Love With Skin On

We are being shepherded beyond our fears and needs to becoming our actual selves. This sucks and hurts some days, and I frequently do not want it or agree to it. But it persists, like water wearing through a boulder in the river. Hope springs from realizing we are loved, can love, and are love with skin on. Then we are unstoppable.

— Anne Lamott, Dusk Night Dawn, p. 190-191

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 30, 2021

Dreams

Dreaming — impractical, foolish, impossible dreaming — gave us the very real civil rights movement. Dreaming gave us a South Africa freed from apartheid. Dreaming, as I see it, has saved me and many others from turning to despair and destruction in the darkest days, when evil seems to be winning. Dreams are love’s visions — the boundless faith that the world can be remade to look more like what God hoped for his creation.

— Bishop Michael Curry, Love Is the Way, p. 73

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, December 26, 2014

New and Improved

Revise the story you tell yourself about starting over. Consider not only how terrifying change can be but also how exhilarating. Consider this time an opportunity to make a new and improved life.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 12

Photo: American Library Association Annual Conference, Washington DC, June 22, 2019

The Holy City

God’s beloved city in Revelation 21-22 is not primarily a vision for after we die, or for after Jesus returns. It is rather a vision that can transform the way we live out God’s reign in the world today. It is a vision of the healing leaves that God wants to lay on every broken heart, on every war-torn landscape. It is a vision of Lamb power in the world. And we are part of that vision. Once we have seen the new creation, the joy of that experience must inform everything we do.

— Barbara R. Rossing, The Rapture Exposed, p. 164

Photo: Potzbach, Germany, April 1997

Eschatology and Theology

There is no more important question in Christian theology today than coming to terms with the doctrine of hell. While that may seem like a bit of an overstatement, regardless of what is said and preached about God being merciful and loving, if the doctrine of hell is not brought into the affirmation in a truly integrated way, then it will leave people wondering if God really is merciful and loving. If we cannot preach and teach about hell in a way that is coherent with the biblical affirmation that God is love, then the lingering image of a vengeful and angry God will get in the way of our proclamation. Here is what I have discovered: Our vision of how things will end is actually what determines what we really think about who God is and what God is like. To put it in words that would make my seminary professors proud, our eschatology determines our theology. This means our exploration of hell is actually nothing less than an exploration into the very heart and character of God.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 29

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]