“In His holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.” — Frederick Buechner
When she heard 1 Corinthians 13 for the first time, a friend asked, “That’s in the Bible?” “Absolutely,” I replied. “It’s rather well-known.” “Wow,” she said, “I never would have thought.” Upon hearing this, my first reaction was, “Where’ve you been all your life?” But after further reflection, this exchange highlighted a flaw in our common understanding.
“We have done so much with so little for so long, that now we can do anything with nothing.” — Motto of the Tactical Air Command, US Air Force
Have you ever made a major life change, and then found yourself in a less-than-ideal situation? Your new boss has a screw loose. Your new neighbors don’t have nearly the same funny friend-group potential of your last ones. Your new lunch buddies are stiff and boring compared to your last workplace. The task or location itself was an upgrade, but the people that came with it are a bummer.
“I don't know what they want from me. It's like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” — The Notorious B.I.G.
I received an email today from my friend. He works in … money. That’s the best way I can say it; if I said his job title you might get the wrong impression about his line of work, and that would miss the point. Anyway, my buddy told me one of our other buddies had really been hitting home runs at work lately, making some real jack. A little farther down the road of life, a different friend of mine told me I could make some big cash in his line of work also: yet another job in money.
“If you want to avoid worry, do what Sir William Osler did: Live in ‘day-tight compartments.’ Don't stew about the futures. Just live each day until bedtime.” — Dale Carnegie
Looking at a new Bible software on my computer, I came across some of John Wesley’s notes. Amazingly, I can look up his or Matthew Henry’s famous commentary on almost any passage of scripture.
“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves — say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
When we talked about God’s love, my dad always pointed to the figure of the Bishop in Les Miserables. He had difficulty connecting the notion of a loving father to his own flesh-and-blood dad; for him, reading about the grace that saturated the Bishop’s dealings with the crook-turned-hero, Jean Valjean, was his closest encounter to the sort of love that God the Father might offer.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” — John Holmes
Jesus tells us the poor will always be with us. The current idea of eradicating poverty altogether seems futile in light of this statement, especially if we believe Jesus’ words to be true. However, the Bible’s emphasis on believers caring for the poor stands opposed to the notion that poverty cannot be eliminated.