Dear John MacArthur, You chose wrongly, my brother. Your Two-Word answer should have been, “A sister.” Photo credit to Grace Church I understand that maybe you answered impulsively, and that now, hopefully, you are regretting it. I found your email address online, and I wanted to contact you directly. You are my brother in Jesus,…

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“Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Portraits” by Chiara Tovazzi is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 It was after the dance party. After I had shown him black and white television footage of timeless classic dance songs, and I had danced wildly around the green carpeted living room. He had curled up in a black and white zebra blanket while I showed…

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I like how he said it. Right between math problems and sitting beside the open window, he said it. “I smell John in the house. I smell my brother.” I stopped, smiled and took in a deep breath, wondering what my twenty-four year old smelled like to my eleven year old. Familiar fragrances of french…

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We stood, seven people in a circle, holding hands at the top of our stairs. Chic bobbed hair Svetlana, gentle-eyed Sergei, blue-eyed Marco, and I, with our kids interspersed beside us: soft-spoken family clown Daniel with his deep compassionate heart, and sweet blonde Nadia and Julia, with their big smiles and husky Russian accents. We…

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Huge rain rushes in from yesterday’s ninety-degree heat. A grey storm outside turns the sky green. Hot French Press coffee and an Indie band crooning in multi-part harmony set a reflective tone. Halfway through this new journal, the stitching threads line the notebook crease, a straight hem through paper. Halfway through the summer, the season’s…

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He walked in with an orange bearded dragon on his shoulder. The college-student stood at the coffee shop counter, ordering a pastry and a drink, and his lizard perched beside him. Minutes later as he prepared to leave, two women in yoga pants and headbands approached him, their phones out. “Is he real? Can we…

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“‘I’m here for my rose,’ she’d say.” Mary stopped speaking and pushed her red hair behind an ear. “Each week she came in, this sweet retired school teacher. …There were photos everywhere in her home of her kids. School kids would come back year after year to visit her, even when they were married and…

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