Rebecca K. Reynolds

Honest Company for the Journey

A Bit of Housekeeping: a Side Note on Comments

This won't be a long post, just a little housekeeping. :)

 

Today I realized that I need to let my readers know that I keep a filter on comments here, and that I plan to do so for as long as I blog. There are many places on the internet where people call each other names and try to hurt others with their words, but my blog isn't going to be one of those.

 

While a hearty discussion between people of different belief systems can be profoundly beneficial, abusive firestorms begin when verbal hostility takes over, and these accomplish nothing but the purposes of hell.

 

My blog is a place to talk about ideas and seek Jesus. It's not a free-for-all where strangers are allowed to be mean to strangers. I never mind disagreement, but all comments that you offer to other readers must be civil, patient, and kind or else I won't push them through to the public eye.

 

Basically, I don't allow anything said here that I wouldn't allow to be said over my dinner table. If my children were sitting in a room while an adult was flying off the handle, I would ask that adult to leave my home. I'm applying that policy to my blog as well.

 

If you disagree with me or someone else and want to talk about an issue publicly here, take some time to do the following before commenting.

 

  1. Ask a humble and sincere question for clarification before making angry assumptions. 
  2. Remove all name calling, insults, and unfair associations in your post. Stick with the issue instead of trying to hurt people.

If you just need to vent at me,  you can do that. But when I can tell a reader is letting his/her temper lead, flying off the handle unfairly, I usually just read a sentence or two and then mark the post as "spam" without finishing it. That sort of label means all future messages from that IP address go directly to the trash, and I won't even see them.
 
Hateful comments make me feel empathy about the trauma or relational lack that leads a person to adopt a hostile style of communication, but they don't hurt me. They evoke mercy, but they are too pitiful to actually sting. At least they haven't yet.

Thankfully we live in a free country where aggressive and rude folks have other venues for their anger. I'm just not going to host them here.

This post doesn't apply to 99% of you. Of the tens of thousands of hits I got on a post this week, I only had two rude comments attempt to make it through. That's pretty stunning, if you think about it. But it's still loving to define some ground rules for a community now and then, and these are the rules for Thistle and Toad.

Oh, one more thing. I sometimes hold off on comments that make claims about public figures. That's not because the writers are trying to be rude but because I need some sort of validation before helping spread information that might hurt someone else's reputation. If you have something in such a category to share, please just provide external reference material that allows me to validate your claim.

Alright, gotta get back to some things here. I'll be back in I Corinthians tomorrow!

Take care,

Becca

How to Be a Better Atheist: What to Understand if You Want to Be More Effective in Rejecting Christianity

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Lately I’ve seen too many people rejecting Christianity the wrong way. I understand why these folks are confused. The name “Christian” has come to represent a lot of crazy stuff over the past 2,000 years.

 

But if you’re going to be an atheist, you might as well have a solid grip on what you are rejecting. So I’m going to try to make a few clarifications here to help the non-believing do that work with a little more precision.

 

First off, let's talk about what you’re not rejecting when you are rejecting Christianity:

 

1. You're not rejecting a political force.

 

A couple of decades ago, the Moral Majority/Christian Coalition decided to work with the GOP, and what’s grown from that alliance is now a sort of spiritual/political cyborg.

 

This evangelical political movement has borrowed a handful of elements from Christian morality, but the whole machine cares a lot more about gaining earthly power than it does about listening to your hard questions or talking to you about your faith. I mean, think about it. When was the last time someone fighting for political Christianity actually took an interest in your soul? It’s probably been a while, right? Now think about the last time you heard a “Christian” fight for laws, political platforms, and government benefits. Last week, probably.

 

I’m not saying that Christians can’t get involved in government. A responsible government is made of people of all belief systems. I am saying that a lot of what’s hitting the public eye as “Christian” has very little to do with the teachings of Jesus and a whole lot to do with an attempt to maintain cultural muscle.

 

2. You're not rejecting young earth creationism.

 

So in the 50’s and 60’s, America’s educational values changed because of the Space Race. We needed to beat the Russians to the moon, so American school shifted its priorities to produce better scientists.

 

There’s nothing wrong with emphasizing science—science is great. But it’s important to realize that a historical nationalistic/military shift impacted America’s epistemological values. A lot of us were taught the scientific method as kids--a method which is rooted in a philosophical system called empiricism. In other words, we were taught to trust our senses to tell us ultimate truth. And even though we never really thought about the decision we were making here, we went with the flow and accepted the fact that empiricism was the most reliable measure of truth because our nation needed students who could grow up to build bombs and rockets.

