I reached inside my purse for my wallet, to see, I suppose, if an angel had miraculously tucked a fifty into one of its pockets. I knew I hadn’t, sure as death and taxes.
I have never seen a man’s back worn to shreds by a cruel whip, but I have seen crisscrossed lines of despair in the wrists of a friend.
No matter what we do, we will always know someone who does it bigger or braver. Certainly if we had known it would burn like fire, we would have stepped away from the hellish abyss.
The point of Christmas is that Christ entered. Here. He is the last person in the world to be upset with a mess, or rattled by the unforeseen. He is acquainted with grief.
In a white country church house with six pews on the right and six pews on the left, I formed my first ideas of God and his people.
We Christians have always been good at line-drawing, and we are usually the ones who do it best. Or, if we dislike our upbringing, the ones who do it worst. The Catholics are too iconic, the Anglicans too liturgical, the black churches too emotive, the Quakers too quiet, the Methodists too formal, the Pentecostals too hyper, the Mennonites too traditional. Private worship is too individualistic, and public is too contrived or too showy. In the end, is there any good way to worship? that’s unlike what we are comfortable with?