“I think that the dying pray at the last not “please,” but “thank you,” as a guest thanks his host at the door. Falling from airplanes the people are crying thank you, thank you, all down the air; and the cold carriages draw up for them on the rocks. Divinity is not playful. The universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensible earnest. By a power that is unfathomably secret, and holy, and fleet. There is nothing to be done about it, but ignore it, or see. And then you walk fearlessly, eating what you must, growing wherever you can, like the monk on the road who knows precisely how vulnerable he is, who takes no comfort among death-forgetting men, and who carries his vision of vastness and might around in his tunic like a live coal which neither burns nor warms him, but with which he will not part.”  – Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek “The Waters of Separation”

Jessica Ruscello

I am a teacher, minister, and writer in Marin County, California.
If you find an empty coffee cup, an ink spill, or a red-lipstick mark, chances are I’m nearby.

I believe a good cappuccino is a holy thing, and  pearls are a crucial part of a woman’s Armor of God.

If I had my way, everything would be red.


I am a champion of the Beautiful.

That which is beautiful uniquely calls us into God’s presence, and I will stop at nothing to find beauty where it is or leave something more beautiful than I found it. I will call our attention to it, cherish it, and bring it wherever I can. And if you’re working with me or waiting on me at all, be advised: I won’t be satisfied or ready until it’s lovely.  I call it living colorfully. (Some of you might call it making a mess or dawdling, and you might try reminding me that not ­everything needs a red ribbon, but good luck to you).

I am a tribe-maker.

Pulling the lost, lonely, or isolated into a family is all in a day’s work for me. I am deeply driven to go get anyone meeting that description and bring them Home. To mitigate the sting of loneliness. To get extra hands from where we have them to where they are needed. To bind us together in unity. To distinguish our identity. To name what makes us “Us”, and to help us live out of that.

I am an explorer.

I care much more about questions than answers, and often my work is being faithful to ask them when we’d rather not. My work is to challenge what we know and where we are comfortable—to go new places first. To try new things. To chase adventure. To set sail first. To read about our destination. To chart our course.

I am present.

My work for the day is bearing witness to the full reality of joy and affliction. To attend to my people with a holy hospitality. To call our attention to the fullness of grace in the moment. To deeply bear the weight of glory. To record the very moment when where we are becomes where we were, and when where we are becomes where we are going.

I surely have to be where God is.

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