Step Right Up, Folks!

As the afternoon sun pours in my classroom window, it highlights the swirling particles that are mostly invisible throughout the day. I’m shelving the wonderful classics and mysteries I’ve collected over the years for my students, and restoring the colorful poetry books to their spot in the top basket. On the rug, I see the most worn and popular book from the collection: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! The book is thicker than it was when new because of the heavy circulation and grubby fingers wrinkling and adding texture to the pages. Year after year, I see the fascination and appeal in the odd, the curiosity of the unusual; the freakish. As we’ve been studying the book of John in the Narrativ

Zeal

Every year, somewhere around the middle of July, downtown San Diego undergoes a metamorphosis. Fifty-story high banners unfurl down the walls of skyscrapers, every bus and trolley is cocooned in elaborate advertising wraps, hotels and restaurants are closed to regular business then reopened with specific themes. Even Petco Park, home of the Padres, is transformed into an alternative universe. Why? Comic Con. If you’re not familiar with this phenomenon, you can Google it to get an idea. But nothing takes the place of being there. Over the years, my family has enjoyed watching the crowds of LARPers and furries swarm the city while we trek through on our way south to Ensenada. Zeal—properly pl

Light in the Darkness

My family has been turning out every light in the house this December, welcoming the darkness. Then lighting a candle. Watching the light blaze across the darkness. Then, filled up from the light-life, we blow out the candle and sit in the darkness again. Here is some of what we've seen and felt as we've practiced welcoming the darkness each night. The darkness wraps its arms around the earth, the longest reach it will have for 365 days. The darkest day of the year. The most darkness, the deepest blackness, the longest suffocation from daylight. That’s today. “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). For in a night of darkness, a century of violence

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