The Greatest Film Ever.

Dunkirk is hitting theaters tomorrow. Finally! It’s been three long years since we’ve seen a film from Christopher Nolan, so of course everyone is releasing their list of Nolan’s films, all rated from good to best.

I’m not going to do that. Not only because you can do a Google search and find dozens of those things (all with massively different opinions), but also because it’s hard for me to rate his films. It’s hard to decide how they rank across the board because I love each of them almost the same, but for different reasons.

There is one film, however, that stands above the rest, if only by a heartstring: Interstellar

Surprisingly, it’s not really anything to do with the technical aspect of the production, or even the revolutionary storytelling, although those are amazing reasons why the film is…amazing. The film score alone will bring anyone to tears, it’s such a masterpiece (can’t wait to see what Hans Zimmer has done with Dunkirk!). And you would think with my obsession with Batman I’d very clearly pick any one of the Dark Knight trilogy, but not even the Caped Crusader played by a brilliant (and brilliantly handsome!) actor could make those films stand in the same place as Interstellar.

Interstellar came to theaters during a very turbulent time in my life. My mom was battling terminal cancer and I couldn’t make sense of things. I had read beforehand that the original screenplay had been written when the Nolan brothers lost their father to cancer, so there was a morbid sense of comfort going into it. For a long time now, the movie theater has been a sacred place for me. In my heart of hearts, the theater belongs in the same category as libraries, museums, and if I may be so bold, churches. It’s a place of art and rest and ministry. As with any method of storytelling, my heart and soul have felt ministered to on several occasions through film. Countless times I’ve felt the Spirit move as though I was sitting in church or enjoying a sunset. It never matters the artist’s intentions; sometimes it just happens.

And it did that night. And every time since with this particular film.

Going back to what my family and I were up against, as too many families know, there was great distrust, fear, and doubt going on in my mind and in my heart. I was afraid of a possible distance forming between myself and God. I was afraid of losing sight of Him, or worse, being abandoned by Him. I was afraid He wasn’t actually listening. What He gave me in response to my fears wasn’t a sermon, but a story. A very relevant story about how a father’s love for his daughter transcended time and space and crossed dimensions unperceivable by human eyes.

Here was a father who, when greeted with a curse for his deafening silence and a demand to know when he’ll come back and make things right, can only express unseen heartbreak and love, not anger, in return.

Here was a father who when questioned about how he knows if his daughter will understand what he’s telling her, responds with complete confidence, “Because I gave it to her.”

And the daughter, who after years of bitterness and resentment for feeling abandoned, when she finally sees what her father was telling her all along, rejoices upon the discovery of salvation.

This was a story about a father who promises to come back and does.

I have no idea if Interstellar was intended to be a spiritual allegory. Even with the biblical references and the blend of science and faith, I hate to make assumptions. But I know that for me, it certainly is.

How many times have I believed my Father to be silent, only to realize He was never silent.

How often I’ve read His Word and how many years go by before I finally understand what He’s teaching me…but He knew all along I would get it. He has faith in me even when I have no faith at all.

All those moments I’ve believed God was absent in my life, only to discover He was there the whole time. A God who exists outside of the time and space He created. Who sees every moment of my life and is present in every one of them.

He is there all the time. And He will come back and He will save us, not because it’s possible, but because it’s necessary. Because He promised.

This was a message I desperately needed to hear at the very moment I heard it. It gave me hope as I looked into a very dark future for my family. Not many movies cause me to ugly cry in the car on the way home because the love I was feeling was so overwhelming. Even now, when grief comes crashing in, wave after wave as high as mountains, I find shelter simply in knowing He’s there, pounding on the walls of my heart.

When someone makes the claim, “This song/painting/book/movie changed my life!” – believe them. And if you haven’t had a moment like that, I would strongly suggest you bring some more art in your life. Every time I drive past that IMAX theater on I-25, I think “That’s where my life changed.” I know it must seem sacrilegious or superficial to some, but this is the truth. My life changes in many ways at many different places, and this happened to be one of them.

