Erika Morrison is a visionary and a life artist. With a palette of ordinary elements like air and skin and laundry and the trash on her neighborhood streets, she paints bold portraits of Kingdom-come. Readers of her blog and the collaborative websites for which she writes have watched Erika welcome beggars into family gatherings, host a dance party to fight trafficking, and adopt an entire city’s homeless population. This unconventional approach to spirituality has caught the attention of groups around the world, and she is now on the speaking circuit in addition to her online writing. Erika engages conference attendees on themes of missional living and avant-garde faith, beating hard the drum of social justice. She has been sought out as a storyteller-advocate by international justice groups including the Exodus Road, a human trafficking rescue coalition, and Help One Now, an organization aiding children in poverty. Within her own hometown, she co-leads a project, The Common, that helps anticipate and meet the needs of the city’s homeless community. Her ultimate goal in every aspect of life is to witness heaven in the details and then weave them into a story of unspeakable depth.
Nearly a decade ago, Erika asked God to bless her and found her world turning upside-down at God’s definition of “blessing.” Her marriage dove into crisis, her family lost their home, and they found themselves slipping off the end of their rope only to find their fingers gripped by the hand of God: all they had left in the world. The life she discovered on the other side of that encounter was far from normal. Joy became a series of high and unbidden moments unrelated to circumstances. God’s face took on the wrinkles of men sleeping in doorways, His voice the off-key Kumbayahs of cross-dressers at the soup kitchen. The labels so often used to define people—mother, stranger, beggar, loser—no longer influenced the Christ-breathed identity Erika saw in them. Standardized ways of seeing the world were flipped on their heads.
Since then, Erika has been chasing the tail of every commonplace word she can think of and redefining it under a new lens. She shares her perspectives through the medium of story, painting day-to-day events with bold dollops of humor and a knack for wordplay. While she writes candidly about her conversations with God, Christians will not find any stale terminology or platitudes among her words. Erika’s writing voice is imaginative and poetic, sometimes undignified, often unpredictable, always sincere.
Erika describes the way she helps her homeless friends as not just getting her hands dirty in the nitty-gritty of their lives but sitting shoulder to shoulder with them and listening to their stories. Alongside her husband of fourteen years and their three hooligan boys, she immerses herself in the margins of society, a world of rough talk and even rougher circumstances that many Christians fear to engage. This puts Erika in the unique position to act as a bridge between cultures. Through her stories, readers can see over the walls that have traditionally separated Christians from the non-religious, street-dwellers from the middle-class, and those whose gifts are valued by society from those deemed unworthy. Seeing humanity in this way is a gift, and one that she longs to share with every possible member of her global family.
Erika makes her home and invests her heart in the Yale University town of New Haven, CT along with her husband Austin, their sons Gabriel, Seth, and Jude, and a female pit bull named Zeppelin.