I’m a carpenter’s daughter. My father built the suburban Chicago house of my childhood with his own hands in the evenings after working his for-pay job. Suburban sprawl put food on my table and paid half my college tuition where in environmental science classes I was taught about its horrors.
The words “Martyrs” and “Memphis” at first glance might seem to be an odd pairing. We think of martyrs as biblical, ancient, and abroad, and Memphis as relatively young from a world history standpoint—a place for good BBQ and Blues.
It’s a Sunday after church and we’re stuffing Nutella-ed plates and oatmeal-ed bowls into the dishwasher while also fixing lunch. Except one of us is already done and inviting the neighbors over.
It’s been less than a year since our family’s returned to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, so there are still surprises in the liturgical calendar. “Please wear red on Pentecost,” invited Father Randall. I owned nothing red except for a waffle-knit funnel-neck shirt that obviously screamed fall even though the weather was basically expected to be just that.
My mom texted a picture to all seven of us kids at the end of August after Nathan, my youngest brother and twenty years my junior, left for his freshman year of college. “In the first week of empty nesting we found an empty nest!” she wrote.
Due to procrastination and a lack of communication I was anxious and alone on an otherwise serene night. The anxiety became anger and then in my anger, I sinned.
One early May Saturday my spouse and I helped plant trees in the Southtown area of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The kids came too, but pretty […]