By Third Day (I “borrowed” it for my Christmas Card):
What kind of King would leave His throne
In Heaven to make this earth His home?
While men seek fame and great renown
In lowliness our King comes down
Jesus, Jesus, precious One
How we thank You that You’ve come
Jesus, Jesus, precious One
A manger throne for God’s own Son
You left the sound of angels’ praise
To come for men with unkind ways
And by this Baby’s helplessness
The power of nations is laid to rest
What kind of King would come so small
From glory to a humble stall?
That dirty manger is my heart, too
I’ll make it a royal throne for You
My heart is a throne
My heart is a throne for God’s own Son
The holidays are a mixed bag for me. I have the fondest memories of waiting atop the stairs with my eager sisters until Dad has lit the tree and confirmed that Santa found our fireplace. I love the Christmas hymns, giving the perfect present and the traditional treats. I even burn Christmas candles all year long, for the spicy aroma makes me happy.
But, if I’m honest, all of the expectation that the season will be magical and dusted with gold makes me feel like I’m some how missing something. I’m both filled up and left empty. Is it because I don’t have children through whose eyes I can see the enchantment? Is it because snow doesn’t fall in Florida? Is it because I’m not reading the nativity narrative more?
Author C.S. Lewis suggests it’s because as beautiful and miraculous as this life can be, we’re created for even more: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world,” he wrote in Mere Christianity.
The holidays—like the wonderful thrills of first kisses, babies asleep on your shoulder and full moons—awaken an ache in us, a “beautiful ache,” says my friend Leigh McLeroy. Beautiful for its ability to stretch our souls and make room for more of God.
“The trick is learning to allow the ache to take me where it wants to go,” Leigh says, “to tutor and tantalize my mostly numb senses with its laser-sharp aim. The challenge is to not kill it off before it fully arrives or dismiss it before it is ready to go.”
So, I read recently that a French Parlimentarian and 50 other politicians want a “health warning” on airbrushed pictures. Because of the how unrealistic body images are and the eating disorders that are raging against our young women, all enhanced photos would be accompanied by this line: “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of a person.”
Under the proposal in France, a company that didn’t include the warning on their retouched ads would be slapped with a fine of a $54,930, or up to 50 percent the cost of the advertisement. I thought French women “never get fat,” or so they’ve wanted us to think :-). I’m all for honesty in advertising. I’m just skeptical that it will work.
There is an “art” to fashion and part of it is an appeal to perfection. We know it is impossible, but do we believe it? I mean deep down, do we know it? I know I’m a sucker for all the packaging that presents the perfect eyelashes, moisturizer, and Michelle Obama arm toner. I want to be perfect, not human.
We long for it, shame ourselves that we’ll never attain it, and, ultimately know that love requires it. Those longings are not fulfilled, but the perfection in advertising keeps teasing us that it can. If we let it, though, the longing for perfection can serve to remind us again and again that we need to be covered by perfection personified.
Only perfect love casts out this fear that we’ll never live up to the demand for flawlessness. This demand tempts us to hate our humanness. Only perfect love beckons, “Come to me, my beloved. Let my perfection cover you.” (Klimt’s “The Kiss” comes to my mind immediately.)
And as we enter into a story bigger than ourselves, the beauty of someone else eclipses the need and promises a covering. It says, “I’ll live the perfect life–the requirements you can never meet–and with your invitation, I’ll cover you. Hide in my perfection and allow me to give you the power to resist that inner demand. Rest in me, in my perfect love.”
This is the story I want in me, labeled on me loudly. As my friend Angel reminded a room of Lakeland, Fla., ladies this weekend, I want the story told to me again and again. She used the beautiful word picture from Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees. The set up: August (the eldest of 5 sisters, honeymakers) and Lily (a teen runaway who finds herself in the home of the caring sisters) are in the honey house placing labels of a Black Madonna statue on the honey jars. Lily asks, “How did you get the statue in the parlor?” August tells what she knows and how the statue came into the possession of her grandmother’s people.
The quote: “When I was younger than you, me and June and May –-and April, too, because she was still alive then–all of us would visit our grandmother for the whole summer. We’d sit on the rug in the parlor, and Big Mama–that’s what we called her–would tell us the story. Every time, when she finished, May would say, ‘Big Mama, tell it again,’ and off she’d go, repeating the whole thing. I swear, if you listen to my chest with a stethoscope, what you’d hear is that story going on and on in my Big Mama’s voice.”
