nonsermon #6: my ghosts

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor I’ve long been drawn to the idea of ghosts. At first, I was fascinated by the ghost as symbol: what it means to have something hanging over your head or within your psyche. How you are haunted by what you do and don’t do, by what happens to you. Something from our…

Micro Prose: WHERE BABIES COME FROM: Spare Parts by Ori Fienberg

WHERE BABIES COME FROM: Spare Parts The store specializes in spare parts for second-hand children. They stock baskets full of hair, jars filled with different types of glee, a couple binders of childhood collecting obsessions. We run our fingers through bins of button noses, uncork carboys of sibilant cries, and consider whether baseball cards, bugs,…

Micro Prose: What We Will Be Expecting by Julia LoFaso

What We Will Be Expecting   At the last session of the birthing class we learned about all the ways the baby would try to die. As if it hadn’t already been trying its whole gestation. The second you stopped worrying about miscarriage, preterm labor, stillbirth, you could look forward to worrying about SIDS and…

nonsermon #5: my prayers

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer: what it does, how different people practice it, if it works. Mostly, I’d like to know why it worked for me for so many years, then it didn’t. I cannot place the moment it happened, but over time, when I bowed my head to pray,…

Micro Prose: Del Rio, TX by Patrick Font

Del Rio, TX Something in my stomach says nothing wants to live here, especially not childhood. We wake to taxidermied turkeys on the cabin wall. Eric’s dad, Donnie, cracks open a beer and a dozen eggs. Donnie says, Eat. We eat. Donnie says, Let’s go. We go.   We ride four-wheelers past barbed-wire fences. Circle…

Micro Prose: Regions of Red by Amanda Gomez

Regions of Red The grandma had scabies. The itching started in her toes and traveled up her body, leaving blisters and scabs in its wake as it forced its epileptic trek onward—a devil’s tango in bas-relief. Soon the mites would reach her thighs and submerge into their warmth. The grandma’s only son took care of…

nonsermon #4: my unbelief

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor Although these nonsermons are decidedly against preaching, I am still drawn to a particular Gospel narrative that speaks to me even now. The story of Matthew 9 states that when a man asks Jesus to rid his son of a bad spirit, Jesus tells him that all things are possible for those…

Micro Prose: Fieldnotes (IV) by Anuradha Bhowmik

Fieldnotes (IV) 1) According to the DSM-5, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a condition in which a child or teen displays an ongoing pattern of defiant or argumentative behavior and vindictiveness toward people in authority. The cause of ODD is unknown, but the condition is likely a result of environmental and genetic factors. There are…

nonsermon #3: my meanings

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor For most of my life, Christianity defined my experiences of meaning-making in this world. I was raised in the church, came to my own beliefs in high school and college, and shaped my understanding of the world around mine and others’ interpretations of the Bible. When I began to understand that my worldview was…

The Creative Life is an Amplified Life: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic

by Geoff Watkinson In the opening pages of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, she asks the following question about creative living: “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” If someone had asked me that question a few years ago, I would have felt incredibly uncomfortable, not believed I…