The book of Jonah is a story of God reclaiming a wayward city. It’s also a story of His patient love for a bigoted, selfish, arrogant prophet. Throughout Scripture, God shows mercy and compassion to the sidelined, the marginalized, the poor, the hurting, the hypocrites, the angry, the cancelled. Us.

Perhaps like Jonah, we are in places of privilege, where we’re tempted to create parameters for who is worthy. Perhaps we’re on the fringes, like the Samaritan woman at the well to whom Jesus imparted an explosive secret: He is the Messiah.

Christ’s message of unflinching grace is needed in our polarized, fear-filled world.

The articles in this issue grasp at ways to extend hands across chasms of unforgiveness and punch holes through barriers of judgment. You’ll find stories of repentance, growth, and small acts that soften perspectives and dissipate the fringes we create in our hearts.

In the middle of this issue, pause and enter a whimsical fictional world created by Patience Boyd. Her short story explores the moment when Love meets us and gives us just enough to face the morning.

Other features from this issue include: A new word puzzle by Katrina Bianchi; a collage art piece by Nina Drenth reflecting on the bounty of the Lord’s table; Katie Aliya’s article and poem confront her initial recoil at someone’s offensive views; and William Jones recounts the way a once homeless friend challenged his views on ministry during the pandemic.

Some days, our love looks a little like Jonah’s—grumpy and reluctant. Yet the Lord has made space for us in His home. With that hope, we can keep trying to widen our friendship circles and pull more chairs into our living rooms.