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Melissa Reeser Poulin

I’m wearing nylon running shorts and my husband’s t-shirt. I’m barefoot, in line behind a man whose tattooed shoulders block my view of our pastor, waist-deep in the Whirlpool. The aqua water ripples in the dark wood floor, and the familiar smell of chlorine feels out of place here in the mostly empty church, like a beach ball rolling between aisles at a funeral. In a way, a funeral isn’t far from what we’re doing here—burying our old selves to unearth the new.

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Believing Will Never Come Easy Again

Carly Gelsinger

Kevin is at my parents’ house when I get home from school. His normal uniform of a white Hanes shirt and khakis are black with char, and his arms show deep red gashes. All day he’s been helping my dad clear brush left over from the fire. His eyes light up when I walk in the house. My dad is grateful—and desperate—for the help. It’s been six months since the forest fire burned everything down, and there is still so much work to be done.

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Silent Night

Julie L. Moore

“USA! USA! USA!” the basketball fans, most in costumes, shout across the gym when the national anthem ends and their university’s team takes the court. Five guys dressed as Department of Transportation workers, sporting yellow helmets, orange vests, and jean shorts, raise the Stars and Stripes high above their heads as they chant. Another in their group, however, who wears a sleeveless T-shirt emblazoned with Old Glory, raises his fists.

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An Interview with Sara Zarr

Cara Strickland

Sara Zarr is the author of six novels and one collaborative novel, for young adults. I first encountered her work in the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, in which I found so many kindred spirits. Over the last several years, I’ve had the honor of hearing Sara speak several times, and having some time to chat one on one with her, too. I wanted to share the encouragement and the wonder about art and faith, and a little about her new book Gem & Dixie, so that you could listen along.

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No End to Weakness

Josh Welker

This is a collection of meditations that find their center in my studio practice as a visual artist, though they extend outward from that space. The incarnation, hope of resurrection, and consequential recasting of all things infuses my life and work with energy. In my work as a visual artist I draw no specific connections from my explorations to these events. Like any one who makes anything, the themes, qualities, and effects in my work are reflections and microcosms of what happen in nature and in humanity.

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Poetry as a Mode of Being: The Theology of Li-Young Lee

Aaron Brown

In the rush of mid-semester teaching, between the piles of papers, the emails trickling in and out every hour, I find myself losing focus, losing the big picture and the small—finding it increasingly difficult to hone in my devoted attention on a single thing, a person, an object, an idea. In conversations, I feel my mind rush out of itself, standing apart, speaking to me of something I need to do, some other place I need to be rather than with this person, listening and receiving and giving in return.

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Holden’s Prayer for the Lonely: Foxes Have Holes, Mice Have Whiskers, but So the Hell What?

Joe Martyn Ricke

I was sitting through a sermon on Yahweh's response to Job out of the whirlwind, and it was just getting too intense, so I started reading through the Book of Common Prayer. And I came to the one “For Those Who Live Alone" (I call it the Prayer for the Lonely) which starts like this: "Almighty God, whose Son had nowhere to lay his head.”

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