Saturday, September 22, 2012


“The closer we grow to death, the more closely we follow the news. Year after year, without ever reckoning the hours I wasted last week or last year, I read the morning paper, I buy mass psychotherapy in the form of the lie that this is a banner year. Or is it God-save-us-from-crazies aromatherapy? I smell the rat, but cannot walk away....... It is life’s noise, the noise of the news, that sings ‘It’s a Small World After All’ again and again to lull you and cover the silence while your love boat slips off into the dark…… The blue light of television flickers on the cave wall. If the fellow crawls out of the cave, what does he see? Not the sun itself, but night and the two thousand visible stars. Once, I tried to converse with him, the fellow who crawled out of his blue-lit cave to the real world. He had looked into this matter of God. He had to shout to make himself heard: ‘How do you stand the wind out here?’… I don’t. Not for long. I drive a school-kids’ car pool. I shouted back ‘I don’t! I read Consumer Reports every month!’ It seemed unlikely that he heard. The wind blew into his face and he turned to face the lee. I do not know how long he stayed out. A little at a time does it for me, a little every day.”……Annie Dillard, “For the Time Being”

Saturday morning here, with a return visit to the Detention Center scheduled for tomorrow. Whether the group will be separating into two again, splitting our hour there between four different isolated cells, is a matter yet to be discovered. After prayer and reading my Bible, though, I was still left with no more than those “I am the door” thoughts shared with the men at the mission Wednesday evening. How, then, to bring that to those young teens? The author above, one of my favorite, came to mind; and her words here, captured from a previous excursion, now caught my attention once again. However this might speak to someone else, it registers with me, for within it I see humanity as it is. Truthfully, within it I see much of the Church, myself, even, if not for the frequent prod of His staff, the tug on His anchor-line. Somehow, unless God takes me elsewhere, this goes with me to the kids……


  1. It's a good one, Jim. Speaks to me, too.


  2. I seldom read anything to the kids at the Detention Center, but used this portion of Annie's words yesterday and it was one of the best services we've had there, Mich.