Oh the purity that hushes the sharp corners
and gracefully bends irregularity;
birthing the transformation of
the ugliest of character.

I see the usual grumbling oak across the way
and the arthritic brown walnut tree,
their arms are now fallen at their sides,
heavy heads bowed low in somber
white reverence to the sky.



Without any rhyme
without any reason
my heart lifts to light
in this bleak season.

Believer and wanderer
caught by salvation
stumbler and blunderer
into Creation

In this cold blight
where marrow is frozen
it is God's time
my heart has chosen

In paradox and story
parable and laughter
find I the glory
here in hereafter.

-L 'Engle


"I mean, what is an un-birthday present?"
"A present given when it isn't your birthday, of course."
Alice considered a little.
"I like birthday presents best," she said at last.

"You don't know what you're talking about!" cried Humpty Dumpty.
"How many days are there in a year?"

"Three hundred and sixty-five," said Alice.
"And how many birthdays have you?"


[Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland]


The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians- when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. But, though it is just to condemn some Christians for these things, perhaps, after all, it is not just, though very easy, to condemn Christianity itself for them. Indeed, there are impressive indications that the positive quality of joy is in Christianity- and possibly nowhere else.

-Sheldon Vanauken,
A Severe Mercy