in print
41
Just a Taste
STORIES ABOUT THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE AND POINTS OF NO RETURN
STORIES ABOUT THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE AND POINTS OF NO RETURN
A Lingering Taste

OUR ORCHESTRA WAS SLOTTED to play at a concert hall in New York City when I was a high school freshman. At the time, I knew nothing about the world of pornography and masturbation.

With Sin and Stones

I'M NARCISSISTIC. I tend to center my life on being attractive to others, because I want them to like me or at least see me in a positive light.

I Kissed "Christian Dating" Goodbye

JOSHUA HARRIS LIED TO US. If you were a young conservative Christian man or woman growing up in the 1990s and 2000s, the Maryland pastor's bestselling book on Christian relationships, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, was the de facto Lost Book of the Bible.

Opting Out of the Race
Korean and Enough

I'LL NEVER FORGET the first time I kissed a white girl. It was a dream come true. Every movie I had ever watched and every image I had ever seen from pop culture idolized white women while negatively stereotyping Asian women.

Imperfect, but Perfect for Me

ANITA AND I DECIDED to try for our second child at the beginning of 2015. We always had more than one child in mind when we imagined our family, and we thought it would be nice for our daughter, Maddie, then 2 years old, to have a sibling.

A Love that Loves No One

AT THE CORNER of Harvard and Marquette, I jammed the crosswalk button a couple of more times. Why did I agree to 9 p.m. Bible study? My morning shifts at Starbucks were not forgiving.

Desert Fruit

AS I STEPPED out of the van, my breath seized in my chest. Pained eyes slowly adjusted to blinding light, taking in sweeping, scorched landscape that lit out in every direction.

Church Beyond These Walls

I'VE BEEN THINKING about why processing my faith has been so difficult for me. Belief is so wrapped up in my identity; I feared anything that would threaten that part of my life.

Saturated

THIS WORLD IS A COLORFUL PLACE. Not merely because of dusty pink dawns that greet us every morning, or the rolls of golden hills that frame this city, but because every person is like a color.

OUR ORCHESTRA WAS SLOTTED to play at a concert hall in New York City when I was a high school freshman. At the time, I knew nothing about the world of pornography and masturbation.

The air backstage was a mix of musical nerves and giddy excitement. Some silently fingered the night's more difficult runs on air instruments. Others challenged one another to covering popular -songs from Britney Spears and Coldplay.

My friends and I were on the side, chatting and cracking jokes, when the attention suddenly turned to me.

"Daniel, you must masturbate a lot, huh?"

I didn't know what that word meant.

"It's the only logical explanation for how you're able to handle all your extracurricular activities without being so stressed all the time."

There are moments in our lives we wish we could take back. Times when we had a sudden epiphany that we've made a huge mistake. Things that burn into our memories forever as soon as they are pointed out to us.

There are moments in our lives we wish we could take back.

I have often looked back and wondered — what would have happened if I hadn't found myself typing "What is masturbation?" into the Internet Explorer search bar after returning home from that trip? How has it shaped and distorted my understanding of sex as a beautiful gift? Will I always look at sexual intimacy through the lens of self-satisfaction?

I imagine similar questions running through the minds of Bible characters, as they saw the juice dripping from their hands after tasting a forbidden fruit. As they woke up in bed next to a person who was not their spouse. As they realized that they had just denied their mentor and close friend, not just once, but three times.

These moments of great realization and clarity can be great sources of shame and lifelong burden.

But the Bible tells us that though these moments are inevitably part of our lives — as was my choice that one evening — the story doesn't end there. God indeed loves us and is somehow, some way, still using those moments for a purpose we may never fully understand until the kingdom comes to full fruition.

We invite you to read these stories — not with a judgmental eye but with a sober empathy, appreciating the vulnerability and bravery of our contributors as they share their lives. Mourn with them in their losses. Resonate with them in the instances you recognize yourself.

We invite you to read these stories — not with a judgmental eye but with a sober empathy.

May we taste and see the bitterness that is in our past but also the hope that is still to come.

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