I knew he wouldn’t die because his life was like the roots of a tree that went miles into the soil and miles around its trunk and came up in his children, in their faces and their voices and their character. I didn’t think you could kill a tree that big.
During one of our regular conversations, Ken gathered a wastepaper basket and a water bottle and brought them to where I sat on the couch next to the crocheted pillow. He held the full water bttle over the empty basket-turned-bucket and began to slowly pour water into it. He asked me to try to grasp the water in my fist. I tried an wound up with only wet hands. No substantial amount of water remained in my hands at all. He then began to pour again and asked me to cup my hands under the water flow. This time my cupped hands began to fill with water and eventually overflow. I was moved as a dawning realization encompassed my heart. My hands were in a position of receiving rather than grasping, being rather than doing; they were open palms rather than clenched fists. And this brought fullness, to the point of brimming over.
This is the way it is with God’s love.
I don’t ever want to let you down,
I don’t ever want to leave this town
Cause after all
The city never sleeps at night.
It’s time to begin
I like this.
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: February 19, 1968
House of Illustration 2011 competition entry: The Bloody Chamber
But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves-unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely, and freely. In human form Jesus revealed to us what God is like. He exposed our projections for the idolatry that they are and gave us the way to become free of them. It takes a profound conversion to accept that God is relentlessly tender and compassionate toward us just as we are-not in spite of our sins and faults (that would not be total acceptance), but with them. Though God does not condone or sanction evil, He does not withhold His love because there is evil in us.
when the felt presence of God was more real to me than the chair I am sitting on;
when the Word ricocheted like broken-backed lightning in every corner of my soul;
when a storm of desire carried me to places I had never visited.
And there have been other times …
when I identified with the words of Mae West: “I used to be Snow White-but I drifted”;
when the Word was as stale as old ice cream and as bland as tame sausage;
when the fire in my belly flickered and died;
when I mistook dried-up enthusiasm for gray-haired wisdom;
when I dismissed youthful idealism as mere naivete;
when I preferred cheap slivers of glass to the pearl of great price.
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