“Be strong, Arleen.” Tears welled up anyway.

“Be strong, Arleen.” I whispered it in the gym parking lot, at the end of a 400 meter run, the day after I accepted my Tampa job offer.

Tears welled up anyway.

Because I knew—I was leaving. “Be strong, Arleen,” I said.

Because I didn’t want to feel those feelings, let alone express them. I wanted to leave Virginia Beach without having to feel what a person should feel when she leaves.

Continue reading ““Be strong, Arleen.” Tears welled up anyway.”

Is the pain worth enduring?


I was thinking today about the untimely death of Lazarus.

His body, separated from his soul, was buried. His sisters, bereaved. His memory, cherished.

All the life, all the potential energy, all the productivity in him, extinguished. What was, wasn’t anymore. What could have been, then only could be longed for.

Bandages bound the body and a tomb surrounded it. Then, agony.

But I was also thinking today about what his sisters didn’t know. They didn’t know what Jesus was going to do. Continue reading “Is the pain worth enduring?”

Did you know that you’re pursued like this?

I recently met God the Father. On June 11, I was in the back yard when he showed up and spoke. It isn’t as important that I share what he said as it is that I share how I felt when he said it: like his daughter.

For the first time in my entire life (I’m 31), God felt like a dad. An available one who delights in surprising me, who pays attention to me, who actually wants to do stuff with me, like sit in back yards.

This has wrecked me. Continue reading “Did you know that you’re pursued like this?”

Cool your jets about ‘Building a Bridge’

After I shoe shopped yesterday, I stopped at the mall’s Barnes & Noble to do what I always do: browse the Christian books. This time I bought one — Building a Bridge by Fr. James Martin.

And I’d been warned. Catholic Twitter had sounded the alarm, had said to read reviews of it instead, to steer clear of it (and, in fact, to steer clear of Fr. Martin himself, who, by the way, I met once and is quite cordial).

Now that I’ve read it (excluding its second half, which is for meditation and reflection — I’ll read that later), I’d like to invite Catholic Twitter to do a new thing: cool your dang jets. Continue reading “Cool your jets about ‘Building a Bridge’”