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?
The solution to loneliness is not connection. Or to put it more correctly, deep social connection is not, by itself, the complete answer to our predicament. This is partly because loneliness is not simply a problem to be solved. As one reads more and more about the ‘epidemic‘, it is worth considering whether the problem … Continue reading Loneliness, Integrity, and the Limits of the Created Person
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
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
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
In the first book of the Harry Potter Series, Harry discovers a large mirror hidden away in Hogwarts Castle which allows him to gaze upon his heart’s desire. He is transfixed by the living image before him, drinking in the looking-glass presence of his mother and father. He begins to devote all his free time to … Continue reading The Mirror of Erised
I have several times referred to Sara Groves work as a model of Christian art. Today I have in mind her song Twice as Good. In it she contemplates the unique power of the Gospel: with my good news your dancing on the table babies born I am not sure I can say much without … Continue reading Where do Babies come From? Joy!
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
—πολλαὶ μορφαὶ τῶν δαιμονίων, πολλὰ δ᾽ ἀέλπτως κραίνουσι θεοί: καὶ τὰ δοκηθέντ᾽ οὐκ ἐτελέσθη, τῶν δ᾽ ἀδοκήτων πόρον ηὗρε θεός. τοιόνδ᾽ ἀπέβη τόδε πρᾶγμα.— Euripides, Alcestis, 1160 Many shapes belong to the divine, and many things beyond hope do the gods accomplish: The very things we have expected are not accomplished, but for the unexpected God finds a way. … Continue reading The Concluding Chorus of Alcestis
Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (epigraph of Brothers Karamazov from John 12:24)ˆ Early in Brothers Karamazov, we meet a mother who has journeyed a long way to visit Zosima, a monk of wisdom and holiness. … Continue reading The Iconography of Sorrow in a Brothers Karamazov