Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Six days a week, this solo pilgrimage
across the wildnerness
of weedy sloughs
and uphill root-snares and dead-lightning limbs
to the mailbox,
celestial castle on the hill,
a shining silver roadside barrel vault
with a bloody flag
recently lowered
and a drawbridge I let down while lifting out
my daily bread,
the world’s delivered words
I bear back to the house along a path
my feet have carved
into the local earth
for decades now and know so well they could
tightrope its shallow gulley in the dark.

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift