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My youngest child is wiggling her front tooth. It’s a thrill, it’s a project, it’s unmitigated glee. I’ve seen this before. A kid waits for the first loose tooth longer than they wait for Halloween, for summer vacation. When’s it gonna fall out? My friend’s already lost two. Then one day… a shift. Could it be? Let’s do this! I’m happy for my girl, but I feel waves of sadness breaking over me, here and there in recent days. I’ve been watching my kids grow out of littleness for 15 years. What’s harder about this, now? It may be the denial I’ve afforded myself. To this point, every time one of my children has outgrown some precious stage or season (standing up, tying shoes, losing teeth), there

Together In This

9 killed at the Buddhist Temple in Waddell, AZ 6 killed at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI. 9 killed at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC. 26 killed at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX. 11 killed at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. 50 killed at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand. I usually don’t enjoy conversations about how much the world’s religions have in common. Of course, I recognize themes and values shared across faiths, but so often, people talk about similarities in a way that glosses over what makes any one spiritual tradition beautiful, distinct and vibrant. So I mostly prefer to learn as much as I can about the sc

The Harder Way

When somebody gets baptized in church, it's a celebration. People go out to lunch afterward, or somebody hosts a party. Gifts, cake, lots of hugs. Read the gospel stories of Jesus’ baptism, and at first you’d think things were going just that way. The moment in the river was certainly grand - water dripping from his frame, Jesus saw a dove coming down from heaven, and heard the voice of God - you are beloved. Cue the band, let the festivities begin. But there was no party. Nobody celebrated this big moment in Jesus’ life - no cards, no cookies. If you read closely, the bible doesn’t indicate that anybody around Jesus even saw the dove or heard the voice that he did. Jesus’ baptism didn’

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