Saturday, October 26, 2013

[For Christians to read and absorb good fiction is] important for a few reasons, not least of which is that it offers a rest of sorts from the information gathering of non-fiction. Good fiction isn’t for lazy readers but can offer a literary sabbath of sorts. Good fiction also broadcasts on a different frequency than non-fiction so it stretches the intellect and shapes the imagination of Christians in important, healthy ways. // Trevin Wax

Thursday, September 26, 2013

from "Days in Autumn"

Whoever's homeless now, will build no shelter;
who lives alone will live indefinitely so,
waking up to read a little, draft long letters,
and, along the city's avenues,
fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.

// Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, August 19, 2013

follow, follow, follow

ran my finger over my heart today
and noticed a film of dust
the wind i had chased blew the sediments away
and revealed several places of rust

on second look it appeared to be
not my pet wind, but the breath of God

Monday, March 18, 2013

There your heart shall be

I would like to buy about three dollars worth of gospel, please.

Not too much—just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted.

I don’t want so much gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust.

I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial, and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture.

I want ecstasy, not repentance; I want transcendence, not transformation. I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people, but I myself don’t want to love those from different races—especially if they smell.

I would like enough gospel to make my family secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged.

I would like about three dollars worth of the gospel, please.

// D.A. Carson

Oh divest me of myself so I can truly live!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I found $2000 today!

Freelance work for a language edtech start-up company, and nannying, pay my rent these days. There's not too much money left over at the end of each month. But what is left over at the end of each day, with my current living arrangements, is mental energy and space to recoup. The flexibility is a most welcome gift for this season of my life. In any case, though, I don't have enough left over to replace my laptop, someone else's iPhone, and my wallet...

Today was Livy's mom's birthday. I picked her up from school as usual, but she wanted to go to Target to get Kit-Kats for her mother. I was happy to take her. I also bought some study fuel for the man-friend's grueling CFA prep. Somehow, he runs on the worst calories. Gummies, gushers, sour-filled (Play-Doh smelling) Twizzlers, Red Bull, sugary drinks...

One of the aisles was so crowded, I left our cart (with Livy's bookbag, and mine which contained an inactive iPhone, my MacBook Air, and my wallet) just outside the aisle and instructed Livy to keep an eye on the shopping cart. I only lost visual for 30 seconds or less. I heard Livy, my 7-year-old nanny charge, calling out "Miss Esther?" and circling the aisles around me; she had not stayed put. She was whimpering. "I lost our cart..."

Someone had swiped it. I gave her a hug. Can't lose it now, I thought, if you're going to ask her not to worry and to be brave. So I decided to be very calm. If I did not have a child with me, I might have behaved as though my wallet and laptop were the most important things in life... shall be kept safe through childrearing... rang in my mind. You're safe, I'm safe, we didn't lose each other. But your stuff can't be replaced, Miss Esther. I paused and considered agreeing with her. It can. Don't worry. You're okay, I'm okay; that can't be replaced. We walked around and searched. We asked employees, who paged security and the store supervisor. Livy's panic mounted and she was crying now. She did not even know what was in my bag, the value. All my coursework, and graduate school apps, and freelance work. Hey baby. We can't have your vision blurred by tears okay? We need your eyes super sharp so we can scout out our cart! We're on a treasure hunt! We're gonna catch the crooks? she asked. Maybe.

We filed a police report. Grand larceny, they called it, based on the value of the contents of my bag. Yo it's Park Slope, the officer said. There's some crazy dopes here. People just don't care. They'll mess you up, take other people's things. The police were kind, attentive, detailed, helpful. I introduced Livy to Officer Butler. This is Livy. She's 7. She's very sad, and worried. But I told her that the police's job is to help and protect us... We looked on the security tapes. During this hour that we were with the police I also called to cancel my credit cards. And asked Livy to pray. It felt like that time at SITP with Erin. We thanked Papa God for never losing sight of us, for never losing us (like we lose sight of shopping carts and backpacks). His eye is on the sparrow. He is in control. Help us not to worry. You can help us find our stuff because you love us, she said. But even if we don't get our stuff back... I pressed, I wanted her to say it aloud, and fall back on what she said–that the Spirit, water, and blood are our witness, not our laptops, money, and drivers licenses. The truth she had learned. The reasons to trust. Of course I felt like this request that she pray could disillusion her. Papa God, You love her more than I do. Protect her faith. Instruct us in Your way.

Do you think the thieves who stole your homework are going to do it for you? I asked her. The policeman asked Livy if her teacher would believe, "I couldn't do my homework yesterday because it got stolen!" After we left the police, I asked if she wanted to go straight home or if her legs could handle walking around the store with me one more time. She said, well alright, even though we're not going to find it. Why would they still be in the store? She pinched her fingers together to show me how slim our chance of finding it was. Lord, show her. Show me. But Livy, I said. I know. If they took our things, they probably left the store right away. But faith is that stuff that holds you on when hope is teeny, and then hope grows. Do you trust me? I told her what we were looking for. Not just shopping carts, but someone wearing or holding or bookbags, perhaps. Or our bookbags stuffed in a stroller or large bag. We even wandered down the backpack and luggage aisle. And around the perimeter of the store. There really wasn't any chance of recovering our stolen goods. The time we could have spent looking, with the only 4 eyes on the premises that knew exactly what to look for, we were asking for higher authorities to help.

But we did. Find our backpacks. The zippers were undone and our bags had obviously been rummaged through. But nothing was missing. It's a miracle! Livy said. Indeed it was. Aw, now I have to do my homework.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Infographic on Political Parties

I so wish I had this infographic back when I was taking APUSH!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Worshiping Bodily

What if we started living in right relation to our bodies now, instead of waiting for the resurrection? What if every time we looked in the mirror and were tempted to complain we said, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," laying claim to the future hope that our bodies will one day celebrate function in right relation to form, living in the glorious truth of that future hope now?

... Choose compliments that spur her to pursue that which lasts instead of that which certainly does not...

Sister in Christ, physical perfection is not within our grasp, but, astonishingly, holiness is.

// Jen Wilkin