“Just Mercy,” A Review

In preparation for lawyer, activist and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson‘s visit to Seattle on Feb. 24th (Queen Anne Methodist Church), I read his gripping and heartbreaking work Just Mercy. Working at a law firm that specializes in protecting the vulnerable, giving […]

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The Body Keeps the Score, A Review

Bessel van der Kolk is a Dutch psychiatrist with 30 years of experience and infinitely more compassion. Reading his work felt like a hug, firm against my railing and flailing but not constricting or threatening. I have a friend who met him, […]

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Comfortableness, Part 1

First published in Real Change on Jan. 6, 2016. Things are pretty messed up. The impending ecological cataclysm aside, that millions are fleeing their homeland to come to the country with the most mass shootings in the world (and clearly zero political will power […]

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Actually, We Can Understand

Mental health is getting more attention in the media lately, maybe in part because of the growing number of celebrities “speaking out” about their experiences. A lot of the more popular and mainstream-y sites like Buzz Feed, Huffington Post and similar do these “specials” […]

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“Inside Out,” A Review

Part innovation, part flagrant stereotype: just a few notes on Inside Out. I’ll start with Sadness because I felt a lot of resonance there. I read a critique of the film that Sadness’ character “normalizes depression,” but maybe we need a dose of that. […]

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What I Want The World To Know About Wanting The World to Know, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I’d written about writing To The World and how counter-productive I think it is. That’s coming from a place of deep concern for those who experience mental and emotional distress. Not enough people are angry about the hideously broken system […]

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What I Want The World To Know About “Wanting The World To Know”, Part 1

My compulsive and nervous-boredom-induced stroll down Facebook’s news feed every morning is revealing yet another up-the-wall-driving trend. It’s two-pronged and it’s going to make me look like either a Luddite or a very insensitive, butthurt jerk to point it out: a) celebrities […]

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Emotions are Not The Enemy, Part 2

As I said, there is always a reason for a particular emotion. Depression, for example, means a lot of things to a lot of people; rather than ask people, we do brain scans. Then we medicate feelings with drugs that have side […]

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Emotions Are Not The Enemy, Part 1

“My feelings, they don’t matter.” “Worship anyway.” “Feelings lie.” If those are various answers, the question might be something like “How are Christians encouraging one another when one is going through a hard time?” or “Name some song lyrics from contemporary worship […]

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Responding to the Crisis of Suicide

“If you don’t know at least three people in crisis right now, you need to have more coffee dates.” This was a line from the best sermon I’ve heard all year, preached at a lovely Presbyterian church in Yakima this past weekend. […]

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