 

When Christians realized this shift in values was happening, they got nervous. They worried about losing credibility in a world in which empiricism was the trump card. So some Christians decided to try to engage with the new values of our time. They started attempting to find ways to make the Bible fit what was being said in the realms of science.

 

Some of this feels like an exercise in futility to me. If God has all the creative power, he could make an old earth look young or make a young earth look old. Besides, if he’s outside of time, the complex stuff that wows us quickly becomes a non-factor to him.

 

When you throw an understanding of how ancient Hebrew poetry works into that mix, and then add in two scoops of what modern physicists are finding about human inability to validate the material world, you end up with so much nuance, nobody on either side ends up standing on solid ground. I’ve yet to see a Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate that did anything more than serve as a pep rally for what everybody on either side wanted to hear from the get go. They never get to the first question, which is how to verify a system of truth from premise #1.

 

Some of the most thoughtful, orthodox Christians I know actually allow for an old earth creation model. I’m not saying those people are right or wrong, but am saying that Young Earth Creationists who claim, “If these chapters aren’t literal, nothing is literal,” are (in truth) making a claim for Young Earth Creationism. They aren’t making a claim for all of Christianity.

 

3. You're not rejecting the "Hurry and Get Saved So You Don’t Go To Hell!" bit

 

This point is complicated, and it involves quite a bit of church history that would likely bore you. But let me just say that in some of the revival movements, the great big package of “salvation” got compressed into Tweet-speak: “Trust Jesus, or go to hell.”

 

I think well-meaning Christians started some of this because they were trying to communicate what Jesus is offering in a few simple steps. But the problem is, people are lazy. A lot of folks don’t study. They don’t dig. They don’t take risks. The structure that was supposed to unpack into a lot of different angles ended up being presented as the ultimate deal. These "SparkNotes" of faith didn't just help people interpret the Bible, they took the place of it.

 

The reduction also morphed into some emotional manipulation that was strategic for making big congregations. While awe should exist in the presence of a transcendent, holy God--and while hell is something to fear---the fear that many pastors wield while trying to grow a church is a whole different entity. Earthly religious fear is more about controlling you than it is about helping you. Holy religious fear is about healing your wounds.

 

4. You're not rejecting a God who can kill anybody he wants, who oppresses women, and who encourages slavery.

 

I’ve seen many atheist sites that argue against these three points. They pick verses out of the Old Testament and claim to offer proof that God is an immoral, narcissistic, and bloodthirsty being. Then they cite the Crusades and try to connect the dots. They say that Christianity is dangerous and that anybody who loves a God like that either has Stockholm Syndrome or is content with being a Stepford disciple.

 

This topic is too complex to unpack in a tiny section of a single post. However, all those family members or acquaintances who have told you that you just have to accept all this stuff without questioning God because he’s perfect aren’t speaking for all of Christianity.

 

Scholars like C.S. Lewis had a lot of trouble with the brutality of the book of Joshua. Ivy League philosopher Greg Boyd spent eleven years studying the morality of the Old Testament. These guys didn’t accept easy answers, and they were honest about what they discovered as they explored.

 

There are so many ways Christians deal with some of these passages, and a lot of the best ways boil down to being responsible enough to interpret the Bible like we interpret other works of literature. We look at history. We look at authorship. We look at theme. We make the scholarly efforts we make to interpret every other piece of literature from Sophocles to Tennessee Williams.

 

One of the downsides to the elevation of science, and the subsequent treatment of the text by Young Earth Creationism, was the development of a harsh, humanistic, linear approach to Biblical interpretation. Those folks claim to life by faith, but they have embraced secular values for understanding a sacred book. I don't think they realize how proud that is, but the people who do this have actually limited their interpretative abilities instead of elevating them. And they have also violated some Biblical guidelines for finding truth in the process.

 

Since I’ve already named some of the errors of Christians, I hope you will let me also say that numerous citations on atheist sites do not interpret Scripture responsibly. So many snarky remarks from non-believers have more style than substance because atheist authors tend to miss what was actually being said in the Scripture.

 

Again, there’s not room to deal with this whole point here, but just know that a lot of people are popping off at the mouth about this stuff without having done the academic work needed to make a solid claim. When you find people who have done the work, a lot of times, their answers are much more substantial.

