Until We See Their Faces

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When Howard died, we staggered. Any death would have felt huge to the small college where I worked then, but Howard was a very popular, well-known-and-loved senior, the star goalie of our remarkable men’s soccer team, and a warm friend with tremendous character and humility. He was fine, we were all fine, when the Fall semester ended and Howard went home to Jamaica for Christmas break. But then he was tired for no reason, tests were run, a rare and strange blood disease was diagnosed, and by the time classes were starting up again, he was too ill to travel. And then we heard what none of us could stomach or quite believe: he was gone. That was four years ago last month. I miss him, and still cry when I think of him. I want very much to see his face again, have another hug, hear his voice and laugh. Read More

Make It New

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I recently watched Justin Timberlake on Saturday Night Live sing “Only When I Walk Away.” Multicolor laser lights flashed in geometric shapes and cast net-like patterns on the blackness of the stage. My 19-year-old son watched, too, and while he’s not a fan of Timberlake, he appreciated the fact that he was willing to try something new. The last time we saw Timberlake, he appeared on SNL singing “Suit & Tie.” It sounded like the Sinatra songs my dad sang around the house when we were growing up. What a contrast! Read More

And the Oscar goes to…

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Every year I say I’m not going to watch the Oscars. The show goes on too long, the speeches are often sadly inarticulate, and the music, jokes, and “other” that swirls around the presentations range from the insipid to the downright stupid. Nevertheless, on March 2nd there I was again, parked in front of my TV, settling in for the evening. Read More

God’s Not Dead

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The trailer for God’s Not Dead appeared on my Facebook timeline between a Buzzfeed quiz about Friday Night Lights and a Bruce Springsteen video. I took the quiz (I’m Landry Clarke, so you know) and listened to The Promised Land, trying to convince – or maybe distract – myself away from this movie. Even before I saw the trailer, I could make a guess at the plot.

Instead of asking a person to explore the mystery of faith, films like God’s Not Dead lay a straight and flawless road, painted over with harsh blacks and impossible whites – colors designed to make us comfortable. More importantly, they encourage Christians to ignore the twisting and turning deer trails that sprout off this main road. Trails that lead one through the mud, the murk. Places to get lost.

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