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The Active Voice

After Camille Pissarro’s Haymaking at Éragny   Pissarro clumped, sculpted, plowed his oil paints to produce this hayfield: fertile pigments mixed, molded, together like squelching mud to cultivate such an agrarian landscape sown with greens, blues, yellows, browns; his passion raising pregnant berms with color on this canvas. Here, between trees, a breeze combs through wheat-sheaves where a woman works a pitchfork in the grasses, ordering, processing, a year’s plenty beside fellow peasants, harvesting what’s needed for unseen hungry mouths…
September 1, 2018

Of Aliens and Embassies

American visitors to the Holy Land often “run where Jesus walked,” a Palestinian friend from Bethlehem likes to say. One need only watch the crush of tourists pouring out of buses at the Church of the Nativity to observe the pattern: place one tentative foot into the West Bank, check the landmark off the list after superficial engagement and zip back to the sunny places on the other side of the checkpoint with nary a glance at Bethlehem as it…
April 30, 2018

Reformers and Race: Reconciling Dialect and Deed

“Sawubona.” This Zulu word for hello is much more than a simple greeting. Translated, its intention means “I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into being.” Understood this way, this word has the potential to reshape the way we see ourselves and others, particularly influencing our social constructions of race and nationalism. Seeing one another appropriately requires the affirmation that all humanity is created in the image of God and thus possesses inherent dignity, value and worth…
April 30, 2018