Book reviews, Uncategorized

A Missionary Childhood in Haiti

When Apricot Irving was six years old, her parents moved their family from the California desert to a missionary compound in Haiti. The Gospel of Trees is her honest, ruminative account of the years she spent in a place she describes as a “splendid, complicated, troubling, maddening, beautiful country.” Through diary entries – hers and those of… Continue reading A Missionary Childhood in Haiti

Book reviews, Uncategorized

Embracing Blindness

Have Dog, Will Travel is the story of Stephen Kuusisto, who was born blind to parents who taught him to hide his disability. It is also the story of Corky, the smart and spirited guide dog that taught him a better way of being in the world. Throughout childhood and into his late thirties, Kuusisto… Continue reading Embracing Blindness

Book reviews, Uncategorized

Unearthing our Africas

(Originally published in Christian Courier, Dec 2015) For many years, author Jill Kandel barely even talked to close friends about the years she and her husband spent in Zambia on a placement with a Dutch agricultural organization aimed at fighting hunger. “I moved to Kalabo when I was 26 years old. Nothing but a black-soil… Continue reading Unearthing our Africas


More than Criminals

Murderers. Drug addicts. Gang leaders. Thieves. The troubled men in this memoir by Chris Hoke, a gang pastor and jail chaplain, are known to society by these dark labels. To Hoke, however, these “men starved for kindness and care” are so much more than their criminal actions or statuses; they are his unconventional congregants and… Continue reading More than Criminals


Bearing Witness to Hope when Memory Fails

You are likely familiar with at least a few frightening stats regarding dementia. On the radio just the other morning, an announcer gloomily shared a recent report from Alzheimer’s Disease International stating that 44 million people live with the disease – and warning that this figure will likely increase to 135 million by the year… Continue reading Bearing Witness to Hope when Memory Fails

Book reviews

The Difficult Bliss of Belief: Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss

I started Christian Wiman’s memoir My Bright Abyss shortly before Ascension Day, with the hymns of Christ’s rising triumph a week or so away from being sung. The timing lessened some of the dread I felt over beginning a book I knew to be written under a “deepening shadow of death” – the author’s diagnosis of… Continue reading The Difficult Bliss of Belief: Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss


So We Attend, So We Wait

"Faith is not much different from work or love, from which life also grants us no rest. Sometimes, we look up from that work, pausing to catch our breath in this labor which we can never see compete and which we therefore perdure in by faith, posing love and being against death and nothingness, and… Continue reading So We Attend, So We Wait