 

SO...IF YOU REALLY WANT TO REJECT CHRISTIANITY.

 

If you reject any of those main points above, you aren’t actually rejecting Christianity. You may be rejecting political, cultural, and financial forces that are attempting to use the gospel for an earthly end, but you aren't rejecting the true gospel.

 

If you want to reject Christianity, you’ve got to go beyond all that. To be a proper atheist, you must reject the heart of the faith, which is this:

 

Once upon a time, there was a God who made a material realm which fit inside of a more complex, metaphysical realm.

 

The smaller, material realm had boundaries (like dimensions and time), and God gave humans (and other creatures) the ability to sense those boundaries.

 

He also gave humans a unique perceptive ability to connect with Him that reached beyond the material. This ability is called "the spirit." Lots of animals have bodies, and consciousness (souls)-- I think some even have feelings--but humans are the only creatures that have the ability to connect directly in the spirit with their Creator.

 

Humans were also made uniquely creative, not just with problem-solving skills or tool-making skills, but with an aesthetic sense and the ability to innovate. We can call this ability the "imago Dei," or being made "in the image of God." Modern lingo? MiniMe.

 

Relationships are important to God because he exists in community with himself. The concept of the Trinity is kind of hard to understand, but I think it boils down to relationship between three persons that is so synchronized, all three beings operate as one.

 

Maybe a metaphor of the creative process will make that more clear.

 

When an artist comes up with an IDEA for a project, she then applies her ENERGY to that creation. When she is done creating, there is a connective POWER that binds her audience to the work she has made. So, an IDEA works out through ENERGY to result in connective POWER (Sayers).

 

Likewise, the Trinity has an invisible directing IDEA (the Father). The ENERGETIC outworking of the idea in the physical realm is the Son (Jesus). And the connective POWER between humans and the godhead is the Holy Spirit. Like a single piece of artwork that is unified in beauty but contains different elements of process, the Godhead is both one and three.

 

God wanted humans to join in that union. So, we were established on earth with a spiritual capacity that would allow us to create with him and live in his love. (Some of the first commands of God to humans were encouragements to be creative, you know.) But nobody can be creative while being a lemming. So, God made us free to either choose that artistic union or reject it.

 

The story of Eve talks about how humanity made a choice long ago that it still makes today. We decided that we wanted to be like God without really being dependent upon God.

 

I think all of us have wanted to be god-like without being subject to God's authority or his resources. We are like teenagers who want to be left alone to try things our way. But in our liberty, we tried to break free, and we tore a great big hole in everything.

 

A piece of art doesn't thrive without its creator. If a painting in process could yank away from its painter, deciding to try to make itself beautiful, it would look terrible. And in a similar manner, the original vision for what humans were supposed to be and do was lost.

 

God saw we had chosen to be fiercely independent. He heard our stubborn insistence that we didn’t need any help. But he also knew that we couldn't get out of this hole we were digging by ourselves. So he sent Jesus from the meta-dimensions, compressing him into our human boundaries of space and time.

 

In this tangible, physical form, Jesus took all of the separation we had created into Himself. He did that so he could patch the break up and make a bridge that led us back into relational and spiritual communion with him, the Father, and the Spirit.

 

Why did He do that? Because he knows it’s hell to be solo. He knew this hell of autonomy could last forever, and grow deeper, and darker, and become more lonely without some intervention. And he knew that even though it would hurt, he could help us live and thrive instead of going deeper and deeper into isolation.

 

It's hard for us to see this, because humans have been trying to make our own autonomy work forever--which means it's still our default. We don't hear our independence any easier than we hear the accents we learned as kids.

 

We notice when humans get surges of brilliance here and there. And we learn to love the thrill of our own roar. We notice that it feels good to say things like, "I am god!" and "I am master of my destiny."

 

But down inside us, there’s still a restless, a homesickness, a sense of loss—and that loss comes from being torn away from the heart of the creator who made us to connect with him.

 

When we refuse that creator, we’re going to feel a couple of things. First, we will feel proud, like we've got this and don't need help. Declarations of self-sufficiency cause an adrenaline rush, right? It's hard to give up that thrill.

 

But eventually, many of us will begin to feel lost and empty, like something is missing. And that emptiness can last for eternity if we remain unwilling to be vulnerable to the God we need. He won't dominate us. He will let us resist him until we harden into a forever-hell of “I’ll do this myself.” But that's not what he wants for us, because we were created for artistic community.

