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Friday, August 9, 2013

Quotes I Can't Leave Behind, part 1

Sometimes someone else says something so succinctly, or so eloquently, or so profoundly, or so (fill in your own adverb here) that I don't want to let it go. I want to turn it over and over and taste it in its fullness and employ it and plant it in the gray matter for always and forever. These are some of those quotes. I am going to collect them for awhile, and periodically make a blog entry of the ones that have accumulated.

I hope you savor them too. Feel free to add your own in the comments if you have some to share.

"Strange, how there’s no love without humility – no one can accept anything except on their knees. (Everything else is stealing.)"
                        -- A Holy Experience 

"God didn't give us a bunch of commandments because He wants to restrict us and make life miserable. He gave the commandments because He loves us and wants us to be safe and free. He says, 'Here, this is how you live in this place.'"
                        --Ken Downer

"People see the little story, but they miss the big story. The Bible isn't about the ascent of man into heaven. It's about the descent of God to earth."
                        --Dr. Michael Williams, CTS


"We are most Godlike not when we turn away from the world but when we engage it."
                       --Dr. Williams paraphrasing John Calvin

"As we watched waves last September, and all the other ones were gone,
You said you felt like you were losing it. I said I've been lost for so long."
                       --Grey Eye Glances

"I was the son of a beautiful, word-struck mother and I longed for her touch many years after she felt no obligation to touch me. But I will praise her for the rest of my life for teaching me to seek out the beauty of nature in all its shapes and fabulous designs. It was my mother who taught me to love the lanterns of night fishermen in the starry darkness and the flights of brown pelicans skimming the curling breakers at dawn. It was she who made me take notice of the perfect coinage of sand dollars, the shapes of flounders inlaid in sand like the silhouettes of ladies in cameos, the foundered wreck near the Colleton Bridge that pulsed with the commerce of otters. She saw the world through a dazzling prism of authentic imagination."
                      --Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

"If I could hurt the body, I would not notice the coming apart of the soul."
                      --Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

"Nature is, above all, profligate. Don't believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil. Wouldn't it be cheaper to leave them on the tree in the first place? This deciduous business alone is a radical scheme, the brainchild of a deranged manic-depressive with limitless capital. Extravagance! Nature will try anything once. This is what the sign of the insects says. No form is too gruesome, no behavior too grotesque. If you're dealing with organic compounds, then let them combine. If it works, it if quickens, set it clacking in the grass; there's always room for one more; you ain't so handsome yourself. This is a spendthrift economy; though nothing is lost, all is spent."
                      --Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

"Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.
   Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
   O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?
   O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost come back again."
                      --Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel

"It's not time to worry yet, Scout."
                      --Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

"Worry died, as usual, at the hands of routine."
                     --Leif Enger, Peace Like a River

"From every stormy wind that blows, from every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat, 'Tis found beneath the mercy seat.
There is a place where Jesus sheds the oil of gladness on our heads.
A place than all besides more sweet. It is the blood-bought mercy seat.
There is a scene where spirits blend, where friend holds fellowship with friend,
Though sundered far, by faith they meet around one common mercy seat.
There, there, on angel's wings we soar, and earthly cares molest no more,
And heaven comes down our souls to greet, and glory crowns the mercy seat.
Ah! whither should we flee for aid, when tempted, desolate, dismayed?
Or how the hosts of sin defeat, had suffering saints no mercy seat?"
                      --Hugh Stowell, "From Every Stormy Wind That Blows"

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