• Anne, yes, that’s a great point about the resurrection and moving beyond merely rational doctrine! And to me it’s even more excitinf to realize that the resurrection isn’t the *end* of the story but the *beginning* of the Real Story which have only just begun to glimpse.

  • Awww, say hello to Lucy for me! I think it’s cool she has the same same as Lucy Pevensie. 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, what a small world! I will pass that along to him. 🙂 Welcome!

  • Outside, coursing in from the west, the amber and violet gloaming has begun.

    Dinner is over, and I sit at the piano. Behind me a stream of girlish laughter twirls and dashes through the living room in response […]

  • If you’d like to introduce yourself to others in the reading group, you can do so here!

  • Let Justice Roll Down is primarily a memoir (rather than simply an essay on racial justice), so most of what we have read in these early chapters are events and memories from Perkins’ own life. Were there any stories or episodes that stuck with you or made an impression on you particularly?   

  • At the beginning of the first chapter (pg. 15) Perkins observes that the white people growing up around him were also relatively poor. What are some of the ways in which their experience of economic hardship would have been different from the economic hardship experienced by Perkins and other African Americans in the same community? 

  • A lot of the national discussion recently has focused on “systemic” or “institutional” racism. What are some of the systems and institutions that affected Perkins’ early life? How did these manifest themselves in concretely in the events recounted in these chapters? 

  • Perkins writes: “prejudice in the South is both paternalistic and antagonistic.” (pg. 34; see the remainder of the paragraph attached to this quotation.) What do you think Perkins means by this? Does this analysis of Southern prejudice resonate with you? Can you think of examples of this? 

  • In several places Perkins mentions his special interest in economic matters. He writes about his time in the Army: “The practical effects of my lifestyle — no drinking and a very simple scale of living — meant I had extra money. So for the first time in my life, I could turn the tables on the white man. I could loan him money, at interest, all t…[Read more]

  • Re-read page 56 and page 63, where Perkins describes his early impressions of Christianity. On the one hand, Perkins had little interest in Christianity, because of its impotence in confronting racism (even more than that, because of the ways it participated in and perpetuated racism). On the other hand, Perkins’ own conversion was driven by a s…[Read more]

  • Jennifer Trafton replied to the topic in the forum Joni 9 months ago


  • On one of the golden swan song days of last October, my husband and I took our two small daughters to see the Claude Monet: Truth of Nature exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Afterward, the road home was […]

  • I’d forgotten how chaotic it feels in the midst of the research process. I look back at the path that brought me from an initial idea to a completed, printed copy of The Door on Half-Bald Hill and everything f […]

    • Thank you, Helena! I bet your 1984 peat man is the same one that inspired Meet Me at the Museum, which I picked up because it is a novel told in letters. I also have some people who I love too much to abandon. Your encouragement is perfect.

    • I’ve had this happen when I’m writing too…pieces you didn’t know fit together (or even existed, at first), fitting together. I’ve also had similar experiences as you did in Ireland when I’ve traveled to Scotland. Looking forward to reading about the hill and what you came to know.

    • Thank you for sharing the building of your story. You’re right that when we’re in the mystery of the making and becoming- it seems like such a lost mess of pieces. It’s only after we’ve made the journey and have the distance to look back that we’ll see how it was a puzzle that fit together with some sort of magic… What a hopeful promise to hold onto when we’re in uncertainty and muddle-ment! This was beautiful and encouraging, Helena.

    • Hi, Brent!
      I believe it’s out of print. The publisher is Abaris Books, Inc. Copyright 1978.

    • Aaron! Of course you’re right! I have Stephens’ name in the acknowledgements of the book, but I somehow got him mixed up with Mayhew in my notebooks! Thanks for the catch. I’ve updated the post. 🙂

    • And, to add to the fun, I’ve now spent ten minutes reading differing arguments on whether to use Stephens’ or Stephens’s.

