An American fifth-grader once wrote to C.S. Lewis asking if it were possible to visit Narnia. Lewis replied that the only way, as far as he knew, was through death. But then he added a curious qualifier: “Perhaps some very good people get just a tiny glimpse before then.”
Lately I’ve been savoring Thomas Traherne’s book Centuries of Meditations, in a wonderful contemporary edition by David Buresh called Waking Up in Heaven. I heartily agree with what C.S. Lewis wrote about this book, calling it “almost the most beautiful book in the English language. I could go on quoting from it forever.”
Personally, I am not in the habit of observing Lent in any formal way. I do not give up chocolate or coffee or anything else—at least, not intentionally. But willy-nilly I always end up surrendering something, because that is what Lent does: it drives us, as it did Jesus, into the wilderness.
Many years ago the Lord revealed to me my besetting sin, and He did so through, of all people, a satanist.
For many years Steve Bell has been in the top rank of Christian singer-songwriters. Now, later in life, he is showing himself also to be a gifted writer of devotional prose.
One day when Fred Rogers was a boy, his grandfather said to him, “You made this day a special day, just by being yourself. Always remember there’s just one person in this whole world like you—and I like you just the way you are.”
The first thing I do at the start of a new year is to clear off my desk—not just to find places for all the physical odds and ends that have accumulated, but to organize my ideas, sorting through the various notebooks and scraps of paper where I’ve jotted down thoughts that came to me on the fly.
The wishes of a dying man are not to be taken lightly. So when my friend Mark, lying in his bed at Hospice, asked me to write something about him and his son Geoff, I gladly agreed.
In Buddhist tradition, Gautama once preached what is known as the “Flower Sermon,” which consisted of simply holding up a single flower and saying not one word. Through this silent, direct pointing to reality, one of his disciples instantly attained enlightenment. It was this disciple who went on to bring Buddhism to China and so became the first patriarch of Zen.