“I was so caught up in what August was saying,” says Lily, “I had stopped wetting labels. I was wishing I had a story like that one to live inside me with so much loudness you could pick it up on a stethoscope, and not the story I did have . . . . ”
Like Lilly, our hearts demand a story that is a bigger and more beautiful and more perfect story than we know. That’s what the gospel is to me. I join Angel and the saints of the ages in asking “Big Daddy” to tell me the story again and again.
Tell me again until you could pick it up on a stethoscope, so loud and so clear, you need a warning label.
Yesterday while running errands with a friend and her toddler, the toddler asked me out of the blue, “Did you brush your hair today, Miss Judy?” I told him I had, that it just looks curly/messy like this everyday. His mom wanted to die! Haha hahaha. (It looks a little like Phil Specter’s at left.)
I put some baking soda on the floors of my car to help expunge the cigarette smoke that had seeped in (a long, bad story). It started coming out the air conditioning and into my mouth. Eccchhhh! Hahahahaha.
I was in the Starbucks drive-thru and there was an emergency vehicle in front of me. It was stuck between me and the three cars ahead of it. I wondered what would happen if it got a call. There was no way it could get out. “Um, sorry, sir, I had to get my latte. Your broken leg will be fine.” Hmmmmm.
One of my friends went to Home Depot in a major thunderstorm here in Orlando. He said there were buckets everywhere catching the water from the roof—on the inside of the store. “You can build it. We can help” just got a little less convincing. Hmmmmmm.
There is already a President Barack Obama Parkway in Orlando. I thought you had to finish your term or do something significant first! It’s only been 8 months. Nevertheless, he is our first half-Black president and that is to be celebrated. Hmmmm.
From: HERE (free, login required).
From “Saving the World’s Women” by Nicholas Kristof and SHERYL WuDUNN NY TIMES Magazine, August 17, 2009, excerpted from their book Half the Sky, coming out next month.
Thesis: “Yet if the injustices that women in poor countries suffer are of paramount importance, in an economic and geopolitical sense the opportunity they represent is even greater. “Women hold up half the sky,” in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that’s mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos. There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That’s why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.”
The hearts/experience of the journalists: Traditionally, the status of women was seen as a “soft” issue — worthy but marginal. We initially reflected that view ourselves in our work as journalists. We preferred to focus instead on the “serious” international issues, like trade disputes or arms proliferation. Our awakening came in China.
After we married in 1988, we moved to Beijing to be correspondents for The New York Times. Seven months later we found ourselves standing on the edge of Tiananmen Square watching troops fire their automatic weapons at prodemocracy protesters. The massacre claimed between 400 and 800 lives and transfixed the world; wrenching images of the killings appeared constantly on the front page and on television screens.
Yet the following year we came across an obscure but meticulous demographic study that outlined a human rights violation that had claimed tens of thousands more lives. This study found that 39,000 baby girls died annually in China because parents didn’t give them the same medical care and attention that boys received — and that was just in the first year of life. A result is that as many infant girls died unnecessarily every week in China as protesters died at Tiananmen Square. Those Chinese girls never received a column inch of news coverage, and we began to wonder if our journalistic priorities were skewed.
Fact and figures: A similar pattern emerged in other countries. In India, a “bride burning” takes place approximately once every two hours, to punish a woman for an inadequate dowry or to eliminate her so a man can remarry — but these rarely constitute news. When a prominent dissident was arrested in China, we would write a front-page article; when 100,000 girls were kidnapped and trafficked into brothels, we didn’t even consider it news.
Amartya Sen, the ebullient Nobel Prize-winning economist, developed a gauge of gender inequality that is a striking reminder of the stakes involved. “More than 100 million women are missing,” Sen wrote in a classic essay in 1990 in The New York Review of Books, spurring a new field of research. Sen noted that in normal circumstances, women live longer than men, and so there are more females than males in much of the world. Yet in places where girls have a deeply unequal status, they vanish. China has 107 males for every 100 females in its overall population (and an even greater disproportion among newborns), and India has 108. The implication of the sex ratios, Sen later found, is that about 107 million females are missing from the globe today. Follow-up studies have calculated the number slightly differently, deriving alternative figures for “missing women” of between 60 million and 107 million.
In India, for example, girls are less likely to be vaccinated than boys and are taken to the hospital only when they are sicker. A result is that girls in India from 1 to 5 years of age are 50 percent more likely to die than boys their age. In addition, ultrasound machines have allowed a pregnant woman to find out the sex of her fetus — and then get an abortion if it is female.
The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls and women are now missing from the planet, precisely because they are female, than men were killed on the battlefield in all the wars of the 20th century. The number of victims of this routine “gendercide” far exceeds the number of people who were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century.
In Asia alone about one million children working in the sex trade are held in conditions indistinguishable from slavery, according to a U.N. report. Girls and women are locked in brothels and beaten if they resist, fed just enough to be kept alive and often sedated with drugs — to pacify them and often to cultivate addiction. India probably has more modern slaves than any other country.
For all of India’s shiny new high-rises, a woman there still has a 1-in-70 lifetime chance of dying in childbirth. In contrast, the lifetime risk in the United States is 1 in 4,800; in Ireland, it is 1 in 47,600. The reason for the gap is not that we don’t know how to save lives of women in poor countries. It’s simply that poor, uneducated women in Africa and Asia have never been a priority either in their own countries or to donor nations.
Microfinance Solutions: Our interviews and perusal of the data available suggest that the poorest families in the world spend approximately 10 times as much (20 percent of their incomes on average) on a combination of alcohol, prostitution, candy, sugary drinks and lavish feasts as they do on educating their children (2 percent). If poor families spent only as much on educating their children as they do on beer and prostitutes, there would be a breakthrough in the prospects of poor countries. Girls, since they are the ones kept home from school now, would be the biggest beneficiaries. Moreover, one way to reallocate family expenditures in this way is to put more money in the hands of women. A series of studies has found that when women hold assets or gain incomes, family money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine and housing, and consequently children are healthier.
In general, aid appears to work best when it is focused on health, education and microfinance (although microfinance has been somewhat less successful in Africa than in Asia). And in each case, crucially, aid has often been most effective when aimed at women and girls; when policy wonks do the math, they often find that these investments have a net economic return. Only a small proportion of aid specifically targets women or girls, but increasingly donors are recognizing that that is where they often get the most bang for the buck.
World’s Attention: In the early 1990s, the United Nations and the World Bank began to proclaim the potential resource that women and girls represent. “Investment in girls’ education may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world,” Larry Summers wrote when he was chief economist of the World Bank. Private aid groups and foundations shifted gears as well. “Women are the key to ending hunger in Africa,” declared the Hunger Project. The Center for Global Development issued a major report explaining “why and how to put girls at the center of development.” CARE took women and girls as the centerpiece of its anti-poverty efforts. “Gender inequality hurts economic growth,” Goldman Sachs concluded in a 2008 research report that emphasized how much developing countries could improve their economic performance by educating girls.
A study in Kenya by Michael Kremer, a Harvard economist, examined six different approaches to improving educational performance, from providing free textbooks to child-sponsorship programs. The approach that raised student test scores the most was to offer girls who had scored in the top 15 percent of their class on sixth-grade tests a $19 scholarship for seventh and eighth grade (and the glory of recognition at an assembly). Boys also performed better, apparently because they were pushed by the girls or didn’t want to endure the embarrassment of being left behind.
Another Kenyan study found that giving girls a new $6 school uniform every 18 months significantly reduced dropout rates and pregnancy rates. Likewise, there’s growing evidence that a cheap way to help keep high-school girls in school is to help them manage menstruation. For fear of embarrassing leaks and stains, girls sometimes stay home during their periods, and the absenteeism puts them behind and eventually leads them to drop out. Aid workers are experimenting with giving African teenage girls sanitary pads, along with access to a toilet where they can change them. The Campaign for Female Education, an organization devoted to getting more girls into school in Africa, helps girls with their periods, and a new group, Sustainable Health Enterprises, is trying to do the same.
So, I was reading through all my old REAL SIMPLE magazines (who knew I was a charter subscriber?) so that I could throw them out. I’m in a de-clutter mood and have been for a few weeks, so I have been going through years of REAL SIMPLEs, yanking out articles or recipes I want to keep.
