It is a terrible thing, the burden of living in time, that every action we take is ultimately irrevocable. We cannot undo that which we have done. As Omar Khayyam put it in his poem the Rubaiyat: The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit. Shall lure it back to … Continue reading Irrevocable
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). This is a difficult verse. If we read it as a proclamation of tit-for-tat justice on earth, or even with the expectation that we can always discern the purposes … Continue reading All Things Work Together for Good?
There is a lot of good literature on shame, but it can be confusing to assess from a Christian perspective. There are three major reasons for this First, many of those with good things to say about shame often dismiss the concept of sin, even treating it as the boogeyman of our psyches. This is … Continue reading On Whether We are to be Ashamed
Throughout Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the great Bolkonsky household is a home bereft of affection and the caresses of love for which perhaps every child and every parent longs. The father, Nikolai Bolkonsky, proud, intelligent, eccentric, and cynical, has tormented his daughter by his schedule, his demands, his scoffing at her faith and manners. But … Continue reading On Maria and the Death of Nikolai Bolkonsky in War and Peace
from a talk given at New College Franklin in the Fall of 2013 Main Texts: Homer’s Odyssey, Book 8, lines 42-45, 62-94, 483-499, 521-534 Homer’s Iliad, Book VI, lines 440-465 My goal in giving this talk is to inspire wonder and excitement about the program of study here, to encourage intellectual enthusiasm. With this goal … Continue reading A Question of the Liberal Arts: Why is Song a Gift from the Gods?
In the alcoholic home and wherever there is addiction or mental illness, children are often forced to deny the things they see and feel. In fact, the unofficial slogan of the dysfunctional family is “don’t talk; don’t feel; don’t trust.” How confusing to depend upon such people for one’s very existence. How strange to love … Continue reading Mary Poppins and Alcoholism
Occasionally, I tell certain students that they can be right or they can be happy. They have usually been eristic, more clever than kind, critical or corrective of their peers in ways which are not fruitful. More in love with their own rightness than is meet. In other words, they are like me, writing checks … Continue reading Would You Rather be Right or Happy?
Listening to the Little House series, following the lives of Laura and her family, has not been without its challenges. They are so strict, so obedient, so sufficient and skillful. They are themselves a kind of law that I will never live up to. Further, Laura always seems a bit hemmed in by her Ma, … Continue reading Mercy in Little House on the Prairie
I think I know how to speak the truth, that it is easy to do so. The first chapter of Henry Clouds book Changes that Heal served as an excellent reminder that speaking the truth is not easy. Not because it is so hard to so those tough things, but because I often think of truth as … Continue reading Grace & Truth: Thoughts on Changes that Heal, Chapter 1
It never fails, if a boy should love a girl that he loses some sleep in the bargain. It never fails, when a young women first be a mother, that she be stricken now and again with fear and doubt, and sometime wonder many nights whether the child still breathes and should check on her. … Continue reading It Never Fails