Monday, March 23, 2015

The Wisdom of Tenderness

When Jesus said that he was hungry and thirsty and naked in those around us, he was referring to more than mere corporal needs. We’re surrounded by people who are hungry and thirsty and naked in their souls, and they come to us hungry for understanding, thirsty for affirmation, naked with loneliness, and wanting to be covered with the mantle of our genuine tenderness.  
It’s more important to be a mature Christian than to be a great butcher or baker or candlestick maker; and if the only chance to achieve the first is to fail at the second, the failure will have proved worthwhile. Isn’t failure worthwhile if it teaches us to be gentle with the failure of others, to be patient, to live in the wisdom of accepted tenderness, and to pass that tenderness on to others? If we’re always successful, we may get so wrapped up in our own victories that we’re insensitive to the anguish of others; we may fail to understand (or even try to understand) the human heart; we may think of success as our due. Then later, if our inner world collapses through death or disaster, we have no inner resources. 

The greatest thing on earth is respect, because it is the heart of love. 

Your faithfulness will be measured by your willingness to go where there’s brokenness, loneliness, and human need. What are you to draw from the life of the Master? The knowledge that love and mercy are the most powerful forces on earth.

from The Wisdom of Tenderness: Brennan Manning- an excellent book! Worth re-reading again and again. 

A collection of Patchett's essays, published throughout her career and ranging on topics such as her disastrous first marriage to the story of her happy marriage, her career as a writer and her relationships and various experiences. Patchett is a master essayist. I thoroughly enjoyed these essays and listening to her read her own work on audio only enhanced the book, as she has a wonderful voice. 

I chose this book to read looking for stories on the immigrant experience for the novel I'm writing. The story of Bohemian immigrants who settle in Nebraska in the late 19th century was fascinating both for the story of the immigrants who helped settle our country, as well as the fascinating description of the vast plains and struggle to survive in it. (I was born in the wrong century. sigh).

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