Waheed’s poems give readers permission to sit with their pain and hold themselves gently in it. Readers are given permission to listen to the Spirit and work for their own thriving and the thriving of all in the spaces God has placed them.
Through practice, I’ve learned to use those very moments as markers to look for God’s presence. I’ve added “found moments” to the spiritual practices I pursue, and they have become as important to my spiritual health and connection with God as planned times of prayer, silence, or reading Scripture. The difference is that I don’t put them on my schedule—I let the Holy Spirit remind me to find the time throughout my day.
I was intrigued about the idea of walking a labyrinth and had made some half-hearted online searches to find one near me. But my first encounter was much different than I had imagined. I was co-facilitating a workshop, and my partner started the day by handing out a sheet of paper with a labyrinth printed on it. We were instructed to trace our finger along the path while listening for how God might speak. To say I was skeptical is an understatement. However, I decided to keep an open mind and give it a try.
Recently I heard a pastor describing his efforts to reach marginalized people in his community with the good news. He cited this story and made a startling statement: “Sometimes in order to get people to Jesus you have to mess with the structure.” These entrepreneurial men didn’t let propriety stand in their way! They messed, quite literally, with the structure.
Whenever I hear Austin Channing Brown interviewed about her book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, one of the first questions she is asked refers to the opening line of her book: “White people can be exhausting.” It’s more than just a provocative first line—it sets the tone of the book. It’s a signal to readers that Brown is not going to dance around the truth in this space.
As a seminary student, I knew that the majority of Covenant churches were in rural communities, but when the time came for me to accept my first call, I was looking everywhere but a rural setting. I wanted adventure. I wanted to create change. I wanted opportunity. And where in the world is Ceresco, Nebraska?
There’s a legal doctrine that I’ve learned from the equivalent of several years of law school from watching legal dramas. It’s known as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” … Over the last few years I’ve come to see this as another handy metaphor to describe the failings of American evangelicalism.