Author Archives: Carmeen

Porch Sitting and Raphah

I grew up watching my neighbor Hoyt watch the world go by. After Hoyt had retired from the cotton mill, he sat on his porch — a lot. I’m not saying he did nothing, because he also had a large … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Gospel Joy

Far north off England’s east coast, near Scotland, is Holy Island, known as “Lindisfarne” at first millennium’s close. Its vibrant monastery could only be reached from the mainland at low tide, by a path of mud and sand flats, famously … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Amazing Gray-ce

Stranded high on a cracking vinyl cushion, I tried not to blink, eyes filling with regret. I’d picked the pixie cut after browsing waiting-room Glamour magazines, but watching six inches of my dark locks lopped off, I thought, Mistake, and … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Ann Ulanov: The Modern Julian of Norwich?

Soon after publishing my translation of that medieval book on prayer, The Cloud of Unknowing, I crash-landed in a counselor’s office. I had become a jittery, work-driven insomniac whose old ways of coping had failed. I was living fifteen-hour writing … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Coffee Cans and Christ

I had worked there three months without even so much as tapping it once. I had, however, eyed, admired, analyzed, wondered at, and resisted it. Scholarship-enabled, I was an anxiety-ridden sophomore at a private college high up on a leafy … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Lesson of the Tree

Often I find myself sitting across from a student in my office as the conversation moves from gerunds and infinitives, deadlines and revisions, applications and careers, to family difficulties and personal worries. I pray a lot then. If a student’s … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Bursting Pipes, Overflowing Hearts

The low, dull roar of an industrial fan in concert with the higher-pitched hum of the wet-dry vac in my office drew my heart’s easily preoccupied ear to God’s ever underlying, eloquent silence and had me contemplating the power of … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Cradle of the New Year

Strong lungs gave loud cries that opened my sky and started tears I couldn’t control; this joy’s never-before-ness soaked my cheeks. I wanted to see the new person my husband was holding but had to wait for him to bring … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Still, Small Voice

My bottom was already numb, and my skinny shoulder blades ached against the hard wooden pew where weekly as a child I sat obediently a few rows back on the left-hand side of the church with my family. Mostly I … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Broadcasting Community

The bouquet of shiny red and blue stars jostled each other for position against the car’s soft tan ceiling. The squeak of plastic rubbing plastic made me think about the community that can be nourished by the simple act of … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Tasting Salt

The student pulled the frayed bill of his dark gray baseball cap over his eyebrows and slumped further down on the brown sofa in my office. He had been late again with a paper and came in with the multiple … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Soil of Humility, the Flower of Tenderheartedness

I was watching our seven-year-old son who had been playing a long time, rolling Matchbox cars across “roads” in the den rug’s intricate patterns and blowing car noises through his lips. When I said, “You’re so handsome,” he stopped, looked … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Squire George and the Sacra Pagina

Under the alias “Squire George,” a bearded knight rode from Wartburg Castle and its safety, heading northeast to Wittenberg to check on the Reformation’s progress.1 Bold, high-stakes scenarios were not unusual for this sixteenth-century Christian; however, less well-known is that … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment