Life is a journey. Leave your bad attitude and whatever is the cause of your misery behind you. You cannot mix bad wine with good wine. Life is difficult, unexplained and often cruel, and full of mystery but as the Lord said, “I am with you and shall take you there if you walk with me.”
Do you want to read a story about how the Suez Canal, Asian silk production, and Ottoman persecution drove two Lebanese Orthodox Christian newlyweds to the Great Plains of America in 1892? How an immigrant couple with no knowledge of English who grew up with daily views of the Mediterranean arrived in Nebraska in midwinter?
I’m a believer in radical honesty. Only by being honest with ourselves about ourselves can we begin the fight against the father of lies. What this means for art is that honest artists will have much difference experiences and familiarities with particular evils, and that will necessarily effect their portrayal in art. I think that because of this, some artists are called to create messier worlds than others.
There are at least hints that there is meaning and purpose to our lives, and these come in flashes that indicate there is a reason, a purpose to our existence. I’ve called these “everyday” because they happen to ordinary people all the time, but “wonders” because they clearly seem too extraordinary to be just coincidences, though they may fall short of being characterized as “miracles.”
“All this means that grace is not merely an idea about God’s forgiveness in Christ. It is not a change in God’s ‘attitude’ toward a person. It is not a mere release from ‘guilt.’ It is the very life-giving, transforming, divine power and uncreated energies of God Himself.”
Earlier this year, I was visiting with family in Arizona and offered to hang out in the Sunday school rooms at an Orthodox church in Northern Scottsdale. I often do this when I travel, so I can meet new Orthodox kids and do one of my favorite things—share books with them.
Grace is not a concept or a declaration of innocence; rather, it is the uncreated life of God that flows from Him naturally and eternally. It is a real and concrete participation in the divine life that God has desired to share with us from the beginning.