 

The next part of what I'm about to write is something you won't hear from a lot of people who call themselves Christians. I don't know why the rest of the story is hardly ever mentioned in Christian dialogue because it's all over the New Testament. It's hard to read a single book of Paul's without finding this concept. But for some reason, a lot of preachers and teachers don't talk about it much.

 

The whole machine of faith doesn’t stop with a single moment of saying, “Okay, save me." Sure, that's only the starting point, but there’s an awful lot that is supposed to happen after people are born into a new life in Jesus.

 

The New Testament tells us how to finish out the years we have on this planet, plugged in to a God who actually comes to live inside us. This new way of living is not about trying to be moral. It’s not about following a bunch of rules. It’s about letting go of effort and independence and learning to lean into a connection that is free, resource-rich, and beautiful.

 

You’ve seen those television shows where people who have been single for 40 years finally get married and struggle with sharing the toothpaste. Well, after years of living independently, it’s a whole new dynamic for Christians to learn community with a God who lives inside them. A lot of Christians never really explore what that means, so they continue to try to do everything on their own, using shame and guilt as motivators, and leaning on the same old broken methods of self-control and determination that they used when they were secular.

 

This is why so much of what is called Christianity is messed up. A laser focus on only keeping as many souls out of hell as possible has resulted in failure to implement what is actually supposed to happen after salvation. So many Christians think there’s not much more to do after walking an aisle and praying a prayer, so they fumble around post baptism trying to accomplish personal and social change, and they goof a lot of stuff up along the way.

 

But when Jesus comes to live inside a person, new resources for a new life are there.

 

People who were impatient have tools to be patient. People who were selfish have tools to be kind. People who were resentful have tools to be forgiving. Like a kid learning to drive a high-powered vehicle, we have to learn to use those tools, and that knowledge takes time. But resources for living in a new way show up once we are connected with Jesus. At conversation, we at least get the keys to the car.

 

The letters of the New Testament spend a ton of time talking about how when our identity changes with faith. Paul tells us that we don’t have to struggle and strain to be good like we used to; we just need to learn to depend on the gifts of a God who loves working with us, and who is helping us become beautiful like he is.

 

And by the way, we don’t lose our old personalities here. We fill them out until they are winsome and generous. In other words, we begin to look like a painting that has finally turned itself over to an artist who knows what he’s doing.

 

If you’ve never heard of a Christianity that looks anything like this, write me. We can get away from all the politics and arguing and take apart a book of the Bible like Galatians or Ephesians. Or we can look at John’s gospel and see what sort of descriptions he has for us. It’s possible that you might learn things about the faith that most people who call themselves Christians don’t see because they are distracted and confused.

 

In the end, you might still reject Christianity. But if you do, you will be rejecting the true heart of it, not distorted imitations. And you will have rejected it at the source, after having done some primary research, instead of floating along with sloppy, self-serving interpretations. I think this sort of clarity tends to be a good idea, no matter where we stand on the issue.

For the Love of Foyle: The Most Important Television Program Conservative America Can Watch in 2017

 For me, there's no close second. Far and above every other television show that I have ever loved stands Anthony Horowitz's Foyle's War.



Until watching this program, I never understood what fans meant when they said, "This is my show." I'm not a fan of TV in general, so it always felt a little silly to hear someone connect his or her identity with a weekly program.



I now stand corrected. Foyle's War is the show of my heart. I hold these episodes with a similar loyalty to the writings of C.S. Lewis, Chesterton, Shakespeare, Flannery O'Connor, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.



The setting is WWII, in Hastings--a town on England's southeast coast. Michael Kitchen plays the Detective Chief Superintendent, a police officer who is attempting to fight back small town crime in the shadow of a massive global war.



While each episode unpacks a murder mystery, so much more happens simultaneously as well. Like the best mystery stories of Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, Horowitz uses the genre to address human nature in all of its potential wonders and flaws. Essential questions of ethics are addressed in such a way that we learn both the risks and the nuances of living uprightly in a broken world.



Week after week, Foyle shows us that it is both dangerous and vital to maintain personal integrity, and he does this in a way that is so winsome that even a rebel like me wants to make good choices at the end of every episode. As a protagonist, Foyle is shrewd without being proud. He is thoughtful, discerning, kind, brave, and principled. He is willing to stand against corruption that has infected his peers, even when he is threatened. He stares down "for the greater good" arguments, knowing that not all ends justify all means.



