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Love

Let It Be was The Beatles’ final record, and they made it as the band was falling apart. By the time the album came out, Paul McCartney, who wrote the title track, had already left the group. It’s a beautiful song, but the lyrics are deeply troubled, which is no wonder, since everything that had defined McCartney’s life as a young adult was coming to an end while he wrote it. The verses express turmoil, fear and loneliness, but into this malaise of emotion, a character known as ‘Mother Mary’ offers words of consolation and assurance. Fans often think the Mary in Let It Be, is Mary, the mother of Jesus, specifically because of Luke 1:38 (when an angel tells her she will have baby, Mary says,

Joy

There's this internet-famous picture of a microwavable holiday meal for one. It includes all the things that one would expect for a Christmas meal, except in a much sadder state. There is a single piece of turkey that looks breaded and fried, but has an odd orange color to it. There is also a small, sloppy section for potatoes with a small slice of butter on top. Lastly, the largest section is stuffing or dressing covered in gravy, which was a creepy, mossy green tint. When I first saw this image, my reaction was one of discomfort and sadness. An image coalesced in my mind of someone buying this meal, going home to a lonely and cold home to eat their microwavable meal in silence. It seemed s

Peace

What does it mean to make peace? Is it finding calm in the midst of storms? Is it the end of violence and war? Is it self-love as a rejection of shame? Is it self-protection in defiance of abuse? It’s all of the above, of course. Peacemaking is the sacred activity needed for grace, healing, and growth to take hold in our circumstances. It means different things at different times, but always it’s a combination of being and doing. Often, peace is quite simple – it’s calm, stillness, rest. If we’ve packed 25 hours’ worth of commitments into every day… If we’ve got too many voices clamoring for our attention… If we feel enormous pressure to deliver on unrealistic promises… If the cost of v

Hope

At a family gathering when my wife and I were newly engaged, her grandfather looked at me incisively and said, “Are you going to be a good husband to my granddaughter?” “Yes sir,” I responded, with as much fake confidence as I could muster. “I hope so.” I'll never forget what he said next: “Why don't you hope in one hand and s*** in the other, and see which hand ends up with more in it?” The word ‘hope’ didn’t inspire him, much. When it came to his granddaughter, he didn’t want my optimism. He wanted my commitment, and hard work. We throw around the word HOPE in unserious ways, and it's wrong of us to do that. We say, “I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow” or, “I hope they don't cancel my favo

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