Means of Giving Thanks in 2020

By The Rabbit Room

This year, it’s not a given to be thankful. In fact, one could go so far as to call it an accomplishment. So we’re not here to pressure you into it, silently waiting to cut the turkey until you’ve shared what you’re thankful for this year. However, we are here to offer some words and melodies that stir thanksgiving in us, recognizing that perhaps now more than ever, gratitude is a necessity too often mistaken for a luxury.

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A Seasonal Elegy

By Andrew Roycroft

The significant moments of our lives are often etched on more than our calendars. Whether it is the sweet softness of a summer evening that wafts back to us the fragrance of some happy moment in the past, or the chill wind which stings our cheeks like old tears, the seasons give us the sense of where we have been and what we have faced before. Ask anyone who has had to face a significant loss, or had to bear a heavy cross, and part of the patchwork of their experience will be what the weather was doing, how long or short the days were, and how the air felt around them.

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Dear Mabel

By Rachel Matar

Dear Mabel,

You gave me a gift before I learned how to talk, much less how to write a proper thank-you. A $25 savings bond, invested at the time of my birth, to mature sometime in my early adulthood. It matured, and so have I, and now this 30 year-old has $150 to spend.

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Special Prayers for Back to School

By W. David O. Taylor

I began writing Collect Prayers the second week of March, around the time that the CDC recommended no gatherings of 50 people or more. At the time, I wrote them in response to specific requests, from both personal friends and strangers on social media asking for words that would help them to cope with their fears.

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Our 2020 Summer Reading List

By Chris Thiessen

The constant din of voices swirling and opinions flying in today’s physically-distanced, yet socially-shrinking world is overwhelming. Searching for trusted information from diverse points of view is daunting. Like many of you, we at the Rabbit Room are processing current events, both as an organization and personally, and are seeking to listen and act with empathy, peace, and grace in Christ.

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I’d Like to Learn to Love It Anyway

By Helena Sorensen

The birdhouse fell in a storm. We found it the next morning lying on the ground, roof split, blue eggs cracked and broken. We could make out the bend of a tiny wing, the puckered skin where dark feathers prepared to grow. We had seen the mating pair of Eastern bluebirds as they chose this house and made their nest. Their blue feathers were like jewels flashing in the early morning light.

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Friendship: A New Sacrament

By Kelsey Miller

The story goes that in March of 2015, my roommates and I headed out on spring break to Texas. We left the icy remnants of an early-spring storm in Nashville and headed south. Our first full day there was a Sunday and we attended Ecclesia Church in Houston. That morning, Thad Cockrell was there as a guest leading worship and he introduced a song to the congregation that I’d never heard before called, “We Will Feast in the House of Zion.” I sang along with tears in my eyes.

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Tornados, Iditarod, and Finding Rest in a Borrowed Community

By Leslie E. Thompson

The morning of March 3, 2020, will be forever remembered by Middle Tennesseans as the day a tornado traversed nearly 60 miles and left utter devastation in its path. The day bears an added significance for me, as it was the first day of a bucket list trip to see the 48th Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska.

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Strength: According to Fathers, Forests & North Stars

By Hannah Hubin

It was all right, I knew, and so I drew lots of pictures of it. Grandma wasn’t sick anymore; Grandma was with Jesus, somewhere in the sweet by and by. I was going to wear a navy velvet dress and black leather shoes and sing “Amazing Grace” with my brother at her funeral. I was only five years old, but I was a pious little child and firmly believed someday I would go see Jesus and her together. The three of us would be very happy, and that was a moment worth drawing pictures of, so I drew lots of pictures of it. Of course it was all right. I drew pictures of it.

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Of Pangolins, Noomy-Shoomy-Oomy to Rememberoo, and the Rhetoric of Common Grace: Slugs & Bugs’ Modern Kid

By David Mitchel

“Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”—St. Mark 10:15

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All Your Silver: To My Grandmother

By Hannah Hubin

When I was in high school, I carved out a piece of my humanities education to study stained glass windows, old cathedrals of European kingdoms, and the men who made them fine—medieval artists smelling strong of a long day’s labor, Middle Age wet mortar, and musty, dark communion wine. These men made beauty meant to age, with secret dyes that centuries of chemists in white lab coats have not yet learned to redesign that grow bolder and brighter year after year of sun and dust and time—years longer than any artist can survive. The moment those windows were made was the moment they were most decayed, and that is all the artist ever saw, and every generation watched the colors slowly come alive.

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Joy Remains: An Interview with Randall Goodgame

By Drew Miller

“As long as we’re singing, we might as well be smiling, too.” As I interviewed Randall about the new Slugs & Bugs album last week, he spoke that sentence so matter-of-factly that I knew he believed it the way a person believes more with each morning that the sun will rise tomorrow, too. And I wrote it down immediately.

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