“Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you,” he said.

I was doubly cursed then because I cursed myself. I made enemies of my father and brother. I became a fugitive. Twenty years I slaved for Laban. I lost my beloved on the road to Ephrath.

The blessing was more terrible still.

When the camel you’re riding runs wild, nothing will stop it. You cling to its neck. You wrench at its beard and long lip. You cry into its soft ear for mercy. You threaten vengeance. Either you hurl yourself to death from its pitching back or you ride out its madness to the end.

It was not I who ran off with my father’s blessing. It was my father’s blessing that ran off with me. Often since then I have cried mercy with the sand in my teeth. I have cried ikh-kh-kh to make it fall with a sob to its ungainly knees to let me dismount at last. Its hind parts are crusted with urine as it races forward. Its long-legged, hump-swaying gait is clumsy and scattered like rags in the wind. I bury my face in its musky pelt. The blessing will take me where it will take me. It is beautiful and it is appalling. It races through the barren hills to an end of its own.

from Frederick Buechner, The Son of Laughter
We were positively encouraged to create for ourselves minds we would want to live with. I had teachers articulate that to me: ‘You have to live with your mind your whole life.’ You build your mind, so make it into something you want to live with. Nobody has ever said anything more valuable to me.
But I’d already learned to respond to most challenges and catastrophes by saying not, “God is trying to tell me something,” like pain is a code, but, “There is a way to serve God in every situation.” Suffering can be offered up for others; it can change us, make us more humble or more loving; it’s an opportunity to trust in God; when the suffering is a result of societal crimes and “structural sin” it can be an opportunity to fight for justice. These are all ways of serving God through pain. I don’t know if it’s best to think of these acts as revealing the meaning which was always embedded by God in our suffering, or as imbuing our suffering with meaning by imbuing it with love.
I don’t remember working a lot, but I must have worked a lot. Because it was a good place to disappear to,” Tweedy said softly of making Sukierae, which commenced with Spencer before Susan got sick, and was inevitably affected in the aftermath. “This is the argument that I always feel like never gets as much traction as the ‘tortured artist’ argument, [which] is that artists actually have it a little easier because everybody fucking suffers but artists have something to do with it.
Christ’s wounds were in fact not healed. He’s got them now, in Heaven. He had them when He appeared to the disciples; they’re part of the imitation of Christ by the stigmatic saints. God heals some wounds. Others, He glorifies. He transforms them in some way we can’t necessarily imagine beforehand, just as we can’t quite imagine what it will mean for our flesh to be glorified in the Resurrection.
Eve Tushnet. This is an astonishing insight to me. (via giftsoutright)
Farrer described Lewis as ‘the most successful theological apologist our days have seen.’ He was of the view that Lewis’s imaginative and rational powers were ‘so fruitfully and so mutually engaged’ and that it was ‘this intellectual imagination’ which made the strength of his religious writings; ‘there lived in his writings a Christian universe that could be both thought and felt, in which he was at home and in which he made his reader at home.’ Despite this mutual engagement, Farrer submits that Lewis’s imaginative side was his stronger suit: ‘his real power was not proof, it was depiction’ and he wrote of The Problem of Pain that, though ‘we think we are listening to an argument, in fact we are presented with a vision; and it is the vision that carries conviction.’