Beyond all this, the show is beautiful without sacrificing honesty. The East Sussex countryside is glorious, and yet scenes of bombings and battles show us the trauma of wartime. And as a viewer moves slowly from the opening episode through the last season, the reality of WWII, and the sacrifices made by thousands of families become moving realities.


When I grow weary of the state of the world, discouraged about attempting to hold to what is right and good, I often sit with an episode of Foyle's War. This show reorients my vision, reminding me that it's okay to feel alone in corrupt times. It reminds me to hold fast and to love what is lovely and true, though all the world goes mad around me.



If you have never watched this show, start with the pilot episode: "The German Woman." (Because Foyle progresses through history and plot development episode to episode, chronological viewing matters here.) I think this series is the most important show conservative America could be watching right now. It's stellar viewing for your older kids. It will likely be medicine for your heart as well.


http://www.thistleandtoad.com/wwwthistleandtoadcom/writings/2017/4/6/for-the-love-of-foyle-the-most-important-television-program-conservative-america-can-watch-in-2017

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A Story Told Through a Toothless Grin

Look round you and see how the world is full-bellied, flushed, and pregnant.

Four fetal feet kick within her, for she is great with twins-- two primitive beauties, not tame wonders ruined by convention, instead Holst and Wagner who crash and thrum, with order enough to make you thirsty and with danger enough to keep you wide awake.

Photo Credit : Nate Powers, Morguefile

Photo Credit : Nate Powers, Morguefile

 

If you are brave enough to walk in the woods at the edge of spring, or courageous enough to walk along the foaming lips of the sea as a storm rolls in, you will find that all that is natural and unsullied by human hands speaks a language you've nearly forgotten.

All that has been left alone resounds, and her songs make you ache, and this is embarrassing and uncomfortable for you with all of your school of hard knocks graduate degrees, so you don't talk about it much.

But of all that is wrong in the world, is right also to ache, for this world was created to be read like a child reads.

Photo Credit : Madlyn, Morguefile

Photo Credit : Madlyn, Morguefile

 

Once you start to hear what she has to tell you, it will pass also before your eyes like a flicker of light, and you wonder if you have really seen anything at all. Then once you admit what has come to you, once you relax into all the possibilities that M-theory, and molecular biology, and Degas, and Pascal, and Vaughan-Williams strain to promise, you will have to shove your fingers way, way down into your ear canal to deny what is impossible to deny but difficult to believe.

Because here is a love song sung in an age of lost love, see? But do not sing it. Do not sing it! You dare not hold this melody inside you because it is too much for the frail wineskins of your mortal heart. It will burst you clean.

But if you will not run, I will tell you a story that goes like this... long, long ago the most eloquent of all poets, the most expressive of all musicians, the most nuanced painter of gold light upon blue shadows decided to create a new work of art.

This Creator decided to mold dimensions with his own hands, length, width, depth, time -- and work upon this canvas a creative being that He could love and enjoy forever and ever.

Like a papa creating a playroom for his own, the Creator designed a studio--an entire planet full of pigments, marble, wood, metals, jewels, and every element that could be harnessed to make more beauty still. He planted inspiration all round and about to teach lessons of form and balance, plants, and animals, and stars--a world full of textures, and stories, and lessons packed with inspiration.

Photo Credit : Rollingroscoe, Morguefile

Photo Credit : Rollingroscoe, Morguefile

 

But the Creator knew that an artist cannot be an artist without autonomy. Autonomy allows an artist to make new ideas come to life, and so the Creator took a great risk. He decided to give his created being freedom--freedom to love him or to reject him. Freedom to abide by beauty or to turn away from it.

He got down to the business of making his beloved, formed the animal body of the created, then knelt to place his own mouth around the nostrils of his new man. He exhaled His own sweet soul-life into his creature's lungs, and at that moment, his new man fluttered and quickened and became more than an animal--he became imago Dei--a being made in his Maker's own image.

And oh, this creative creature was stunning. As he stretched out his bare arms into the light of the star his Creator had made, as he opened and closed fingers nimble enough to play Kabalevsky or do a surgeon's work inside the chest of a little child-- the Creator smiled over his work and and said, "This is delightful."

The Creator wanted to keep close company with the created, a closeness very much like the Creator kept with His own God-Kind. So the Creator walked with the man and talked with him in the cool of the day.