  • I wasn’t expecting to see so clear a picture of Jesus in Pixar’s latest movie, Onward, though I ought to know by now that unexpected places are his favorites. He’s always turning up with a wink and a grin when […]

    • This is beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! Ian’s desperate longing to meet his father was the thing I connected with most in this film, so much so that it broke my heart when (spoilers) he didn’t get what he’d been longing for in the end. I love the parallels to the Gosple that you’ve drawn here. Definitely helps me better understand what the movie woke up in me, and gives me a new way to approach its message.

    • Just watched this movie with my little sister, and we loved it. I was also very moved by the surprise twist at the end. Your review adds a new layer of resonance to the story for me. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amazing.. Thanks for sharing!

  • 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 […]

    • All the applause.
      “Sometimes, growing up makes us less honest about how much it hurts to be alive. We lower our expectations and make broad statements about the inevitability of suffering, as though that will mitigate the pain when it comes. ”
      “I thought my son was the perfectionist. Maybe he is just more honest than I am.”
      “My grief is overwhelming. It is older and deeper than my son’s. I’m just better at hiding it.”
      Man. If that ain’t all the hard and important truth. And the end gave me chills. The whole thing is a perfect question, and I’m grateful you’ve asked it into the universe in such a compelling way.

    • Oh, me, too. Me, too.

    • Oh Helena, this is so beautiful and so true…. even without the scars (I can see) to keep getting up each day and beginning again. You captured this so well.

  • [Editor’s note: click here to read Part 2: Miracles & Wonders by Chris Thiessen.]

    I was one of those present at the spirited lunch debate between Andrew Peterson and Chris Thiessen (and others) that initially […]

    • Like facets of a diamond, each of you, Jennifer, Chris, and Andrew, uniquely, brilliantly reflect this gem that adorns our souls. Your thoughts, Jennifer, are simply a delight to read. Play. Rewind. Fast Forward. Stop. Record. Quite the appropriate writing structure for this occasion!

    • The other two posts in this series got me thinking, but this is the one that got me crying. Thanks, Jennifer.

  • I’ve been asked to write a brief pronunciation guide for anyone who might need help with character and place names in The Door on Half-Bald Hill. Pronunciation guides are tricky! It’s always easier to hear a new […]

    • Give me a recording of you saying each one and I can get it in IPA (international phonetic alphabet) for you.
      Although most of your descriptions get it done. 🙂

    • Hey, Adam! Thanks for your comment. I actually studied IPA in college, but that’s nearing 20 years ago. Most of what I learned in college has been forced out of my brain by more pressing matters. 🙂
      There’s a short video on the RR Facebook page and on my personal page (Helena Sorensen Aman) in which I pronounce most of these names. Is that a clear enough recording?

    • I just wanted to double-check one more. “Ollamh” would be pronounced like “Ollav”, right?

  • The Brave Artists Club is a free family art experience featuring a variety of artistic activities and mediums taught by illustrators, cartoonists, painters, potters, leatherworkers, and writers who are part of t […]

    • Jo,

      We just tested it and the videos are working correctly in Chrome and Safari. Maybe it’s a browser issue on your end?

  • I’ve wanted to write for weeks, to speak something hopeful and life-giving into the world’s collective anxiety. But the words feel stuck, dried up. They come flickering in the middle of the night or while I was […]

    • Thank you so much for this! I was starting to feel like I was the only one who was missing out on some kind of world-wide vacation where inspiration and good feelings swirl everywhere. 🙂 If you ask me, COVID-19 has been romanticized far too much on the internet. Not everyone is sitting around at home with too much time on their hands. Personally, my commitments and tasks have spiked SO much due to quarantine that I’ve barely had any time or energy to create anything for myself. It’s comforting to be reminded that I don’t have to become Shakespeare during this pandemic. Any art in us that is meant to come out will come out eventually, quarantine or not. 🙂

    • I’ve been feeling this too. Thank you Jen, for sharing encouragement with those of us who feel like we’re failing to be creative during this time when the conditions are supposedly perfect for it.

    • This is so encouraging, thank you, Jen!! Sometimes I let the pressure to create paralyze me. It’s much better to be kind to myself, as you said, especially now.

    • Rhonni replied 1 year ago

      Yes and Amen! Thank you, Jen.

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