A Violation of Nature

Photo by Andrew Spencer https://unsplash.com/@iam_aspencer

The famous 20th-century theologian, Karl Barth, once described the Christian life as a “standing in the air.” In other words, a violation of gravity. He spoke these words as a German when he saw his own beloved country—an epicenter of Christian theology and the humanities, systematically wipe out 6 million Jews.

This horror only confirmed Barth’s Calvinistic conviction that all humans — including Christians — were “totally depraved”* And that the teachings of Jesus, of loving our enemies and forgiving those who wronged us, were impossible — barring some miraculous intervention into the human psyche.

And this brings us to…


Six vignettes

1. Playing the piano again

Photo by the author (Fingers of Grace Watkins)

She was 90
when I took this picture
of her ancient finger

pointing to the word “There” —
as if to show me
where she was going

I had beckoned her to sit
at the out-of-tune piano
to show her a song she had loved

She shuffled over and sat —
lifting her eyes from keys to song
as if trying to recall some faded prowess

Then slowly
lifted a hand
and suspended it above the keys

as if to see
if the old muscle memory
would return

but it just hovered there
like a tiny…


An open letter to some fellow white evangelical Christians

The Ouroboros (Wikipedia Common Domain)

Recently we seem to be living in alternative realities — you and I — like being on the inside of an atom in which particles appear to be in two places at the same time, alternative facts present themselves, two presidents have been elected, and a democratic God has anointed one, while a republican God has anointed another.

“Don’t tread on me!” was our motto as English colonists. But over the past four years The Ouroboros — a powerful serpent devouring itself — seems to be replacing the eagle as our national symbol.

When I arrived here as an immigrant…


Photo by author (Grace Watkins at 90)

Vignette of a matriarch #6

Mark C Watney

English Professor at Sterling College KS.

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