am sick or in a funk, I head straight to her wheeled cart and take my place in line behind construction workers before ordering a steamy bowl of chicken and rice noodles in a rich…

A Travel Fail and Cambodian Breakfast Angels

For Christmas this year, my husband and I decide to forego getting gifts for each other and instead gifted our family a post-Christmas trip to Cambodia. Google maps estimates the drive to be six hours from our home in Bangkok to Siem Reap. Google maps is out of touch in this part of the world,…

‘Never Again’ is Upon us During Advent Season

{This article was first published in Sojourners on Dec 19, 2017.} It’s a cold November day in Amsterdam, and I’m realizing my 18-month-old daughter is not prepared for the biting wind. My “Bangkok baby” has only known hot, humid air, and so I do my best to wrap my scarf around the umbrella stroller, swaddling…

8 Sayings Christians Use to Let Ourselves Off the Hook

The American church is slowly waking up from a decades-long slumber. Many of us have been sleeping snugly under a thick blanket of individualism for far too long, embracing a guarded theology as a pillow for our sleepy little heads. The mission of Jesus to care for “the least of these” has largely suffered under American…

‘SJW’ and the Call to ‘Do Justice and Love Mercy’

I got entangled in the messy business of loving my neighbor about seven years ago, and I had no idea what I was getting into. Whether it’s referred to as social justice, economic justice or humanitarian outreach, I just saw it as fulfilling a desire to love marginalized people who had been dealt an unfair…

Oh God, Do You Hear Their Prayers?

It’s the middle of the sweltering Bangkok workday, and I’m wrestling with God in the back of a taxi on my way home from prison. I’m slipping around on hot vinyl as my theology gets pressed and squeezed like the limes at the juice stand outside my window. I’ve just visited my friend Nina.* She…