Interstellar will always be more than a movie to me. Is it really the greatest film ever, as my title suggests? That’s completely debatable. As of this posting, not many people have seen Dunkirk yet! 😉 But I know for me personally, Interstellar is a remarkable work of art that moved me when I least expected it, but when I most needed it. And for that, it’s the greatest film ever.

Love isn’t something we invented. It’s observable, powerful. It has to mean something…love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t understand it yet.




In honor of the worst/best day ever known to mankind*, I am sharing my brilliant plan to Make America Famous Again.

*Take your pick. And if you’re somewhere in between, please leave. Your rational, middle-ground views have no place here.

Before The Great and Powerful Kanye West met with our then President-Elect Trump, he was seriously considering a presidential run in the year 2020. He’s now moved his goal of a benevolent reign to the year 2024. Yeezus loves Trump that much. He truly is an American hero – nay – an American legend. To make his rise to the Oval Office throne that much smoother, I humbly present my ideas for his Cabinet positions. (It’s not that I think he needs help, I mean, he claims to be a god and I doubt he’s a god who needs help. But it can’t hurt to throw out suggestions.)

Before I get started, I think it goes without saying that Kim Kardashian West needs no position. Step aside, Melania, she’ll be the classiest, most beautiful First Lady our nation’s history has ever seen. She’ll take up social issues such as perfecting the vocal fry and battling psoriasis with breast milk. Best of all, she’ll be a role model to our nation’s children and teach them how to sell yourself as an airheaded bimbo while making millions of dollars. I know she’s already doing all of this now, but it will be even more wonderful with Kanye as the Leader of the Free World.

Vice President: Kendall Jenner
British Fashion Awards - Drinks Reception

Being a model who has no experience in anything except looking beautiful makes her the perfect choice. Aside from the case of Dick Cheney, the job of the VP is to make public appearances when requested and then go away. Much like the life of a model. But she’ll be one heartbeat away from the presidency! Fear not, Yeezy can never die.

Secretary of State: Khloé Kardashian

Khloé loves people. She loves talking to people. And she has loads of charisma. A secretary of state has to talk to a lot of people. You have to fly around the world and negotiate foreign policies and treaties and make sure everyone’s happy. Having a charismatic people-pleaser in this position is the greatest choice ever.

Secretary of the Treasury: Kourtney Kardashian

Kourtney is the most frugal of her sisters and the most boring. This makes her the perfect fit for having control of America’s wallet. The only concern is her need to redecorate her home every couple of weeks. It could become a distraction.

Secretary of Defense:

No need for one because there won’t be a Department of Defense. Who would want to attack a country led by Ye?

Attorney General: Malika Haqq

I don’t really know much about her except that she’s Khloé’s best friend and personal assistant, and she seems pretty smart and handles herself well in any argument. Having her in charge of the Department of Justice feels right.

Secretary of the Interior: Scott Disick

I have no idea what this Cabinet position does, but if taken literally, it sounds like the person in charge takes care of everything within the nation’s borders. With how many issues Scott has, I think it’s best he’s never allowed to leave the country.

Secretary of Agriculture: Brody Jenner

Another Cabinet position I know nothing about, but I like Brody. I think he would care about agriculture.

Secretary of Commerce: Kylie Jenner

Kylie has her own lip kit product line and sold hair extensions at one time. Maybe she still does. I have no idea how her companies are doing, but she has experience with “commerce” and that’s exactly what this country needs.

Secretary of Labor: Jonathan Cheban

I believe this position requires someone to be in charge of employment or something. I know Jonathan is Kim K’s BFF and he would do anything for her. She would work him to death if he allowed it, so I think his hard work ethic would translate into the competency needed for the Department of Labor. I do know he works in PR. So, at least he has a job.

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Dr. Crane
dr. crane.png

Meet the Kardashian family doctor. He has seen enough Kardashian vajayjay to last a lifetime. He’s birthed many a Kardashian baby. And not just any Kardashian baby; his hands have brought forth into the world both North AND Saint West. The dynasty continues because of him.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Rob Kardashian

Rob hates leaving whatever house he’s in, so he clearly knows a ton about housing. That’s all I got. Honestly, I often forget he’s part of the Kardashian family, just as I forget about the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s existence.

