A gift from the Gideons was a good luck charm—and then something more. Jesse Maple first carried the Bible because his mother taught him to respect the Holy Book. Then he saw the Scripture as a kind of good luck charm. But soon enough, Maple saw it as evidence that God loved him and was with him in the jungles of Vietnam. In all, seven US soldiers have carried that same small book since 1967. By 2019, they had brought it with them through 11 combat tours in five countries. For each of the men, the Bible was a source…

Responding with their feet, ministers bring ‘the simplest form of the gospel’ to tense situations. Shootings more than doubled in New York City last year, and homicides increased 44 percent. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Each tragedy is specific, and each impacts a whole community. There was Davell Gardner Jr., age one, killed while sitting in his stroller at a summer barbecue. Edward James, a church custodian, shot in the back inside of a house of worship. Anthony Robinson, a father, killed holding his daughter’s hand as he helped her cross the street. And many others. To…

By Hannah Brencher There’s a verse in the Psalms that I’ve heard nearly a hundred times without giving it a second thought: “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” That line—you anoint my head with oil—makes me think of a picture of someone sitting in a seat while someone else pours a basin of oil over them, a practice I don’t understand. When you don’t understand, there’s God and Google to take you a level deeper in your faith. “You anoint my head with oil” is a reference to a shepherd who pours oil over the heads of…

Letters to the editor for the Feb. 24, 2020 weekly magazine. A Vietnam veteran discusses the best way to reintegrate soldiers into civilian life.