“I’d rather be a comma than a full-stop.”

I realize more and more, that respect and kindness in our communication with those closest to us is a Christly commodity. LISTENING to each other, caring for the person THROUGH the proofs, holding tightly to love as the first thing and equally tightly to truth as the second thing, not allowing the lie of separation to chisel chasms between us and us–all these things they are part of the heart of the Gospel and truest life, real ZOE (abundant life of Christ).

Living in relationships where respect for the other’s divine significance and love-filled truth informs the greater part of our interactions feels like Eden. Especially when people can’t possibly pause to hear each other over the screaming of their infinite needs and insecurities. Especially when a twenty-something throws a tantrum over the illogicity of his mother’s refusal to let him exercise his fullest powers of unearned irresponsibility. Especially when grown men rant over and beyond each other in public Facebook forums. Especially when the empty love of universalism lulls the would-be kind and courageous into righteous indignation and “love” sanctioned war. Especially in the world where the ruins are said to be whole by merit of their ruin alone, not by any power outside of their mess. Especially in the world where tall, gentle professors of biology, with pain-laced eyes, leave their cathedrals to find love and family in the stony temples of cold post-modernism.

How can we be agents of communication? How can we be channels of transformation? How can I, Kristi, be someone who helps people listen and hear and love and speak with truth and grace and dignity for God and his children?

It starts with me, right? I need my ears unplugged, my eyes opened, my tongue loosed. I need to die. But Christ makes ends, full-stops, into beginnings, commas. Christ turns death to life. That is my plea. That is how truth can come to love.



Feelings on the Church

I’ve spun and spun and the cogs are all worn down now.

Their teeth keep missing each other and they don’t catch and make progress.

The same problems ricochet from neuron to neuron and bounce back in reply with the same tired, maddening questions.

The paths between my synapses are scraped smooth and hard and cold just like the prison where their teeth rattle their chains and eyebrows knit tighter and tighter a shroud, inescapable.

Always in ceaseless, useless motion,

in the background,

wearing it all down and out to less and less progress and answer and truth,

the problems roll and scrape until they’re so smooth and flat that it’s useless to try to grasp them because they just slip and scatter

It’s like trying to juggle a thousand bowling balls in a shuddering tin. They drop everywhere and they bounce and bounce

and keep bouncing and bouncing and bouncing until it’s only cacophony and clatter and you can’t even see the question anymore.

There has to be a way out.

If not a way out, a damper pedal.

If not a damper pedal, a rhyme? A rhythm? A key?


Is there really no answer?

Did God really pose an impossibility?

Is there really no other way?


Compromise means someone goes hungry.

Compromise means someone loses.

Compromise means we can’t all come home.

Compromise means that “redemption” is just a word.


The way it looks to me

Either we, the household of faith, have the hard road,

Or they, the fatherless, get the short stick


To whom much is given

Much is required.


Even so, come Lord Jesus.


A few days after I wrote this, in great frustration. God answered me, and I tried to listen


A Response 


Sometimes the cogs spin and wear down

Sometimes problems ricochet

Sometimes there’s only cacophony and clatter


But then you let the clatter out

And you share it and it gets softer

It’s not quite as clamorous


God looks at you through your brother’s eyes

Humility breaks your back

And Love returns to the center.


The ricochet transforms into something holy

Something lovely and mysterious

The fingerprints of the Spirit.


An echo, a note, of hope.