I just finished reading Marilynne Robinson's "Gilead". I cried at its end, not for its end, nor because it was sad. It was beautiful. I sat there on the toilet reading until my legs were asleep to finish, a ridiculous place to experience beauty that would make one weep.

The book is no master piece of poetry, no epic, not the brash offspring of sharp wit or forceful essay of vast intellect. I would not call the story or its players particularly memorable. No surprising twists. No strange quirks. No gimmicks. No cliffhangers or breathtakers. The landscape is plain, with residents to match. The story moves slow, even sluggishly along. If anything in it is foreign or new to me, it is the age of John Ames. But that, too, is not unusual, only outside my experience to date.

There is no escapism or novelty to grab interest in this novel. I can think of little to recommend it to you, except perhaps to say that it moves me. Its town is blessed in the end by the old man, "To me it seems rather Christlike to be as unadorned as this place is, as little regarded." As the town is to him, the like-named book is to me, a clear yet gentle echo of real beauty, humble enough to be thoroughly human. The very bones of it are composed of grace, the muscle faith, the skin a little regarded, dying man.

If you read it, do not be afraid to take a long time and let it sink in slowly. As one reviewer on the back of this library copy says, it is "a book to be savored." It is rich food, best not gulped down in a hurry.


to my Lord and Savior

please, please, come.
it feels like all is wrong because you're not here.
my heart is screaming, screaming.
i want to look in your eyes
and know you understand.
i know you understand,
but i want to look in your eyes and know it.
i want a hug.
oh God, for even a word my ears could hear.
like this world,
i'm such a mess.
i know you're working on it,
but there's so much to be done.
and i'm tired
of faith
of hope
of love only my heart and mind can feel.
you've given me so many other ways to feel,
i long to feel that love with every atom and every thought.
come, Lord.
rule here
in me,
in this place.
i've heard you are making me new
and this place too,
but the waiting is so hard.
and i'm scared of praying for patience.
i know you're not a microwave
or a vending machine,
but Daddy,
you said you give good gifts to those who ask!
i read that in a book i'm pretty inclined to trust.
you being here would be a very good gift.
why not give that now?
if the timing is so wrong,
can i negogiate for something less?
will you instead
give my son a kiss from me
and tell him his earthly father loves him lots.
that'd mean a lot to me.
i know you love him more than me,
but i still wish he were here.
of course,
i know you're a dad,
so you don't need a gift in exchange
for the ones i'm asking of you.
you already gave me all i have
and don't need anything anyway.
so i guess i'll just remind us both that
i'm yours.
whether you come now or later
or even never (please not never!),
i love you.
even when i don't know why.
i just do.
i guess that's a gift from you too.
so, thanks.
a lot.
i mean that.


to remind and remember.

i have to live with this
most often below the surface


i want to live with this
it is that or forget

i will not forget.

there is a hole in our lives now
that was not there before

our son has gone.

don't mistake me for a sad man
joy is not in bluer skies

Love holds and molds us.

know where my treasure lies
candle lit and waiting on

the King of kings.

the waiting means there is love
that's what the lonely is for