Secretary of Transportation: Blac Chyna
blac chyna.png

With how often she leaves Rob Kardashian, this Cabinet position is ideal for someone like Blac Chyna. She knows the ins and outs of hitting the road fast, so infrastructure planning won’t be a problem. You’ll want this lovely lady on your side the next time those highways start cracking.

Secretary of Energy: Brandon Jenner

Brandon is the hippy of the Jenner clan, so putting him in charge of the Department of Energy means he’ll make the best choices for nature. He won’t allow the earth to be ruined by the gas-guzzling SUVs the rest of his family drives.

Secretary of Education: Joyce Bonelli

She may be known as the Kardashians’ makeup artist, but she’s the only one of the Kardashians’ close friends who regularly appears on the show AND has children. Having kids means you know how important education is.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Caitlyn Jenner

Even when she was still Bruce, Caitlyn Jenner has always been a strong advocate for veterans and has always been a patriot. I remember during one episode, the family was having a meeting to discuss which charity they would give to and (at the time) Bruce picked the Fisher House Foundation. So, duh, people.

Secretary of Homeland Security:

Also not needed. Again, Kanye West will be in charge of America; thus the world. No need for “homeland security”.


There you have it. My BRILLIANT and AMAZING picks for Kanye’s Cabinet. I know you’re all wondering where Kris Jenner is in all this. She’s his Chief of Staff. She runs everyone’s lives after all.



Not Okay.

Grief magnifies a typical bad day. You don’t just have a bad day. You have a bad day and remember you can’t talk to your mom about it. You can’t hear her voice. You can’t hug her.

When you get asked if you’re having a bad day, or if you’re okay, it’s everything in you to not scream out, “OF COURSE I’M NOT OKAY. MY MOM JUST DIED.” That would be unfair, I think. But I’ve done it. To someone on the outside, they don’t understand that times passes very differently in grief. It can simultaneously feel like it happened ages ago and feel like it just happened yesterday. Frankly, it’s an all-around mess, grief. (You burst into tears plugging in Christmas lights and then breathe a sigh of relief because the lights bring so much comfort.)

I question whether time heals. I think it might make things worse. It makes the distance seem farther. It makes the depression feel heavier. At least for me. Our loved ones shouldn’t be memories, they should be with us. The most elegant and deep-meaning words can’t touch on describing how this year has gone for me and many of the people in my life. Besides my own personal hell, I’ve watched as tragedy and hardship has fallen on those around me. My aunt suddenly lost her husband a little less than a year before she lost her sister, my mom, suddenly in June. I have childhood friends who lost both of their very beloved parents very suddenly in August, and these same friends lost their grandfather on Thanksgiving. Another group of family friends, who have suffered in this life enough as it is, lost one of their loved ones, also suddenly, the day of my mom’s memorial. Too many suddenlys. My dear friend, just weeks ago, had to say goodbye to her little one before she even had a chance to meet him. How she’s picking up the pieces, I don’t know. I’m thankful she was able to hold him. Another beloved friend lost her baby a month ago, before she was able to hear her child’s heart beat. Then there’s the friends who are currently in fear of losing their homes, friends overwhelmed with various financial issues, health issues, and family struggles. And most recently, not only is yet another close friend having to walk through almost losing one of her friends to an accident, her boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer two days ago.

This is all in 2016.

I’m not naive, I know there’s countless other stories. I know death and suffering happens all over, all the time. But it’s a joke to teach people empathy and sympathy, and expect them to walk through so much pain and be OKAY. Whatever that word means.

I am not okay. My family is not okay. Many of my friends/framily are not okay. My extended family is walking through their own turmoil and grief. My sister and I have joined cousins on both sides of my family who have already lost parents. It sucks.

But I have learned a lot this year. Maybe not just this year, because the three years my mom battled her cancer taught me quite a bit. I feel as though I’ve aged a lifetime. Of course, I can still be silly and not act my age (because who in the world wants that?), but in my deepest core, my deepest heart, I feel so old. I feel changed. I feel marked and scarred. I’m so tired. So very tired. No matter how many hours of sleep I get, I wake depleted. This life we live is exhausting. I still find reasons to laugh because no one wants to be around Sadness all the dang time, and I have to get out of bed in the morning. But my mind can only compartmentalize so much before it starts to repress, and that’s not good. Ignoring my emotions is a weakness, a dangerous weakness. Those who think they exercise strength when they slap on a happy face and act as though everything will be okay simply because they say it is, are fools. I don’t want that to do that. I want my mind to break open and crumble when it needs to let go. I don’t want to ask for permission to be human. I want to be strong enough to cry and fall apart when someone’s looking.

