Joelle Chase

Praying into Surrender

A fellow I know once sent me virtual chocolates via email on Valentines Day.  Quite unsatisfying—images of luscious dark truffles on a computer screen.  I replied, “What kind of guy gives fake chocolate?”  A few days later there was a box of honest-to-goodness chocolates in my real mailbox; I enjoyed every bite. 



Only now, five months later, do I feel ready to write about Juarez. The images, sensations and stories have been stored up. When I returned people asked, “What was it like?” There wasn’t much to say. Sad. Powerful. “Why did you go?” I don’t know.

Embodied Blessing


Chubby legs encased in tights, (how I hated those itchy things, sagging unbearably at the crotch), I waddled down the gravel road. My equally chubby hands clutched a pretend nurse’s bag, and my blonde Dutch haircut bouncing over my blue eyes.

Questioning Power


My patience, thin and fraying, gave way with a not-so-gentle snap. My hands steered the misplaced, unfocused student back to her desk while my brain frantically tried to manage the multiple tasks occupying its own scattered focus. Distraction soon led my gaze back to the wayward second grader. Her head was bent over her desk, and her back shook with silent sobs. I left the papers I had been trying to grade and came to her side.

“What’s wrong, Lisa?”

Full of Our Nothing


I’m a work intern at the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, spending nine months under gloriously blue skies and with a diverse community of fellow spiritual seekers.