My mom gave me two books by Frederick Buechner for my birthday last week.  Buechner is one of those authors of whom I knew little, only that all my favorite authors quoted him and referenced him.  He was on my list of authors to check out one day and then two books arrived in the mail!!  My mom is fabulous that way and she has this wonderful pastor at her church with whom I apparently have similar tastes…although I have only met him briefly, he has referred me to several of my favorite authors through her.  Thanks, Ben!

I am currently reading a collection of Buechner’s works called “Listening to Your Life.”  It is meant to be a daily devotional type book, but I am reading straight through.  I am in April, but somehow I’ve read most of October as well….go figure.  Anyway, here are a few gems to whet your appetite.  I love him!

“Theology is the study of God and His ways.  For all we know, dung beetles may study man and his ways and call it humanology.  If so, we would probably be more touched and amused than irritated.  One hopes that God feels likewise.”

“If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party.  The world says, Mind your own business, and Jesus says, There is no such thing as your own business.  The world says, Follow the wisest course and be a success, and Jesus says, Follow me and be crucified.  The world says, Drive carefully–the life you save may be your own–and Jesus says, Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  The world says, Get and Jesus says, Give.  In terms of the world’s sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks he can follow Him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under a cross than under a delusion.”

“But instead of feeling any pride or sense of superior accomplishment by the comparison, I remember a great and unheralded rush of something like sadness, almost like shame.  I had been very lucky, and he had not been very lucky, and the pleasure that I might have taken in what had happened to me was all but lost in the realization that nothing comparable, as far as I could see, had happened to him.——–All I can say now is that something small but unforgettable happened inside of me as the result of that chance meeting—some small flickering out of the truth that, in the long run, there can be no real joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all—-and I can take no credit for it.  It was nothing I piously thought my way to.  It was no conscious attempt to work out my own salvation.  What I felt was something better and truer than I was, or than I am, and it happened, as perhaps all such things do, as a gift.”

“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life.  You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.  Here is the world.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen.  Don’t be afraid.  I am with you.  Nothing can ever separate us.  It’s for you I created the Universe.  I love you.——There’s only one catch.  Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it..———Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.”

Enjoy!  More later—