Loving Others

The Weight of Glory

Man with backpack walking along a path in a beautiful landscape

An Excerpt from “The Weight of Glory” by C.S. Lewis: If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestionRead more

On platitudes

Embroidery

Grace for the one who hurts: Platitudes are ubiquitous. You know what I mean. I’m talking about the things that people commonly say when faced with someone who is suffering. They roll off the tongue. Phrases like, “This too shall pass,” “Everything happens for a reason,” and “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Most of us feel a certain distaste for platitudes, and for good reason. When we’re hurting (whether physically or emotionally), we long for thoseRead more

Fairies in the garden, elves on the bookcase

Fairy statue seated on moss

We’ve all been there: Have you ever been through a rough patch and longed to read something that would speak hope into your life? Or have you ever tried to support a hurting friend, wanting to offer some reading material that would serve that same purpose? Perhaps you’ve longed for a way to speak peace and comfort into your friend’s life, but feared seeming presumptuous or saying the wrong thing. Or, if you’re like me, you’ve considered about ten heavyRead more

Sheep bite

Funny sheep

“Good Shepherd, you have a wild and crazy sheep in love with thorns and brambles. But please don’t get tired of looking for me! I know you won’t. For you have found me. All I have to do is stay found.” – Thomas Merton +++ A diverse flock The first parish I worked in was a suburban Evangelical church, with wide-ranging demographics. There was a very prim woman who expected me to measure the distance between hymnals in the pewsRead more

Caterpillar / Sparrow

Sparrow

Incompatible worldviews: Ayn Rand, in her famous novel The Fountainhead, wrote that compassion “is what one feels when one looks at a squashed caterpillar.” Compassion, in Rand’s view, was neither virtuous nor commendable. Instead she believed that the squashed caterpillar should inspire contempt and nothing more. Certainly no free rational being ought to feel any obligation to help such a pitiful life form. I confess I read a lot of Ayn Rand at an impressionable age. I admired the clarityRead more

Love like this

Mother kissing child

A harsh reality: Unconditional love often seems like an alien phenomenon in our world. In the last week alone I heard about three acquaintances whose marriages have ended, in each case because one partner decided he or she no longer wanted to be with the other. In our cultural climate, almost any reason is viewed as a legitimate one for breaking vows and walking away. This kind of conditional love is the norm we live with. It permeates the storiesRead more