“In a world where significance and identity are earned by what we do, by what we have accomplished, by what we own, by what we earn, and where Christmas is about the lines we fought, the lists we finished, the gifts we were able to secure, the kingdom of God arrives scandalously, jarringly–even offensively–into our captive and content lives. In this kingdom, a person’s value begins before she had said or done the right things, before he had accumulated the right lifestyle, or even made the right lists. In this kingdom, God not only uses children in the story of salvation, not only calls us to embrace the kingdom as little children, but so the very God of creation steps into the world as a child.”–Jill Carattini
Remember, my dear, to unfurrow your brow at least more
than half the time, that for all the liberties we fight for
in this world that we insist ought to be just, we should not
forget the right to refuse the oppressive accusation of anxiety.
Let the doggone proverbial other shoe drop wherever it may,
but for heaven’s sake let us not hinder the peace that passes
understanding from descending like a deluge where it will.
Remember, my dear, the children so carefree they might as
well be living in another world. Remember how we were
children once, more in touch with our preciousness and yet
never hounded by the compulsion, like a dictator, to retain the
status by our performances and endless, vicious, unspoken
comparisons. Who knows when we will become children again?
Remember that vengeance is not ours, and yet still that
those who succeed in injustice will not persist, and those who
persist in it will not succeed. That though we work our
butts off precariously toeing the line between drudgery and
insanity, somewhere beyond the horizon is a home cozier
than even a hobbit’s in the Shire.
Somewhere farther than we know (but for all we know,
in a sense closer than our own heartbeats), there is a rest
beneath the rest.
Remember, my dear, that at the center of the universe,
no matter how hidden it may be—obscured by our unholy
strivings or numbed by our cherished scars—is a face
acquainted with our troubles, but wearing not a frown
nor a smirk but a smile.
(March 2016, pace Frederick Buechner, Tim Keller, & Loren Eisely)