God can renew and refurbish our spirits, our hearts, our drive, our attitudes. God can give us a positive, willing, and steadfast spirit to live and learn from mistakes and to change direction. Yes, God can.
I thought I knew everything. Or at least pretty close. It took a long time to become wise, and by wise I mean to realize how much I don't actually know. And for a while it's left me feeling pretty faithless and lost.
Are Honey Boo Boo and her family like something out of Flannery O'Connor? Perhaps they are. But so are those of us who gawk at them from the safety of our judgment seats. The central figure in O'Connor's fiction, as it turns out, is neither the freak nor the felon, but the Pharisee.
This summer, I found myself re-reading Alice Walker's The Color Purple, a book that is both wonderful and awful. After finishing, I asked myself, "Why do some books by great authors (or parts of books by great authors) work so well, while others fail?"
John Hiatt's new album Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns kicks off with a pretty universally themed song, "Damn This Town." It's true, no matter what town you grow up in, every kid can't wait to get out of it.