By now, I should know the best mascaras and mops, tricks for cleaning ceiling fans and making the most of coffee filters. I know what colors work best for my eyes and which swimsuits for my thighs (I’m “pear shaped” in case you didn’t notice.) As a random note, an African friend of mine said I was born on the wrong continent, that men in Africa especially appreciate my shape. Now you tell me! I should have moved decades ago :-). I digress. . . .
My Mom has gotten all the women’s magazines for years, Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Garden, McCalls’s, etc. If I could compile all the hints from Heloise and best-testers, and magic make-overs, there would literally be millions. I should know every household money-saver and how to get the bottom of your favorite lipstick out and use it ‘til every last raspberry rose lip tint was expended fully. I should know a thousand ways to serve chicken and remove wine stains, how to wear the little black dress and present the perfect chignon.
As I was skimming through an old REAL SIMPLE, I came across an article about the power of touch: it decreases stress, brightens your mood, increases your immune system and enhances sleep, among other things. Skin is the first organ that grows and, of course, the largest. It needs attention! There was a little section on single women that caught my eye: they documented the touches they received in a day. One woman counted the coffee guy whose hand touched her as he handed her the latte. Another counted her boss who put a hand on her shoulder. Those aren’t really touches, I thought.
I felt so sad. Babies die for lack of touch! Are untouched people going to shrivel up and die for lack of physical affection? I thought of my daily touch test. And I thought, Sure, there are days I don’t see people much when I’m working at home. But my mind went more to my friends who always hug when we say hello and goodbye, for their children who are snuggly and still like to sit in my lap, for the babies in my life, for my feline rubbing up to my legs and talking up a storm in the mornings when I put on my “best of the brands” mascara. I thought of my friend who said that massage is vital, not a luxury for those of us not in long-term relationships (or who don’t live in Latin America, where touch is like breathing.) I thought of my reasonably-priced masseuse.
I felt glad that I was doing pretty well. And then my Mom (the same Mom of all the women’s magazines) sent me this hilarious video. And I felt quite content and grateful for the touches in my life.
So, as you know I’ve been thinking a lot about poverty and finances and inequities of being born where and to whom you’re born. I often think that as a single woman I would be ridiculed in a large part of the world; I would be forced to marry someone I didn’t love for the sake of my family name. In Mormonism, I would be unable to reach the highest heaven without my husband calling out my secret temple name. And yet, by God’s grace, I am an American, born into a hard-working decent family who gave me every opportunity to succeed. And I am a daughter of God, whose grace covers me.
And I go to a white-collar church. My girls come with me most Sundays; sometimes four girls and two babies. Last week, two girls and one baby. The girls are almost the only Blacks at our church. And probably the only ones living in poverty. The girls are a big hit at church; everyone wants to “pass the peace” with them and ooh and ahhh over the babies. This both bothers and encourages me. Bothers because of my own issues (I would like to have a baby, Lord, and I’ve lived an upright life. I deserve a baby. Can we say entitlement, Judy? It’s ugly, I know.) And it encourages me because the girls feel loved and special, and they like coming back to church each week. Plus, they think Jeff, our pastor, is cute. He is. And we get lunch afterwards, which they also like.
I’m confident we have a dozen or so millionaires in our pews. Our parking lot is lined with Lexuses (Lexi?), SUVs and one golden Jaguar. It’s the one golden Jaguar that I obsessed about during my last Sunday afternoon nap. It’s all I could think about: How can a Christian justify driving a car of such ostentation. Gold! Jaguar! Please! Even if it is a small dent in your income, what it says is so over the top!
Jesus had no place to rest his head, and yours is on a “Suedecloth premium leather headliner” in a Jaguar. A gold Jaguar! (When I told my friend about this, she asked if I would be less offended if it weren’t gold. And I said I think I would.)
I began to think about how and what I was going to say to this unsuspecting member of my church. I was going to ask him if he knew that almost half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day; 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. Did that matter to him when he was cruising around in his Jaguar, his gold Jaguar?
I really had a good case going on in my head to convict this fellow of his neglect of the 25,000 children who die in poverty each day. I really had a case for ostracizing his ostentation. I was pretty worked up, there “napping” in my bed—in my big bed, with nice sheets, in my safe home that has a garage, a security system and a full refrigerator.
