“It’s like the old riddle: What’s the difference between you and God? God never thinks he’s you.” (35-36)
remember when this was controversial? burning crosses, cavorting with a black jesus…
then there was this…
funny how our boundaries are pushed, and how they change in context. i had a conversation with evan about comic books as morality plays (i think the latest uber-religious incarnation of superman had just come out). i also experienced a specific act of kindness whilst reading this book-a man whistled to a bus to stop it because he saw me running for it-thanks, mister.
“The willingness to do such a childish thing comes from the pain of not being able to let go of something. The willingness comes from finding yourself half mad with obsession. We learn through pain that some of the things we thought were castles turned out to be prisons, and we desperately want out, but even though we built them, we can’t find the door.” (36-37)
“Me and life are spectacularly flawed and complex. Often we do not get our own way, which I hate, hate, hate. But in my saner moments I remember that if we did, usually we would shortchange ourselves. Sometimes circumstances conspire to remind us or even let us glimpse how thin the membrane is between here and there, between birth and the grave, between the human and the divine. In wonder at the occasional direct experience of this, we say, thank you.” (45)
“You breathe in gratitude, and you breathe it out, too. Once you learn how to do that, then you can bear someone who is unbearable.” (60)
the most beauty-full idea i took from this book was the god box. the idea that you acknowledge that you cannot control god’s will (or you’re not even sure that god is real) but you can ask for help anyway. you can write down an area of your life that you need some help with, put it in a box, and step away. i can attest to the fact that this is working and has worked for at least two things. the word that’s currently in my god box is exactly the shift that’s happening within me as we speak.
“Wonder takes our breath away, and makes room for new breath.” (81)
word is bond.