Don’t ever let someone tell you or make you feel that it’s wrong to not be okay.

That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned: what it truly means to be human. To be a creation with limits, and to be content with those limits. It’s a humbling process and it’s hard, but so satisfying. I’m learning that expressing true joy can simply be ugly crying in the car because something, or nothing, triggered my grief; that my tears are acts of worship. I’m learning what it means to be blessed as I’m grappling with deep loss and chaos. I’ve learned that my God can handle any amount of rage or hate. He can handle the worst names I throw at Him, He can handle my cynicism about the very existence of love and relationships. He can handle my accusations of His character, the questioning of my purpose and His purpose. And He responds with, “I love you.” My Messiah, who I once called a bastard (and several more names in my heart of hearts) stood by me and held me up as He gathered my mom into His arms. He gave my lungs breath when I forgot how to use them.

That is why I am blessed. Because I can scream at the One who formed me, “THIS IS BULLSHIT!” and He doesn’t walk away or scold me. He doesn’t become flustered and defensive. He reminds me, “This was never part of the plan. The anger and rage you feel is only a taste of how I feel about death and pain and sorrow.” And yet, He wastes not one tear and redeems even death.

I am blessed because I am loved by my Creator. Someone whose love is not based on merit, but who simply loves because HE IS.

Yes, this year has been hell. Next year could be worse; it could be better. But I know I’m not walking through this alone. As much as I and so many in my life feel surrounded by death and sadness, we’re also surrounded by life. We’re so broken. We’re in so much pain. But we’re surrounded by those who love us. And I am surrounded by the perfect love of my Father. My Abba.

I’m not okay. But someday I will be. Not because of religion, not because of time, not because of ignoring and hiding. Certainly not because of my inner-strength.

I’ll be okay because I am His.

“For when he who doubts can only say, ‘I do not understand,’ it is true that He who knows can only reply or repeat ‘You do not understand.’ And under that rebuke there is always a sudden hope in the heart; and the sense of something that would be worth understanding.”

G.K. Chesterton

The Stained

Death in abundance
        overflowing, its putrid stench
faceless, de  formed
  rotted flesh
empty eyes              with lips                                 curved upward

snickers   sneers

never laughter
  ever mocking, condemning
                                           for they are condemned

they walk among corpses

gutted carcasses
                barren trees
                           trampled flowers, shriveled and colorless
darkness darker than the darkest black

they hate those not stung by Death
The Stained

The Uncondemned
bright eyes piercing the darkness
joyful laughter drowning out the cackles
The Forgiven
they, too, walk among corpses
they wander in meadows of dirt and shriveled flowers

but look up to see the Light

repulsed, but not for what they do



because of their stains
because of Who stains 

O, Sweet Love


wailing and lamenting is heard
even in joy
The Stained grasp for comfort
the condemned never relents in their torment

Enough,” Love breathes

a flower, vibrant in color, blooms


and Death trembles 

God, Family, Others

It was one of those nights. Hearing a message so pointed at my heart, I could barely hold it together by the time I got to my car. Ugly cries have been a common occurrence for me these past three years, especially as of late. Tonight, however, was different. Before I continue, I must explain some backstory. In the months before my mom’s death, her perception of God drastically changed. For all her years of studying His Word and walking with Him, it wasn’t until fairly recently that she came to understand Him truly as her Father. I’ll never forget the first time she told me with such giddiness, almost whispering, “He’s my Dad! My Dad!” I can still picture the wide-eyed, “WOW” look on her face. She was like a child waking up on Christmas morning. It seemed so surprising to me that after decades of knowing Him, she would just now have this revelation. But I was seeing how much He had healed her heart and how much love she felt, even while feeling lost as to why He hadn’t healed her body yet. 

