Bishop: Now don’t forget, don’t ever forget – you’ve promised to become a new man.
Jean Valjean: Promise? Why are you doing this?
Bishop: Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil. With this silver, I have bought your soul. I’ve ransomed you from fear and hatred, and now I give you back to God.
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After downloading it from NoiseTrade a few days ago, Josh Garrels’ album Love & War & The Sea In Between may be my new favorite album of the year. I think I’ve listened to “Rise” 10 times in the last few days… Enjoy! The full album is at http://www.joshgarrels.com.
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I heard this recently, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
A teacher told her five year old students to draw something and then be ready to talk about it. As she walked through the classroom, she stopped to ask one of the girls what she was drawing.
“I’m drawing God,” came the reply.
“But no one knows what God looks like,” the teacher said.
The girl took a moment before responding.
“They will in a minute.”
Oh, the power of art and creativity and never being afraid…
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“But I was frightened, and I tried to heal my fear with stories, stories which gave me courage, stories which affirmed that ultimately love is stronger than hate. If love is stronger than hate, then war is not all there is. I wrote and I illustrated my stories. And so story helped me learn to live. Story was in no way an evasion of life, but a way of living life creatively instead of fearfully.”
I reread Madeleine L’Engle’s book Walking on Water at least once a year. Her graceful encouragements are breathtaking, and somehow I always manage to reread it at the exact moment I need a little something extra.
Life is ugly sometimes. It’s imperfect. Broken. Screwed up. Sometimes, everything can seem one way and be completely another. Sometimes, everything you can believe can get stripped away piece by piece until there really isn’t very much to hold onto anymore. You and me forever, right? Until it’s not. I’ll always be here for you. Until they can’t be. He will always be safe. You will grow old together. Until you move thousands of miles apart from each other. Make thousands of right choices, and no matter what, you will land on your feet. Until a hundred right choices down the road, something still goes off the rails and your choices are taken away from you.
With every blog I’ve had, I’ve tried very hard to create full, entirely thought-out posts. I like answers. Everyone likes answers, so I’ve always tried to put them into my more in-depth, personal blogs. But there’s something that feels slightly disingenuous there. The truth is, I don’t always have the answers, and I think it’s been holding me back as I’ve written. Sometimes, part of the process of sorting out the ups and downs and sideways of life is just writing it all out, letting the chips fall there they may, and ending with a massive question mark. Life is a beautiful thing, and I think questions make it all the more rich and full. I don’t always know exactly what to say.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts, from all the far-flung places where you’re reading my words. You are not alone. We are not alone. The journey was always meant to be lived together.
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