God’s Spirit moved me from confrontation with Mr. Jaguar to confrontation with myself: Am I loving my girls well? Effectively? What of all the mistakes I’ve made over the years? Indeed, they think I’m rich. And why wouldn’t they compared to their home, their daily wondering about food, their tricky doctors appointments and limited opportunities. I realized that I was feeling very alone in my ministry to my friends, especially after my car had been “stolen” by one of them, and I couldn’t get it back for three days and even then, it was smoky and disgustingly dirty. My kindness had been abused.
I felt very alone in trying to reason why my 15-year-old would lie to me about her sex life when the evidence proved quite productive (a second pregnancy already. I wept). I felt alone in wondering how I would fit them all in my now smoked-filled car when I already broke the law by not using two car seats so everyone can fit on a trip to the pool. I felt alone in figuring out my own finances for the future, figuring in two new babies (another sister, who is married, is also pregnant again but no one is working). Sitting in a wealthy church pointing fingers felt better than facing my aloneness in this struggle with alleviating poverty and fighting the alienation of the Fall (see my notes on Keller’s talk about alienation).
It was a good lesson for me. When I feel alone in these battles, I tend to blame others, comparing and judging their outsides with my insides. Mr. Jaguar could be giving 98% of his income to fight poverty; I have no idea. He could be using it as his own “fig leaf” to cover his insecurity about his status. But I’m glad God brought me from judgment to compassion—for Mr. Jaguar (if it is his cover for “success”), for myself as I do my best with God’s help, for my friends’ and in the inequality to which they were born. Judgment to compassion, that’s my prayer.
Still struggling, but grateful.
In the “Green Room” at our biennial staff conference, Dr. Tim Keller takes a moment to help me understand the role of the Body of Christ in alleviating poverty. The following is a condensation of his thesis called The Gospel and the Poor, and of a message he gave to us (which I’m happy to share). Here is the link to the video, which is now posted. Disclaimer: I may have misunderstood or misheard something, so if I have in anyway misrepresented Dr. Keller’s teaching, the fault lies with me.]
Keller defines the “poor” as: weak, elderly, mentally and physically handicapped, refugees, new immigrants, working poor, natural, disaster victims, unemployed, single parent families, orphans.
The Fall of man created alienation:
Spiritual alienation—Adam and Eve (our representatives) hid from God.
Psychological alienation—Loss of identity, anxiety, fear, emptiness, psychosis, alienation from self.
Social alienation—Adam and Eve covered themselves from each others’ gaze, introduced blame, war, crime, breakdown of the family, etc.
Physical alienation—We become sick and die.
In the Old Testament Patriarchal Period, God makes a promise that the One who will heal all alienation (Jesus) will come through Abraham’s seed. Interesting fact: First blessing to the nations from Abraham’s seed is Joseph, a civil magistrate, who provides food through a famine.
Legislation for the laws of Israel is replete with tremendous amounts of instruction for caring for the poor, for example, the gleaning laws. No one could take all of his land profits; he was required to leave the edges of grain for the poor. The landowner involved the poor in their own rehabilitation in gathering grain for themselves (was not a giveaway). When indentured servants left their work, their bosses blessed them with tools for their trade, grain and what they needed for a self-sufficient life.
Later Israel’s prophet’s condemned Israel for breaking the covenants. One of the reasons for their 70-year exile was a result of ignoring the jubilee years where debts were canceled on behalf of those who could not repay.
The early church stood out in it’s culture for it’s attention to the poor. According to sociologist Rodney Stark, “the Christian concept of self-sacrificial love of others, emanating from God’s love for them, was a revolutionary concept to the pagan mind, which viewed the extension of mercy as an emotional act to be avoided by rational people” (This is a quote from When Helping Hurts, by Corbett and Fikkert). They also quote Stark directly:
“Christianity revitalized life in Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships able to cope with many urgent urban problems. To cities filled with the homeless and impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate base for attachments. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded sense of family. To cities torn by violence and ethnic strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity. And to cities faced with epidemics, fires, earthquakes, Christianity offered effective nursing services” (page 44).
Jesus “moved in” with the poor. His incarnation identified him with us: poor, alone, sick, alienated. He lived with the lowest class of society. He came to redeem alienation from God, from ourselves, from others, from death.
