Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started? Checkout the back story over here.

Want to join our favorite free writing exercise of the week? It’s easy and open to anyone.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Broken” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::




I’ve totally started this Five Minutes three or four times now. I’ve broken my own rules and edited. My daughter has stuck her feet all over the keyboard and I’ve tried to find a corner of the house I could write quietly and consistently and she found me at minute one. There’s a voice in my head that tells me I’m not good at things. Mostly I don’t listen to that voice. There are hot rollers on the carpet and a pair of sneakers. My daughter is chugging my glass of water and I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about community and why we need it. Trying to teach other people what it is that makes real life more important than online.

Zoe has climbed up onto the bed next to me and is playing a game on my phone. She’s two. Both seem impossible to me. This year we’re going home to South Africa again for Christmas. I try not to think about how long it’s been since the last time. Two years. That hurts. My tummy hurts with homesickness and it’s easier not to call because hearing your dad’s voice from that far away can make it worse.

We were not created to live so far apart from the people we love. The people who make us who we are.

Our pastor has a phrase that has stuck in my head since the first time I heard him say it. He describes our faith this way – that God’s son, Jesus, came and moved into the neighborhood.

Think on that.

Moved into the neighborhood.

It’s so ordinary. So intimate. To think of Jesus living on my block. Walking around in this human skin. Feeling the same homesickness. And choosing to stay because we are His people. Just like Peter, Jackson, Micah and Zoe are mine.

It reminds me that Jesus was more real than sometimes the songs on the Christian radio station make Him feel to me. He was tired and hot and sweaty at the end of long days. His feet got dirty. His friends squabbled. He missed out on stuff and got left out of things. He was often misunderstood.

Surely there were days he got a stomach bug and knows what it’s like to lose your breakfast.

He held down a job and built up a community of close knit friends.

I’ve lost track of the minutes now, but I’m remembering why this Friday matters. Because the God who moves into the neighborhood to meet me in person, that God I want to follow. That God who walks His way up to the ransom drop, and unflinchingly pays the price for me, that God, I almost have no words for. Thank you is too small. I just bow my head. I lie down on the ground. I hold onto His feet. I stand at a distance. I whisper, Glory.

A broken, awkward, fumbling hallelujah.

Matt Papa says it much better than me. You’ve gotta listen to him tell The Story of God.