Bits of Festival

Well, I’m back from the Festival of Faith & Writing, richer by several books, a Calvin College sweatshirt, and a head full of ideas. As tends to be the case, I’m sure these ideas will weave their way into my thoughts and my writing as I sit with them and process them. For now, though, here are a few quotes and thoughts that are echoing in my mind:

Gary Schmidt: “Stories are not about having all the right answers already; they’re about learning to ask the right question”—the question that pierces into the complexity of the world. Stories that provide quick and easy answers are often lies—cheap and vulgar lies.

Sarah Wells: Share your gifts—fear of sharing what the Spirit gave you is not from God.

River Jordan: “You’re going to write the truth of what you’re called to write, whether it’s what you want to write or not.”

Jordan x2: “Don’t wait till you’re perfect…to be human.”

Marilynne Robinson: People are more than happy to be gracious to religious expression that is gracious to them. There is no place in the Gospels that says to be antagonistic in the first instance.

Robinson x2: The anxieties that we have create us around a smaller version of ourselves.

Li-Young Lee: “All speech is born on the dying breath.”

Shane Claiborne: “Stories change minds and changed minds change the world.”

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre: Vocation is “the call of the moment”—it’s a practice of attentiveness. Deep happiness is an authentic matter of validation in vocation.

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