“Mom, I never want to leave you,” he said. He was four years old. “Aren’t you going to work?” “I’ll only work on Tuesdays so I can be with you all the time.” He’s driving away in a car full of Marines. Her Marine. Her son. She calls out after him, “Don’t forget your jacket. […]
My in-laws said they’d meet us. My father-in-law had a hankering for wiener schnitzel — the German version of chicken parmesan made with veal — and found this restaurant online. Jager-Haus had been around forever and had a reputation for authentic German cuisine. We drove right past it the first time, missing the sign in […]
Every day I offer up my writing, imagining the five loaves and two fish. Far too often I’m breaking up the bread before I lay it in the basket. And all I’m left with is a bunch of crumbs. I’m meting it out — this bit will go here, this bit I can blog. Too […]
The kid in the first row, sitting up straight with hands folded, eyes on the teacher — that was me (long ago when students did such things). I know how to meet expectations. I can sense people’s expectations a mile away, and I have this morbid fear of disappointing anyone, of dropping the ball. This […]
It’s only a body. That’s what I said when we talked about death, mine in particular. I pictured my body in a bed (how often do people actually die in a bed?) and my spirit, the real me slipping away, suddenly untethered from its bodily constraints. Free at last. I won’t be there, I said. […]
Cain loved the smell of the earth. His father and mother said it was cursed. “Farming was a lot easier back in the day,” his father would say, with that faraway look in his eyes. He said God had given them the job of working the earth, and Cain enjoyed the challenge of coaxing life […]
Abraham and Sarah saw the smoke rise up from the valley, and the acrid smell of sulfur and burning filled the air. Just the day before, Abraham had entertained the three visitors. The Lord had said to Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah. I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard.”
Hagar had always been carried along by the current of other people’s lives. In Egypt she had been sold as a slave to the highest bidder. Abraham bought her and Sarah took her as her personal servant. They had brought her to Canaan, and then quite unexpectedly, her own body, her womb, had been called into service.
Then the sun dropped behind the horizon, and in the darkness Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. The Lord himself was making a covenant with Abram that day.
It was not her habit to eavesdrop, but when Abraham ran into the tent and said, “Sarah, get out your best flour and bake three loaves of bread, and hurry!,” when she heard him calling the servants to quickly slaughter the calf, she was curious. Who were these men who had appeared out of nowhere, and why was Abraham so eager to entertain them?
“The serpent deceived me,” the woman said, hoping to mitigate what she was about to say next. “That’s why I ate it.” She was relieved when God turned his attention to the serpent.