Mindy Liebelt

writes from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Fissures in Fine-China Christianity

“OK, girls. Can you help me get dinner ready?” My mother spoke quickly as we moved from the car into the house. “Mindy, will you please set the table?”

Still wearing my favorite church dress—the one with pale-pink roses and soft cream lace trim—and filled with 12-year-old self-importance, I led the two girls into the kitchen. I felt sure I knew all there was to know about Sabbath dinner preparation, and I was ready to impress.

We had five small guests eating with us—siblings ranging from 3 to 11 years old. They came from difficult circumstances: their mother was in jail, and their father was in charge yet absent, intent on a very …

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