personal narratives

by maorzo, via Flickr

Black Preacher at the Family Reunion

“Do it or I’ll cut your throat,” Kevin said. You thought about it, yelling the word and then running and it would all really just be a game.


At the Judgment Seat

Now that I’m damned I’ve discovered a new capacity for wonder.


Deacon Tim’s Ghost Degree

What’s scarier around a campfire than Catholicism’s moment of complete awesomeness?

Wikimedia Commons

Heresy at Gethsemane

I found myself at the foot of an olive tree, my body folding into a crouch.

by kooky kooky, via Flickr

A Little Song I Wrote

People won’t buy Bobby McFerrin’s new album if they think he’s a Jesus freak. I was called upon to testify.


Army of Monk

The fighting, silent warrior-monk draws me closer.

by giveawayboy, via Flickr

Singing to Jesus with Eyes Closed

You would think Berkeley had suddenly transformed into an Evangelical school.


Season of the Creep

Sportswriter Jimmy Cannon liked to say he worked in the toy department. These days I often think of St. Paul putting away childish things.


Demon Dialogues

A conversation about the spirit world between a Pentecostal mother and her secular daughter.


Reading the St. Louis Edicts

A godmother’s gift of exile

ems18 via Flickr

The Preacher

Or, How Ecclesiastes Changed My Life

SantiMB via Flickr

The Failure of Nonviolence

“I guess I could just as easily be a non-practicing Jew-Bu.”

Torii shrine gates, by Smaku, via flickr

Mother Earth, Father Time

I watched her go. I did not follow. My friends all said I should have, but I didn’t.


Communion on Chemo

I’m still one of those strangers praying for others.


The Billboard of the Body

What do you do when you have sucker written all over your forehead?

Wall of room in Ward Retreat 1 at St. Elizabeth's psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C. Via the Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine.

A Message from Prison

When somebody just needs to disappear.


Getting the Christ Out of Christmas

What would Jesus do with leftovers?

"Class War," a banner-drop in Oakland on November 2. By Nathan Jongewaard.

Fuck Your Prayer, Show Me Solidarity

A coming-out story in an age of predatory credit.