It’s always the simple things God uses. Tonight, in prayer, I heard my pastor refer to God as “Dad,” not once, but three times. If he’s said it before, I’ve not listened. It’s not as though it’s an uncommon of a name for people to call God, but tonight it hit me like an arrow to the chest. I gripped the back of the chair in front of me and bit my lip to push back the wave of loud tears that wanted desperately to pour out. It wasn’t an arrow of pain or sorrow, but of pure love. There are no words in any human language to describe what that means. But there is an intensity one feels when in the very presence of the Almighty. Like you can feel the pulse of His heart beating as yours tries to keep pace. You can’t catch your breath. 

My church celebrated its 10th birthday tonight. I came on board right after we had moved into the building we now hold our gatherings in, but for seven years we worshipped in a movie theater. It’s actually quite fitting, and I wish I could have had the privilege of attending during those years. It’s amazing how many times God has met me through the arts, especially with film. Of course He would call me to a church that started in a theater. One that was called into my life, and I to it, just months after my mother was diagnosed. One that was started by a man who had a short, yet incredibly profound impact on my faith at a young age. God and His story-writing. He is the most beautiful poet. Perfect sounds too simple a word to describe His timing. 

My pastor asked us to reflect on all God has done in our lives. Please allow me to boast about the wonders He’s done in mine…

He kept my mother alive long enough for my sister to fly in from a different state to say goodbye.

He held me up in the ICU room as the realization that my mom’s spirit was no longer there slowly creeped into my reality.

My mom saw His angels fill the room during her first surgery to remove what cancer the doctors could.

That one time when she and I were driving to Chick-fil-A and feeling overwhelmed by our circumstances. I mentioned that I was craving a peach shake, but didn’t want to pay for it. We ended up getting one for free because it had just been made by mistake.

I’ve seen dear friends have to say goodbye to their little ones before they even get a chance to meet, but then have had the honor to watch as God unfolds miraculous beauty that shines in their darkness. He gives greatly.

To know that for three years, off and on, everyone from friends to strangers were bringing meals to my parents so they had one less thing to worry about.

My family has never been closer since the curse of our dying flesh was brought to the forefront of our lives. Cancer has made my family love more deeply, and more intensely. And I know that makes the Enemy writhe in pain and fury.

I’ve questioned God’s goodness to His face. In my heart, I’ve cursed Him. But He’s only ever responded with sweet grace, and always at my level. 

God healed certain relationships in my mom’s life in enough time so that when she passed, all was well.

What was a wicked and evil event called death has brought life. My family and I have deeper and more meaningful relationships with those in our lives, and brand new ones altogether.

That gorgeous lavender sky God painted the night before. 

The ability to look back at the days leading up to her death and see how God was preparing my heart. I had to do nothing, but listen.

I will never forget one low point in my life. My mom, with tears streaming down her face, speaking with such conviction, “You hold Him to His promise. He said He would take care of you. HE PROMISED.” And then years later, as I was saying goodbye to her on this side of Heaven, giving her permission to let go, I said, “We’re going to be okay. He will take care of us.”

My mom has been perfected. That healing she wanted was so small, so temporary. God wanted to give her more. And I say this not to console my broken heart, or to make my grieving sound marginalized. I say this because it is the most powerful truth in my life. Right now, she’s dancing on the feet of her Dad. She can look into the eyes of Jesus and see colors unknown to our universe and minds. 

God has taken care of us and He will continue to take care of us. Because He is our Dad. 

Mom (August 4, 1955 – June 10, 2016)


“Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.”

Of all the words C.S. Lewis wrote, these are the ones that speak loudest to me right now. My mom wasn’t a big fan of worshipping her religion. Religion did not bring her comfort or consolation. Sure the customs and traditions of our faith help when they can, but against the suffering this world brings, none of that measures up. It fades and withers. As much as she loved reading and studying the written Word, not even that could ultimately assuage so much of the depression and pain she would come under. The only true consolation my mother found was in Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the Scriptures came from her love of Jesus. She loved people because Jesus first loved us, and now that love for her has been fully realized. How I envy her right now. Is it a sin to covet someone who has been welcomed Home?

