J. Marshall Jenkins

Author, Therapist, Spiritual Director

Waking Nicodemus

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9). At night, we sleep.  We also do then what we never do in the light of day.  I visited Jesus at night. I did not go to scout for the Sanhedrin, the clerical court that deemed him a menace at the […]

A Healing Howl from the Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8). Prayer vexes me.  What do you say to the Almighty?  If the sight of God kills, then what if God hears you? Scribes and Pharisees pray eloquently.  I just farm.  I don’t know what I’m doing when I pray.  But I know […]

Mercy on the Bloody Pass

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy (Matthew 5:7). They call me good.  I say, not so fast.  Like anyone, I’ve done damage.  Unless a man never emerges from the shadows, someone sees his face and hates him for something.  Who am I to say they have no reason? So don’t call me […]

What Peter Wanted

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ sake, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6). Before Jesus came, fishing was my life and the Sea of Galilee, my world.  I knew its every tide and depth, saw every fish, even those deeper than sunbeams’ reach.  Those I saw with my hungry belly, and […]

Mary’s Son

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Mary remembered old, wizened Simeon with hair coming out of every pore, bone-bent, hunched, and creeping toward them like a spider.  With childlike delight in his crinkled eyes, he took the baby  and said to her with breathy intensity, “This child is destined […]

Running Naked Into the Night

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). On a quiet evening in a garden, Jesus prayed.  The sane like me slept; otherwise, a madman wearing nothing but a linen cloth lurked about Gethsemane.  Who in their right mind dared watch so close to hell? Hell indeed broke loose.  Soldiers appeared […]

Running Naked Into the Light

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3). Nobody told Bartimaeus about Jesus.  He overheard the tales as he sat and begged by the Jericho gate.  People stumbled almost headlong down that road descending from the height of Jerusalem to that low city, too old to count its […]

Calling Out the Inner Enemy

How to win the battle within.

Three Dimensions of Peace & Peacemaking

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9). You want peace.  I want peace. But we disagree on what it looks like.  You fear that if you concede anything to my peace program, you will slide down a slippery slope into my version of peace, which looks rotten to […]