Thursday, May 24, 2012


Remember college viewbooks? Those glossy marketing pitches that schools mailed to you junior and senior year after PSAT's and state tests.

Come and see, they beckon. 
Hear what our own have to say about us!

Join us and this is what you'll become.

Join our mission! Catch our vision!

Ah, enlightenment.
So you apply yourself.

The university prospectus.

* * *

I remember viewbooks. How religiously I read them.

I collected them. Fascinating, pretty things of hope, promise, life, future, and identity to me. Tantalizing.

I was sold. Somewhere in a basement in Naperville, there are still 30 some viewbooks fileboxed away.

* * *
Such appeal.

They were an appeal to your freedom and choice.

An appeal to your wallet. All this bang for your buck! Or 50,000 bucks yearly. Worth it!

An appeal to your time. In just four years, they promise, we'll make you youer than you! A difference of a lifetime!
An appeal to your imagination. To become one of those Brooks Brothers-clad souls, walking, laughing, books in hand, a leather messenger slung cross-body, under towering stately oaks and flying stone buttresses. Imagine! the life! the access! the privilege! Join the aristocracy!
(all images above adapted from

An appeal to your affections.

* * *

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy...
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
// Matthew 6.19-21

"It's obvious, isn't it?" says Eugene Peterson. "The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being."

* * *

The prospectus, appealing to your heart, shows you who you'll become.
And in your choice, your priority, it reveals to you who you already are.

Where you aim your heart, where you set your sights,
There. is your reward, your heaven.

It will dominate your vision, hold your imagination,
warp time and experience,pull your whole life to itself.

Yet once more I will shake not only the earth,
but also the heavens...
in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore let us be grateful
for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken...

August 8, 2007
for our God is a consuming fire.
// Hebrews 12.26-29

i was H-bound.
hopkins-bound. hell-bound.

Christ had mercy on me.

He loves me.


  1. :) Thanks for sharing Esther! It's a good reminder for me to look for what God wants, not what I want.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Esther. I know that when I chose to go to Hopkins, I was also thinking far more of what would be good for my education and career than how my education could be a service to God. This is a lesson that I'm still having to learn today.

  3. Amen. This is jean, Irene's sis (#2). Thank you so much for these life-giving words, Esther.

  4. Jean! Thanks for stopping by. I met you on the phone when I was with Papa & Mama Tsen in KK :) The only one of Irene's sisters I have not seen in person. Hopefully soon!

    Hans & Kevin, yes... I am still having to learn, despite having fallen so painfully. The diagnostic of "what is it that I see/k? what dominates my vision/imagination?" is helpful to me.