He also warned his man of danger, for there was one who hated the freedom and the gifts of this Adam. This enemy was a proud, hateful being who despised the Creator and all he made.

The Creator implored his man to use his freedom to trust him, to recline in his lavish love, to dwell in the life of God-communion so that death would never come to this artistic paradise. (For all that is of God is life, and all that is not of God is dead and dying.) The Creator pointed north, east, west, and south and told his creature to play, to work, to revel in every luxury -- save one single barrier, one boundary that had to be respected out of trust in the wisdom and authority of the Creator.

The warning proved true and good, for the enemy of the Creator and his created did indeed come, and he was sly, and he was wicked. This enemy convinced the created to mistrust the Creator, and so the death of separation from trust in God entered the world. And in the separation of man from God, there is death, and disease, and sadness, and loneliness, and bloodshed, and hatred, and suspicion.

Instead of choosing communion with the Creator, man chose to defy Him. Instead of choosing to yield to the warm light and love of his maker, he chose to rip himself apart and stand alone in the stone cold dark.

Photo Credit: Hotblack, Morguefile

Photo Credit: Hotblack, Morguefile

The mighty Creator's heart was broken, but he had a plan for rescue even yet. Even in the day of her greatest sadness and shame, he whispered over the man and his wife, promising them that one day a descendant of the woman would crush the evil one who had deceived them.

 

The Creator gave her hope, but He didn't tell her how much that hope would cost.

 

In the years that followed, the death that the man had been warned about unfolded. The world was now plagued with trouble, violence, injustice. Humans learned the hard way that even their greatest strengths could not save them. They needed help or else death would grow until there was no life left at all.

And so the Creator did something radical. He shook off His rights and implanted an essential, vulnerable part of Himself into one of the grandchildren of the first woman. He made his infinite self small enough to fit inside of a human womb, small enough and yet vast enough to soak up all human wrongs into His own flesh.

This man-God stretched out his own arms to all the mistakes the created had ever done and said, "Beat me for them. Abuse me for them. Let the payment for my children fall upon me."

All the darkness and the ugliness of all dark and ugly things poured into the Creator's body. Though the gravity and the horror were great, though like a black hole the density of all history was pulled into a single lightless center, the Creator yielded. All death that was meant to fall upon the created, he welcomed in to kill himself instead.

Photo credit: Eduardo, Morguefile

Photo credit: Eduardo, Morguefile

 

And this created a vacuum inside of every soul of every person willing to offer her failures to God, a space large enough to make room for a living part of God to be implanted in her. So when this Son of God rose from the dead, his roots loosened the graveyards, his resurrection plowed up black earth souls, made them soft so that he might dig down through to plant the seed of a powerful, invisible part of His own God-nature to fill up their emptiness.

The communion that resulted from this exchange between the Creator and the created was even closer and more powerful than the communion of those first long walks in the garden. This time, the Creator wouldn't just visit His created. He would indwell them. An internal dance began between the maker and the made.

Once again there was freedom. Freedom to receive this union. Freedom to reject it. Freedom to willingly agree to trust. Freedom to unify with the giver of beauty and love. Freedom to refuse connection with him and scratch the best life possible out of death.

To woo the children of the children of the world, the Creator continued to leave whispers of His love. The crash of the sea against the rocks. The creak of old wood. The little black eyes of a fawn. The romance of His fingerprints. The ache in a chest at the end of a good story. The reaching out of a soul for a home it's never quite had.

And He left stories like trail markers, tales told by prostitutes and tough-talking fishermen. He entrusted his holiest words to the motliest crew of men and women, a rickety, traveling caravan of gypsies who cannot quite translate what they have seen, but if you are humble enough to sit at their feet, you will find mystical, magical tales of wonder.

Through toothless grins, they will tell you of buried treasures, and like a fool, like a child, you will want to listen, and you will pity them, too.

Photo Credit : Taysm, Morguefile

Photo Credit : Taysm, Morguefile

And maybe it will cross your mind that in the best stories there is always a Yoda or maybe a hideous old hag standing beside road asking a glass of milk, and that sometimes it take a week or two in the swamp to learn to become a Jedi.

For the way is narrow and few will walk it, but it is not narrow like membership in the country club, and not narrow like an SAT score, and not narrow like being born with Kate Upton's legs-- but the way is narrow as a fat little bluebird who comes to sit on a barbed wire fence, and stares at you directly, then nods as if she wants you to follow her.