The Noble Pun

It’s about freeing our imagination to leap from one idea to the next to the next, even when those leaps seem illogical or impossible. And it is precisely that capacity to link wildly disparate ideas that enabled people, through thousands of generations of trial and error, to move from cave to skyscraper to space station, and from drum to telegraph to iPhone.

In a way, the pun was humanity’s first hyperlink, a way to identify and articulate potential connections that aren’t necessarily or immediately apparent. Punning was and remains a way to sling a verbal rope, in an instant, across vast conceptual canyons. It is this same urge to imagine, explore and establish new connections that fuels creativity generally, and science specifically. Not that puns are a substitute for reason, but neither is reason a substitute for imagination. If imagination didn’t exist, what cause would reason have to set out on a given journey, to prove or disprove a given proposition? Puns reveal a mind free to roam frontiers of possibility, without shame or fear of being wrong.

— John Pollack, The Son Also Rises, p. 143

Walking Beside

Walking beside others is what we are here to do. That’s why others have gathered. But walking side by side is far different than pushing our specific direction on someone else. If our motive is to express joy about another’s journey, allowing her or him to have what fits for them, we are fulfilling God’s will for us. If, instead, we are directing traffic, we have usurped God’s role in their lives, and it’s time to back off.

— Karen Casey, Let Go Now, p. 77


Something always comes to fill the empty places. And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me. This, this, makes me full, and I “magnify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30 KJV), and God enters the world. What will a life magnify? The world’s stress cracks, the grubbiness of the day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted? Or God? Never is God’s omnipotence and omniscience diminutive. God is not in need of magnifying by us so small, but the reverse. It’s our lives that are little and we have falsely inflated self, and in thanks we decrease and the world returns right. I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot.

This, I think, this is the other side of prayer.

This act of naming grace moments, this list of God’s gifts, moves beyond the shopping list variety of prayer and into the other side. The other side of prayer, the interior of His throne room, the inner walls of His powerful, love-beating heart. The list is God’s list, the pulse of His love — the love that thrums on the other side of our prayers. And I see it now for what this really is, this dare to write down one thousand things I love. It really is a dare to name all the ways God loves me. The true Love Dare. To move into His presence and listen to His love unending and know the grace uncontainable. This is the vault of the miracles. The only thing that can change us, the world, is this — all His love. I must never be deceived by the simplicity of eucharisteo and penning His love list. Cheese. Sun. Journal. Naming. Love. Here. It all feels startlingly hallowed, and I breathe shallow. I should take the shoes off.

— Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p. 59-60

Why Jesus Came

The Lord cared for no speculation in morals or religion. It was good people he cared about, not notions of good things, or even good actions except as the outcome of life, except as the bodies in which the primary live actions of love and will in the soul took shape and came forth.

Could he by one word have set to rest all the questionings of all the world’s philosophies as to the supreme good and the absolute truth, I venture to say that he would not have uttered that word. He would make no attempt to convince men mentally concerning the truth.

But he would die to make men good and true.

— George MacDonald, Knowing the Heart of God, p. 225

God’s View

When things feel certain, it is easy to believe — and sometimes things feel certain. Sometimes we are given the knowledge of more than a day at a time. We get a quick glimpse of the overview, of where we are being led and why. We see what God is doing with us. We get a glimpse of how it is we are being made larger and better. We even agree with God’s methods. Sometimes this happens, not often, and when it does, it is a blessing. When we get a glimpse of God’s will for us, we are often filled with gratitude. We are being made something with beauty and dignity. We are being made more than we dreamed of. We see ourselves as a part of the greater whole, and it is magnificent. God’s will has both ingenuity and grandeur to it.

If we could just see where God is leading us, we would all cooperate more of the time. All of us like to be made something larger and better, and we are willing, when we see what is larger and better, to go along with the temporary discomfort we may feel as our growing pains. The problem is that we so often cannot see where God is taking us. We hold such a small part of the larger picture. We do not see how our temporary discomfort is leading us to anything worthwhile. Feeling uncomfortable, we blame God. We feel abandoned and trifled with. We do not trust that God has us in his care and that in that phrase care is the operative word.

Be Joyful!

Joy is our goal, our destiny. We cannot know who we are except in joy. Not knowing joy, we do not know ourselves. When we are without joy, we grope in the dark. When we are centered in joy, we attain our wisdom. A joyful woman, by merely being, says it all. The world is terrified of joyful women. Make a stand. Be one anyway.

— Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth, p. 46

Feelings and Truth

If you say to me, “I do not feel God, and I do not feel excited about my faith,” I’d ask you if you are immersing yourself in his truth. Is it living water to your soul?…

I think it’s interesting that, in the Bible, God doesn’t tell us how to feel without telling us what truth to believe. He gives us the context in which to feel our emotions….

When there is a command to be joyful, have hope, or love one another, there is also a corresponding truth. Jesus taught that putting his truth at the center of our lives is what will bring lasting freedom and joy to our souls. “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”

— Matthew Elliott, Feel, p. 143,145