Summary (directly from Tim’s thesis, pages 2, 3): The church is not simply a collection of individuals who are forgiven. It is a “royal nation”, a new society (I Pet. 2:9). The world must see in us the wisdom of God, namely, what family life, business practices, race relations, and inter- personal relationships can be in all their beauty under the kingship of Jesus Christ. We are a pilot plant of the kingdom of God.
The roles of the Body of Christ
Relief: direct help, emergency food relief, soup kitchens
Development: getting poor on their feet, job creation, training, scholarships (much more expensive and harder).
Reform: affecting at the social system, laws, justice and equity in a community
For the local church, Keller reminds pastors that their role is to preach the Word and enact the sacraments. Elders are assigned ministries of the Word and deacons ministries of deeds, Relief especially and heavily. He cautions churches against getting involved in Reform because there inevitably brings a tie to government alignments. That said, believers, as good citizens, should be involved in law making and battles for equities. No one church or ministry can do all these things, but as the Body of Christ, we should cover them all.
Government worldviews take two points of view: The poor exist because of systemic racism (Democrats), and the poor exist because of the breakdown of the family (Republicans). Democrats want justice and mercy. Republicans want to throw resources at them (great schools, teachers, etc). Both are right and both are wrong, according to Keller. But both can agree that it’s not the children’s fault what family they were born into. There is an inequitable distribution of resources; it’s unjust that whites walk in blindness to their privilege. No viewpoint fits into our social or capitalistic or economic policies, but Christianity informs them.
Christians must get involved. If you remember that you are a sinner saved by grace, you will remember what it is to be marginalized, an alien, an orphan, an immigrant, a slave, alienated from all that is right and beautiful. Theologian Bruce Waltke has done careful, exhaustive translation of the biblical word “righteous.” His definition: “A person who looks at his wealth (possessions, time, land, money) as not belonging to himself, but to his community—“plow it into the community,” he says, whatever it is you have.
My final thoughts: Helping believers know their gifts is vitally important, because not all will reflect Jesus’ mission in the same way of redeeming alienation. Think of the ways you could redeem alienation from God (evangelism); alienation from self (counseling, community); alienation from others (law, peacemaking, forgiveness); alienation from health (nursing, encouragement, visiting).
Questions to come: What happened to the church? Why are we not known for alleviating alienation? Why have we stepped out of the social conversation? What works? What hurts?
Thanks for following me and my journey. Comments and questions very welcome!
Here are few things that have been of great help to me:
A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne, PhD
Click here for her site.
This 19-page thesis by Tim Keller on The Gospel and the Poor
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself by Corbett and Fikkert.
And Here’s Life Inner City’s IHopeCommunity.org
Here’s Keller’s talk: http://hereslife.ning.com/video/the-gospel-and-the-poor-a-case
I will list some helpful sections and quotes when things aren’t so busy.
Thanks again for coming by!
This new video from Evian makes me go Hahahaha times 1,000.
My friend was reading “what not to do when installing your new battery” in your computer: Do not hit it with a hammer and nail. Hmmmmm.
Some friends of mine were having a baby shower for Amy. This was the first baby shower attended by my friends’ daughter, Anna, 6 years old. After eating snacks and visiting with guests, my friend called everyone into the living to see Amy open her presents. Anna, however, thought that everyone was gathering to see Amy have her baby there! Hahahaha.
Donald Miller said this in his blog: “I heard an interview a long time ago with the folk singer David Wilcox, in which Wilcox was asked how he managed to be so vulnerable and open in his songwriting. Wilcox answered that, when he sits down to write a song, he tries to share something he is afraid to share, something that, to him, might be embarrassing. He does this, he said, because in giving the audience something they can use against him, they create a trusting relationship. It’s as though he is taking his pistol out and handing it to the person across the table.” Hmmmmm.
I pulled a “Julie-ism” yesterday, saying I’d meet someone at Crate&Barrel, instead of Cracker Barrel. Hahahaha.
Three definitions of hell by a generation of our best writers:
Dostoyevsky: “Hell is the suffering of being unable to love.”
C.S. Lewis: “The absence of neighborhood.”
Dorothy Sayers: “Hell is the enjoyment of our way forever.”