Thin Places

“Order is the only possibility of rest. The made order must seek the given order, and find its place in it.” –Wendell Berry, “Healing,” in What Are People For? 

In our house, we are both rabbis. We knew we would soon be called to minister to our colleague and friend S, who had struggled for months to live fully despite her cancer.  The call came at 6 am: S had finally taken her last, labored breaths with her two grown daughters by her bedside. One of us…

I held her in my arms, noting the changes. Her bottom eyelashes are beginning to grow. Her hair is starting to fall out. The baby acne is drying up. She wakes up to play now. Her eyes follow me or her siblings or her father. She reached up and grabbed a ring today. I held…

“What’s the point of special education?” my friend asked. She has a daughter with Down syndrome who is the only kid with special needs in her kindergarten class. Her daughter is struggling to keep up. The teacher doesn’t have any training for kids with special needs. “Are we trying to fit a square peg into…

I was a little girl, maybe eight years old. We were Episcopalians at the time, so all my friends from Sunday School had been talking about what they were giving up for Lent. Forty days of deprivation, with lots of speculation as to whether it was cheating to eat (because as a kid, it was…

I remember a time in college when my roommate was handing out copies of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. Another student approached her and said, “I’m Jewish. I don’t believe in Jesus. I don’t even believe in God. Am I going to hell?   My roommate stammered something, but she didn’t really know what to say.…

I was intrigued and moved by an essay in the New York Times Magazine this week: The Tire Iron and the Tamale because it speaks to the nature of grace. Don’t get me wrong–there’s no mention of religion in this piece, and yet it is nonetheless a modern-day retelling of Jesus’ Story of the Good Samaritan…

“One of the effects of modern liberal Protestantism has been gradually to turn religion into poetry and therapy, to make truth vaguer and vaguer and more and more relative, to banish intellectual distinctions, to depend on feeling instead of thought, and gradually to come to believe that God has no power, that he cannot communicate…

What happens after we die? According to early press reports, Rob Bell (pastor of the 10,000 member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI) has taken up the topic in his newest book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. The controversy over the book has become…

I remember a time when I was in college and my mom called to tell me of two teenagers who were killed in a car accident. It was broad daylight and they had been walking (or maybe it was skateboarding?) on the side of the road. And I remember Mom saying that she wasn’t sure…

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about

Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes about theology, disability, family, and culture. Two major life experiences have shaped her writing and her faith—caring for her mother-in-law as she battled cancer and welcoming her daughter Penny into the world after she was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. Both experiences expanded and enriched her understanding of what it means to be human and to receive each and every person as a gift.  A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, and the forthcoming A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House). Her essays have appeared in First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Century, ChristianityToday.com, and Bloom, among other online venues.

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