To continue with C.S. Lewis, I love what he said about remembering his beloved: “You want her with all her resistances, all her faults, all her unexpectedness…And this, not any image or memory, is what we are to love still after she is dead.” I miss my mom dearly. I miss her laughter. I miss her hugs. I miss her gorgeous blue eyes. Though dimmed over the years of treatment, I will always remember their sparkle. I’ll miss the hint of a New York accent when she would get excited or when she was around her sister Cathy for too long. I cherish the traits I have from her: her sarcasm, her verbal dyslexia, her love of inappropriate humor. And her faults: the Irish temper that softened over the years, her obnoxious stubbornness, that rebellious spirit (though I would argue about it being a fault). Of all the things I will miss the most, I will miss her wisdom. She would give credit only to God for that, so I know I am not far from it, but the loss is still heavy. She was a wonderful mother. She was one of my best friends.

I must be totally honest right here and now: from day one, I never truly believed she would be healed. She, on the other hand, believed right up until the end she would be healed. I never had the heart to tell her my deepest fears and I’m so thankful I didn’t. And now, as I write these words, I must confess that I was wrong. This whole time I was wrong. Oh, Father, forgive me for telling You it can’t be done. Forgive me for not trusting You. Your ways are so much higher. She was begging for a physical healing, but You chose to give her something greater. Not only have You healed my mother from her horrible physical ailments, You’ve cleansed her mind from the memories of pain, regret, heartache, and loss. You healed her heart of long-carried guilt and shame. She will know sorrow no longer. Her soul was cleansed long ago, but her mind and body were still in need of redemption. Who am I to ask You to force her to live on this tragic plane of existence just so I may have more Time with her? Time? It is so fleeting. It is so deadly. How can I ask for more Time when she knows Perfection and I know I will see her again? Thank you for helping my unbelief.

To my sister: As usual, over these past few days, you’ve been a steady rock. When I’ve checked out, you’ve been there. When I’ve stepped down, you’ve stepped up. I couldn’t ask for a better sister to keep me grounded when I would much rather live with my head in the clouds. You are my best friend. And I cherish you greatly. Thank you for holding my hand and protecting me through so much in my life.

To my dad: You were the best caretaker and provider Mom could have ever needed. I will never be able to repay you for all you did for her. Thank you for keeping covenant with Mom, through good times and bad, and for wanting her to love God more than you. I love you so much. It’s mine and Allison’s turn to take care of you now. But please know I will fail you. Allison will fail you. Remember to always look to the One who will never fail you. When your eyes stray from the Almighty, may it only be for a moment. Mom was the love of your life and she is in the arms of Unfailing and Unconditional Love. Let Him be your strength. He will sustain you and He will heal your heart.


The girl falls on her knees with weeping and lamenting, but not before beating and pounding the chest of the King. She screams at Him. Curses at Him. How dare He allow such evil to prevail. How dare He sit by and watch disease befall loved one after loved one. How dare He let Death cover the land. The King kneels down to meet her at her lowest of lows. His forehead presses into her forehead as His tears fall into hers. His big, strong hands holding her head up.

“I can’t do this,” she cries as her body is wracked with sobs. “I can’t carry this. This is too much.”

“I know,” He whispers.

“My heart is broken.”

“I know.”

Apart from the sobs, silence follows. Finally, He speaks,

“Will you follow Me?”

She quiets for a moment. Gazes into His eyes. Slowly, she leans into Him and hugging his neck says, “Where would I go? You laid the earth’s foundation. You marked off its dimensions. You stretched a measuring line across it. You have given orders to the morning. You have shown the dawn its place. You have seen the gates of the shadow of death. You have comprehended the vast expanses of the earth. You are the Beginning and the End. You are the Word. You are the Savior. The Redeemer and the Rock. You have conquered Death. You are my Everything. I love You. But my heart is broken and shattered. Please remold it to Your design.”

As the King lifts her to her feet, He answers, “Oh, My child. See, I make all things new.”
My sister’s eulogy can be found here:

Bernie Sanders Quotes Jane Austen















Special Thanks:

Bernie Sanders, for his wonderful Brooklyn accent and elevated speech volume.

Jane Austen, for writing Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and in the words of Bernie Sanders, EMMER.