Janie B. Cheaney

Janie is a senior writer who contributes commentary to WORLD and oversees WORLD's annual Children's Book of the Year awards. She also writes novels for young adults and authored the Wordsmith creative writing curriculum. Janie resides in rural Missouri.

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A world of hurt

Culture | Suicide leaves an unfilled space, and a pain that remains
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 7/05/18, 01:02 pm

You matter. You matter to those who love you, those who depend on you, those who work with you. Simply by being born you clear a space for yourself in the world that can’t be filled by anyone else. What’s more, you occupy a space in the mind of God—the ultimate definition of “mattering.”

That seems self-evident, but sometimes it takes faith to believe it, and when faith falters and hope fails, mattering itself becomes a burden—even an intolerable burden.

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John P. Johnson/HBO

Beloved dust

Religion | Man has a long history of hating the human body, but God called it ‘good’
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 6/12/18, 02:03 am

Once upon a sunlit spot of ground, God bent down and shaped a mound of dust. The elemental particles that made up the ground were already in place, and so were the elements of a home: blue sky holding in a band of oxygen, springs of water welling up below, a sun making its stately march across the sphere. “Dust” seems an odd medium for shaping, as it doesn’t stick together. But by divine will it did; its Maker considered it beautiful, like everything else. It was a new shape, never seen before—like everything else.

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John Locker/AP

Open letters

Politics | It’s difficult to thread the needle of public policy with private virtue
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 5/24/18, 01:00 am

Here’s one thing I know: Donald Trump’s presidency is one wild roller-coaster ride flashing with neon. By contrast, a Hillary Clinton presidency would have been stop-and-go traffic in a dingy shade of gray.

That’s the limit of my prescience, though. Three years ago I mocked the possibility of a Trump campaign in a column titled “Year-round silly season.” Not many expected he would run, few expected he’d be nominated, and almost no one expected him to win. Silly us!

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