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Lent Pictures–Lent Thoughts

Through the season of Lent I posted over thirty pictures to social media with quotations over the spiritual themes of Lent. It all started by accident. I wrote out in a red marker a quote I was reading from St. Augustine, and then the next day I wrote out another one not he white board and posted, and then a trend set in.

By that first weekend I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I outlined a pattern of Fridays being Bible verses, Saturdays would be song references, Thursdays would be inspiring quotes of Christian content, Tuesdays would be pop culture and literature references and Monday’s would be primarily theological in nature.

My method was to create the quote in an analogy way. Yes, it would be delivered digitally in the photograph, but I wanted it to be real items like paper, chalk, ink, wood. For the most part I succeeded in this. The one exception was to get a typewriter font I used my Mac, but it is actually printed on paper.

There were some quotes I intended to use but never did. For example, I intended to use a Brene Brown quote where she says, ‘Sometimes the bravest and most most important thing you can do is just show up.” I love the quote and have taught my children for yeas that 90% of success is just showing up. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis when we are encouraging people to stay home I decided that might send the wrong message and people might misunderstand that I was one of those misinformed and misguided people who think social distancing is a bunch of bunk. By contrast, I am a historian. I know full well the danger of a pandemic.

I also wanted to use a Stephen King quote I like — “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.” It is a good quote for Lent, but I just never got to it. Another one I wanted to use was “You can’t fight in the war room” from Dr. Strangelove but alas, it didn’t happen. I wanted to put up one day one of my favorite thoughts on Lent — “Why do they call it a fast when it goes so slow?”

Brene Brown, Anne Lamott, and James the Brother of Jesus got the most comments and likes.

I must admit I was surprised most of these didn’t get more attention. But who knows how the FB algorithms work, right? I’ll probably reuse them again next year, with perhaps a few more added in. Until then they are posted here for you to peruse, or if you want swipe them and post them to your page. I don’t care. These were my arts and crafts projects for the spring.

TOP THREE BOOKS: BOOKS I SHOULD HAVE READ SOONER

To quote Old Blues Eyes,

Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.

A common regret is that every now and again I come across a book I love and kick myself over and over again for having not read it earlier in my life.  I never feel that way about a movie, a television show, a magazine story or any other kind of literature, not even poetry.  It does, though, happen with those magical things called books and those enchanted delights that surprise you and make you wish you’d read it twenty or so years ago.

I Heard the Owl Call My Name, Margaret Craven

Written four years before I was born, I should have read it in High School.  At least someone should have shoved it in my face at seminary, you’d think.  But no.  It wasn’t until last summer as I was leaving the Northwest to come back to Texas that a dear friend gave me this book as a parting gift to remember him by.  He told he he’d read it as an adolescent.  I wish I had.

I Heard the Owl Call My Name
The owl eventually calls everyone

It is a spectacularly well told story about faith, ministry, life and death all set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest and the relationships between white settlers and Native Americans.  I think if I’d read this book before I started ministry I’d been a been a better pastor.

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott

Every writer should read this book.  Scratch that, every human should read this book.

More than anything else, Bird by Bird is about the creative process and enduring life’s wiggles and jiggles while still maintaining sanity and the creative spark.

It was written in 1994, the year I graduated from college.  I wish I’d read it then when the ink was still drying on the pages.  I would have probably been a more likeable person and definitely would have cultivated my work as a writer earlier in life.  I wasted nearly twenty years when I should have been writing all along.

Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

I love a good spy story.  I always have.  I’ve always loved the Bond movies, but until three years ago had never read a single Fleming book.  I picked up Casino Royale (1953) and read it and was overcome by how markedly different the literary Bond was from the one on the silver screen.   Since then I’ve read all of Fleming’s James Bond stories and can honestly say that as much as I love the movies, I love the books more.  Bond is more believable, less likeable, and more vulnerable than anything in the movies.  And yes, for what its worth, Daniel Craig plays James Bond closer to the way Fleming wrote him than any other actor.

If you want to test the movies verses the book, just read Moonraker and then watch the outlandish (fun, but outlandish) movie that is supposedly based on that novel.  They are not even in the same universe.

I wonder, what books have you read later in life that you wish you’d read when you were younger?  I’d love to hear, and I will likely add some of them on my reading list, before its too late.

 

image from desktopretreat.blogspot.com