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Posts tagged "grace"


Taking a Walk? Godspeed!

Solvitur ambulando, or “It is solved by walking,” in Latin — a Roman quip probably effused on one of the many roads that leads to (or from) the travertine city. Note the passive voice, which permits the speaker to omit any specific notion of what is actually solved by walking. But perhaps that’s the point […]

When Reconciliation Was the Most Obvious Thing in the World: An Excerpt from Robert Farrar Capon’s The Youngest Day

From Chapter 14, “The Funeral,” in Robert Farrar Capon’s collection of seasonal musings, “The Youngest Day”: Late one evening I was with a group of people who were having an extended series of nightcaps after the funeral of a common friend. We’d all known him well, and as the night wore on and tongues got […]

Grace for ME: Kierkegaard, Sin, and the Self

A week ago my father asked me, presumably because I was the only suitable philosophical authority within a few miles, what “Existentialism” is. Being the word-merchant that I am, I deftly replied, “uh…well, it was kind of started by Kierkegaard — though it’s not explicitly Christian — and it deals with big questions, like, um, […]

Good Luck with Your Marriage Strategy

A funny thing happens to me occasionally, even after three years in Australia: I’ll be at the gym, or a cafe, and hear someone nearby speaking, and I’ll startle at their accent. It’s as though I’ve forgotten that I’m still residing in a foreign country — it’s so familiar now! — and the Aussie brogue […]

Boys, Please, No Ties on a Thursday

I’ve always considered myself a little too proud to read autobiography. Which person writing an entire book about themself really has that much to teach me? Well, one answer is Will Willimon. Willimon’s captivating and exuberant testimony (which comes out today!) is replete with grace, from the preacher’s childhood in Jim Crow South Carolina to his discovery […]

Fischers of Men (or, a Chessay)

Bobby scanned the board one last time, drew in a breath, and gently grabbed a black bishop that looked slightly unnatural in his small hand, moving it three squares to e6. A huddled group of spectators suppressed a gasp. Journalists began to quietly scribble notes while onlookers cast skeptical glances at each other. Was it […]

A Gift on Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, my three children gifted me a bird feeder in the shape of a log cabin. Now, as they joyfully run amok in the playroom, I am reflecting on the gifts of fatherhood itself. Fatherhood has taught me that children are actually verbs. Also, that Legos multiply through their own procreative process. Yesterday […]

The Youngest, Freshest Day of the World: An Exploration of Springtime and Eschatology

The following is a timely excerpt from Robert Farrar Capon’s The Youngest Day, a collection of musings on the four seasons in the light of grace. In this passage, from a section titled “Spring: Judgment,” the author takes a morning run around his home on Shelter Island, NY. One of the pleasures of running, at […]

Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You – Sarah Condon

Incoming! Continuing on with videos from this year’s phenomenal Mockingbird conference in Tyler, TX, themed “The Future of Grace,” here’s the Rev. Sarah Condon discussing fighting in school, early puberty, Curious George, the hardships of growing up in the world, and the child inside all of us.

Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

All Pride Contains a Hint of Malice

Another heartening excerpt from David Brooks’ new work The Second Mountain. Here the Times columnist turns over the definition of grace with a little help from Martin Luther and Reinhold Niebuhr—but with the heavy-lifting from Anne Snyder, Brooks’ erstwhile research assistant, now wife. I was struggling with the concept of surrender and grace. I didn’t […]

By the Grace of Dog

You know the old truism: Wanna know unconditional love? Put your spouse and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. When you open the trunk, only one of them’s still going to be happy to see you…

As we’ve compiled the many essays and interviews soon to make up Mockingbird’s fourteenth magazine issue, The Family Issue, we noticed a glaring and certainly inadvertent omission. How in the world does one put out over a hundred pages of tender, nuanced reportage relating to the family unit—not to mention grace in the family unit—without paying homage to its most gracious member?

Yes, we’re talking about the family dog. While families are full of conflict, perennial victims and perpetrators of so many circumstantial slings and arrows, there is no greater emblem of unconditional love and, um, dogged loyalty. Some may call dogs “inferior” or just plain “stupid.” To those people, we offer our prayers, because they must have never heard the foolish wisdom of God. Dogs are heaven-sent. And so, in lieu of an entire essay, we’re asking you, dear reader, to send us your “By the GRACE of DOG” stories. Where has the furry, four-legged love of God found its way through the doggie door and into your heart? What blessed paw-marks has it left on your interior furniture?

Just one small paragraph will suffice. We’ll keep you confidential. Send your submissions to bythegraceofdogz@gmail.com. They can be funny, heart-wrenching, really weird, or really sweet. And then keep an eye out for your submission in the next issue. If you have a cat story, well, good for you…

Mission: Difficult

The following was excerpted from Nick Lannon’s fantastic new book Life Is Impossible: And That’s Good News—a fundamental distillation of the law and the gospel in everyday life. This comes from the third chapter “Mission: Difficult.” I have heard the Christian life described in many different ways. Some have compared it to a race, or […]