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Had my wife and I been born a hundred years ago, our lot might have been quite different. Our family has a history of bipolar disorder, you see. Mental illness was looked upon with even greater stigma in days of yore than today. The canon of schoolchild literature hailing from 1850 through the 1970s is littered with characters subject to one stripe of insanity or another. Mr. Rochester’s first wife in Jane Eyre, Conrad’s demigod Kurtz, Boo Radley, Robert Cormier’s Adam Farmer in I Am the Cheese, Mr. Hyde, and the tragic cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest all come to mind.
This summer, the recommended reading list for my church community includes titles like The Rule of Benedict (Chittister), St. Francis of Assisi (Chesterton), and Establishing a Rule of Life (The Trinity Mission). We’re considering what it means to create a personal culture of faith by establishing a “rule” for living. For some, this looks like a detailed list of activities to be done every day, week, month, or year (like those who choose to live under Benedictine or Franciscan rule). For others, though, it’s simply a matter of deciding how we’d like to invest our time and resources and translating that into everyday life.
When I was going through a particularly hard time a few years ago, a friend encouraged me with a story from Corrie ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place. As a child, Corrie was having a difficult time dealing with the fact that her father would die one day. She and her father had this dialogue:
God was always reminding the Israelites of the story they were dropped into at birth. The story that began long before they were born, before their people were even a people; the story that would continue long after any individual had reached the end of his or her life span. Old Testament scripture records those repeated remindings of identity, calling, and sacred responsibility, until those scriptures themselves became a perpetual reminder.
[Note from Drew Miller: Meet my honorary brother, Andrew Russell. His perspective has brought me life, laughter, and loving correction. I am grateful to introduce him to you. He originally wrote this for his own blog, The Contrarian Collective.] Read More ›
I am an artist. I am a singer. I am a songwriter. I am a musician. I am a poet. I am an author. I am, however, also married to Joe Sutphin. The end. Read More ›
Little faces crowd around the table, counting together as drops fall into the Mason jar. “62, 63, 64…”
The water balloons over the rim. Sixty-five drops ago, Flo asked the kids if the jar was full. “Yes!” they answered. But drop after drop lands on the surface, and still the water doesn’t overflow. Read More ›
Randall Goodgame, he of the Slugs and Bugs, has lately taken to hanging out at the monkey bars to talk theology with the big kids. He also comes armed with the best ’80s TV theme song since The Facts of Life. Read More ›
Last week, the internet nearly caved in on itself when a happy toddler in white glasses and a yellow sweater danced her way into her father’s live interview on a BBC news program. If you have not seen the video I’m talking about, watch it here. Read More ›