His Best for You

The love of the Father is a radiant perfection. Love and not self-love is Lord of the universe. Justice demands your punishment, because it demands that your Father should do his best for you. God, being the God of justice – that is of fair play – and having made us what we are (apt to fall and capable of being raised again) is himself bound to punish in order to deliver us.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “Justice,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 262

Alive Indeed

The soul in harmony with his Maker has more life, a larger being, than the soul consumed with cares. The sage has a larger life than the clown. The poet is more alive than the man whose life flows out that money may come in. The man who loves his fellow is infinitely more alive than he whose endeavor is to exalt himself above his neighbor. The man who strives to be better in his being is more alive than he who longs for the praise of many.

But the man to whom God is all in all, who feels his life roots hid with Christ in God, who knows himself the inheritor of all wealth and worlds and ages, yes, of power essential and in itself, that man has begun to be alive indeed.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Series Two, “Life,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, p. 21


There is a difference between curing and healing, and I believe the church is called to the slow and difficult work of healing. We are called to enter into one another’s pain, anoint it as holy, and stick around no matter the outcome….

The thing about healing, as opposed to curing, is that it is relational. It takes time. It is inefficient, like a meandering river. Rarely does healing follow a straight or well-lit path. Rarely does it conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner. Walking with someone through grief, or through the process of reconciliation, requires patience, presence, and a willingness to wander, to take the scenic route.

— Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday, p. 208

Hope is a function of struggle.

I used to struggle with letting go and allowing my children to find their own way, but something that I learned in the research dramatically changed my perspective and I no longer see rescuing and intervening as unhelpful, I now think about it as dangerous. Don’t get me wrong — I still struggle and I still step in when I shouldn’t, but I now think twice before I let my discomfort dictate my behaviors. Here’s why: Hope is a function of struggle. If we want our children to develop high levels of hopefulness, we have to let them struggle. And let me tell you, next to love and belonging, I’m not sure I want anything more for my kids than a deep sense of hopefulness.

— Brené Brown, Daring Greatly


I believe we are creations of the Great Creator and that we are intended to be creative ourselves. I believe that when we humbly cooperate by making something every day, we are making something also out of ourselves, and it is a something that God intends for us — souls joyous and effective, active and self-actualized.

— Julia Cameron, The Sound of Paper, p. 123

Reading Aloud

Beginners are more likely to choose to do an activity when they are successful at it and when they get pleasure from participation in the activity right from the start. This is why reading aloud is such a winning strategy in the making of readers. The novice reader experiences the pleasure of stories in a risk-free environment where it is impossible to fail or appear incompetent.

— Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie, and Paulette M. Rothbauer, Reading Matters, p. 45

Positive Language

I have already elaborated on the danger of living in the consciousness of woundology. Although there is no harm in expressing to another the pain and fear that illness brings into your life, you want to avoid falling into the pit of constantly “speaking pain.”

Toward that end, create a new vocabulary for yourself that describes your condition in optimistic, healing, or spiritual terms. . . . One person I met referred to her illness as “a friend who has come to teach me great truths.” . . . Once healed, she actually held a ritual saying farewell to her friend — a fine antidote to lingering woundology that more people should try.

The purpose of creating a positive vocabulary for your situation is to assist you in “outgrowing your illness.” You want to feel that you are larger and more powerful than the disease present in your body. You want to remind yourself constantly that you have numerous healthy resources in your body upon which you can rely to come to your assistance — you have love, you have hope, you have faith. These are powerful allies. . . .

Write of all the wonderful experiences you have had in your life. Don’t look for only the sad moments that could have contributed to your illness or life challenge. The positive times contribute to your health — use them. Write about the loving relationships you have now and have had in the past. Remember the fun times. Fill yourself with memories of times that made you feel in love with your life and grateful to be alive.

— Caroline Myss, PhD, Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can, p. 189-190