Category Archives: Quotes and Poems

“The gospel redeems and enchants every aspect of our lives—from the spectacular to the quotidian. We have a Savior who was a carpenter, a King who spent his days with fishermen. And he taught us that work isn’t ultimately about us, or about how it makes us feel—it’s about ‘loving and serving our neighbor.'” –Gracy Olmstead for TGC

Ms. Anne Lamott on Books

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

When the noise is too much.

I want to work a little

to swim out

past the pea-soup fog

to get clear.

I want to look over my shoulder

and see definitively

the smog

left.

behind.

I want to head upstream

past the sad remains

of yesterday’s convenience

of accidental casualties

of tomorrow’s nightmare.

Enough.

There are still springs

cold as crystal

pure as light.

There is still beauty

fragile as fontanel

above

beyond

distant

where “ossification is incomplete”

where space exists

between thought and implacable fury

imagination and resignation.

space

Up, uphill

up ancient mountains

up forested flanks

beyond human intervention

beyond urban sprawl

past light pollution

and city shrieks

and bombast.

Uphill, upstream

where snowmelt is still clear

where streambanks are unspoiled

where shy mammals venture out

cubs and kits

vulnerable

unafraid.

Up, past treeline

past tundra

past the tiny, risky, alpine blooms.

Past tropo and meso and strato

right off the blue sphere

space

I want to look back

over my shoulder

all the angry babble fading away

that tower of Babel just a speck

a tiny blemish on that blue green jewel

that bright jewel

just a sparkle

on the vast

quiet

sacred

space

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the_earth_seen_from_apollo_17

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Thankful.

thankfulness hymn

for the small things: light on water, shaded forest, laughter ringing
clear my mind to see your beauty
make me thankful, Lord
for the moments gone forever, conversations, love so fleeting,
give me power to remember,
make me thankful, Lord

all the gifts declare your kindness,
joyful Father, loving Friend,
make me long for you, my portion
sweeter, higher, without end

for the shocking incarnation, setting glory to the side,
Jesus, King come as a baby
make me thankful, Lord
for the shocking death you suffered, love propelling Love to die,
Jesus, King killed as a pauper
make me thankful, Lord

all the gifts declare your goodness,
humble Savior, loving Friend,
make me long for you, Redeemer,
sweeter, higher, without end

for the breath of God upon me, blowing through me, to renew me
in my weakness, grace unstinting,
make me thankful, Lord
for the suffering, give me vision of your purpose, of your wisdom
tease out meaning, comfort me
make me thankful, Lord

all the gifts declare your mercy,
tender Spirit, loving Friend
make me taste your kind compassion,
sweeter, higher, without end

for the final destination, journey ending, sailing home
rest and healing, joy and beauty,
make us hopeful, Lord
for the moment we will see you, hear you calling, “welcome home!”
feel your arms in love surround us,
make us hopeful, Lord

all the gifts declare your brightness,
glimpses in the dreams you send,
make us thankful for a future
sweeter, higher, without end

A carol for Sunday.

The Annunciation to the Shepherds (ca. 1640)
The Annunciation to the Shepherds (ca. 1640) (Photo credit: lito)

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

Anne Lamott on writing…

“This is our goal as writers, I think; to help others have this sense of–please forgive me–wonder, of seeing things anew, things that can catch us off guard, that break in on our small, bordered worlds. When this happens, everything feels more spacious. Try walking around with a child who’s going, “Wow, wow! Look at that dirty dog! Look at that burned-down house! Look at that red sky!” And the child points and you look, and you see, and you start going, “Wow! Look at that huge crazy hedge! Look at that teeny little baby! Look at the scary dark cloud!” I think this is how we are supposed to be in the world–present and in awe.”
— Anne Lamott