Tony Woodlief | Author


The weak link

Six days ago: an ambulance ride with my 11 year-old to a trauma center near the South Carolina coliseum where he and 2,000 other youngsters have been wrestling. His neck braced, a board under his back, tears trickling from the corners of his eyes as he chuckles at the paramedic’s dad jokes. I am not …

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Here’s an excerpt from my latest Image essay if you’re interested: Isaiah returned to the scene of the crime to survey his work. It was a damned atrocity. Paint ran haphazardly against the grain, tacky pools of it collected on the surface, and thick rivulets had crawled down the sides and hardened. “Look at it,” …

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Temple of bones

Every baptism in the Orthodox Church entails an exorcism, as I learned last Easter when I was baptized into the Church. It was nothing desperate and dramatic like some of us remember from The Exorcist; in truth the devil and his minions flee from Christ and the Cross, having been sundered by both. There was …

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The Storm

The two younger boys crept into our bed in the black morning, driven by a snarling storm. They curled into me, shivering, as if I am a safe harbor. There is no keeping out the storm; this is what I thought. The cool peaceful evenings line themselves up between the vibrant days, and we forget …

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Not Scared

We’re watching The Polar Express, Caleb, Eli, Isaac, and I. It’s cold and icy outside, and so we’re jumbled together on the couch, watching the magical Polar Express sway and slide across thin ice. A frightened expression has been forming on Isaac’s face. He clutches his favorite ducky close to his cheek and watches the …

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