Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.
If someone comes to you asking for help, do not say in refusal, “Trust in God. God will help you.” Rather, act as if there is no God, and no one to help except you.
A thing is right when it supports the stability, integrity, and beauty of the community of life.
. . . who were the mad and who the sane? . . . People sold themselves for jobs, for the paycheck, and if they only received a high enough price, they were honored. If their cheating, their theft, their lies were of colossal proportions, they met with praise, not blame.
If the soul could have known God without the world, the world would never have been created.
Utopianism is a necessity of the moral imagination. It doesn’t necessarily entail a particular politics; it doesn’t ensure wisdom about current affairs. What it does provide is a guiding perspective, a belief or hope for the future, an understanding that nothing is more mistaken than the common notion that what exists today will continue to exist tomorrow. . . . It is a claim for the value of desire, the practicality of yearning — as against the deadness of acquiescing in the “given” simply because it is here.
Everything we feel is made of time. All the beauties of life are shaped by it.
Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. Does the path have a heart? The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point, very few men can stop to deliberate and leave the path.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.
Art is prayer — not the vulgarized notations handed down to us in the scriptures, but a fresh vital discovery of one’s own special presence in the world. Marc Chagall was once asked if he attended a synagogue; he answered that his work is prayer.
Opening the window, I open myself.
How easy it is to misunderstand. How innocently we find ourselves believing that our pain and loneliness are something other than a version of a deep longing to know and to feel God’s presence within. . . . When we finally know our problems to be prayers and are willing to look away from distraction, then we will know from within the presence of One who cares.
It is a long baptism into the seas of humankind, my daughter. Better immersion than to live untouched.
The world is quite right. It does not have to be consistent.
When Georgia Lloyd-Jones and her family were dashing about their leaking living room with pots and pans during a downpour in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she made a wry observation about the house her husband’s cousin, Frank Lloyd Wright, had designed for them. “Well,” she said, “this is what we get for leaving a work of art out in the rain.” Her less equable husband called his architect long distance. “Damn it, Frank,” he shouted, “it’s leaking on my desk!” Wright calmly replied, “Richard, why don’t you move your desk?”