Who We Are in Love

[Also published at The Christian Century.] Lent is approaching, a season associated with penitence (“regret for wrongdoing; contrition”), so perhaps we should talk about sin. Few theological concepts are as mangled and misinterpreted as the concept of sin. Yet we find the subject off-putting. We don’t understand it well because we prefer not to discuss [...]

Small Miracles

“But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be if it isn't a prayer?” Mary Oliver (from "I Happened To Be Standing") One day in late 2017, I sat writing. On this morning I rode a fretful moment, the worry du jour being my first novel, Wren, for which I wasn’t finding a publisher. The challenge [...]

Icons of Abundance

Over half of my life I operated from a perspective of scarcity. During that time, according to my skewed perception, everyone was a competitor or critic, always judging and potentially threatening, and nothing felt secure. It seemed just when I had something in hand, it would be whisked away. So everything had to be white-knuckled [...]

Introducing Wren

My first novel, Wren, has been released on Audible and Kindle! What readers are saying: "What a pleasure to find a book that beckoned me back every chance I had. Tricia Gates Brown is a skilled storyteller, an exceptionally good one.” Sue B., Amazon review "When I found myself pondering main character Wren's life, thoughts, [...]

We Can Do Both

Last week I watched the new documentary about Mr. Rogers entitled Won’t You be my Neighbor?, so he is impressed on my mind as I absorb details of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in the community of Squirrel Hill, which was Fred Roger’s real neighborhood. My heart is a [...]

A Tale of Abundance

Over half of my life I operated from a perspective of scarcity. During that time, according to my skewed perception, everyone was a competitor or a critic, always judging and potentially threatening, and nothing felt secure. It seemed just when I had something in hand, it would be whisked away, so everything had to be [...]

Boundary-less Belonging

Jesus knew what it meant to be pigeon-holed. His town of Nazareth had a population of just a few hundred people, and most of his ministry took place around the Sea of Galilee, just 19 miles from his hometown. Beyond that, many of the gospel stories take place around Capernaum, and the distance from Jesus’ [...]

Animals

{Essay excerpted from Season of Wonder, Frederick Press, 2016} Of late, several of my close companions are animals. Two cats, a neighbor horse, a neighbor dog. I am close to them in ways I am close to few others, though I have a bevy of family and friends who keep me floating on rivers of [...]

We are Already There

  Throughout his ministry, Jesus challenged every boundary people used to define and separate themselves—ethnic boundaries, geographical boundaries, purity boundaries, moral-legal boundaries, relational boundaries, boundaries between humans and animals, adults and children, men and women. Jesus didn’t stop at material boundaries, but went on to demonstrate with his life that everything is spiritual—there is no [...]

Know Your Story

We all have life-shaping mega-stories—or traditions—that have shaped us since childhood. And most often we don’t “fix them to our hearts and bind them to our foreheads.” Instead, they operate outside of conscious awareness. In my own life, powerful evidence of a mega-story first emerged when I was in middle school. It began in seventh [...]

Peace is the Way

Mark 11:20-25. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ [...]