A short story

Evan closed his now empty desk drawers and stood up. Like the drawers, the desktop and the walls were bare. The computer would be wiped clean and show someone else’s desktop before this day would end. All he had were the two cardboard boxes of books and personal decorations on a dolly. Now push to the elevator, descend, load boxes in the car and drive home. Behind him this office would show no trace he’d been here.
He sighed. He’d come here thinking he could make a difference, make this division a better workplace. But the old ways were surprisingly strong. Work, work, work, don’t show you have a life outside the job, it’d be seen as weakness. People had written him off, then he’d gotten a few people to begin to listen, started having meetings people enjoyed rather than dreaded. THen the CEO and board chair must have decided he was a threat and ought to go. Change exactly as they wanted it, no more. Of course they said nothing at all like that had happened, they were restructuring because of the changing global marketplace, and promised him good recommendations. He didn’t believe them.
What was the point of big dreams that led nowhere?
“Lord,” he prayed. “Help me remember what I sensed yesterday,” he said, remembering his prayers last night. “I should look to you for affirmation, not to my bosses.” He wanted to say it was one thing to labor on without much encouragement, another thing to be laid off, but he really knew God was faithful in either. Being laid off felt a lot harder though.

But in heaven it would feel different. “Thanks for trying,” Jesus might say. “You knew things could be better and you tried to make it happen.” Of course, he hadn’t always gotten it right. But Jesus was the only one who had always gotten it right. Of course he’d approve of an honest effort, coupled with a willingness to admit shortcomings. So he could walk out of here with his head high. Not just the “don’t give them the satisfaction of showing they got to you,” spirit, but in a “I did well. I didn’t get the result I hoped for but I tried.” In heaven, all those tries would be remembered. How many others had tried and failed to make a difference where they were? In heaven, they would see the results they had hoped for. So keep trusting, don’t lose hope. 

Social Justice: The dividing line

Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago exposes great injustices and evils, the millions who were arrested, starved, beaten and imprisoned by the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn knew this injustice at first hand. But in prison he became a believer in God, and he longed for God’s justice. He wrote how in prison he learned to reflect, and as he saw the evil of his jailers asked himself “were we really any better?” And he wrote how the dividing line between good and evil goes right through every human heart, that you cannot divide up mankind into good people and evil people, then suppress the evil ones. To do so can make the “good” ones in charge into evil. 

Wine and Communion

Good quote from Gisela Kreglinger

The drinking of wine in the Lord’s Supper draws us into the world of sacrifice. It is here that the spiritual meaning of wine takes on multiple facets that offer rich reflections for Christian life and practice. Just as grapes must be gathered, crushed, and turned into fine wine through the miracle of fermentation, so must human life come under the loving judgment of God.
Book preview

The law, the Word, grace and truth

Psalm 119, longest chapter in the Bible. The writer is so convinced the law is a great thing. This startles us, because we're convinced Jesus is so much greater than the Law. As John says, the law came through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

But Psalm 119 does say God is greater than the law. "Your word, Lord, is eternal. It stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations." Just as John proclaims the Word as eternal, from the beginning with God, the Word with God, who is God.

Psalm 89 reminds us of something else firm in the heavens. God's covenant with David, to establish his line, his throne forever. Praise to the Son of David, who has ruled, who will rule forever.


I came to God asking for help. My situation seemed impossible, I needed it to change.
I learned not just to ask for change, but to lay out before God my feelings. And now, I catch glimpses of peace, knowing God is with me, even if the situation has not yet changed.

The Golden Calf

Sometimes as I read Exodus I sympathize with the Israelites when they doubt or complain against God. "God, aren't you a little harsh?" I want to ask when I read about the people complaining about the food or water, or being afraid of the fiery mountain or pillars of cloud.

But it struck me recently how this attitude (like the people when they did rebel) completely misses the obvious. They were slaves in Egypt, now they are not slaves. Doesn't that outweigh some hardships in the desert? And then this morning I read the story of the Golden Calf. Despite the familiarity it shocked me anew. The people, feeling that Moses had vanished, choose to make new gods to worship! They didn't just cool slightly in their enthusiasm for God, they gave up on him altogether.

I too have wanted to give up on God altogether. Fortunately he persuades me to hang on.

God prunes his branches

Jesus says he is the vine, his Father is the vine grower, and we are the branches. (John 15:1-2). Every branch that bears fruit, the Father prunes. This is a startling, even painful thought. He doesn't want everything that spontaneously grows out of us, he cuts things back to enhance our fruitfulness. But we know he loves us and has compassion. So we can trust he prunes us for our good.

Does God offer reproducible results?

One of the foundations of the scientific method is the notion of reproducible results. If you describe your experiment clearly enough, others should be able to do the experiment and get the same results. If not, there is something wrong with your work. Either you’re faking it, you’re careless (so the description of how you did the experiment is not complete), or there is some other variable you haven’t thought of.
But Scripture presents narratives where results are not reproduced. The people of Israel were slaves in Egypt, God sends Moses to confront Pharaoh, initiate all kinds of plagues on Egypt, then finally lead the people out of Egypt, where they are trapped on the seashore, Moses prays and the waters part, so the people march across, and the waters close in again on Pharaoh and his army when he attempts to pursue. Did anyone ever repeat that result? Not really. The people did march across the Jordan riverbed between two walls of water in Joshua’s time; but no plagues, no enemies being drowned.
The people of Israel were carried off as exiles and slaves to Assyria. Did a deliverer rise up to bring them back to the land? No. The people of Judah were carried off as exiles to Babylon. Did a deliverer rise up to bring them back to the land? No single leader steadfast against opposition like Moses, but there were leaders, witnesses to God’s presence. Daniel and Ezekiel gave words of prophecy and encouragement while they were in exile, Ezra led people back to the land, and Nehemiah led more back, and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. Did Ezra and Nehemiah see powerful miracles, signs that God was with them? While God did enable them to succeed against great odds, there were not powerful miracles like waters parting, plagues upon the enemies of God, or God appearing like a pillar of cloud or smoke.
So a scientist might be forgiven for wondering if Scripture were really true. It does not present reproducible events, it seems. But one difference between science and theology ought to be made clear. Science mostly concerns itself with matter and impersonal forces. Forces that though powerful can be manipulated when you understand how they work. Theology deals with God, who is a person. In personal relationships, reproducible results are not guaranteed. Doing the exact same thing does not get the exact same response every time from your friends or neighbors. So its not inconsistent to believe it wouldn’t with God either. People of faith testify to a certain degree of reproducibility — they learn to perceive that God is there whether they see him or not, and that when they pray things do happen. Not always what they pray for, but God does comfort, help and encourage in a variety of ways. But he seems to value being unpredictable in how he will comfort, help and encourage.
The Christian life is not really dealing with nonreproducible results, but in nonreproduced results. God is capable of doing again what he did once, but he chooses not to do so to a perhaps surprising degree. But when we remember God is not an impersonal force we can control, maybe this outcome is not so surprising. When we think of spirituality as a relationship with a good and powerful friend that we don’t control, even though he cares for us, maybe the nonreproduced results become more understandable. God often does not repeat the details of how he provides and cares, but his being with us, providing and caring for us, are reproduced experiences.

Not by part of the verse alone

Reading the whole verse of a familiar line: "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna; that neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." Deuteronomy 8:3
It makes sense. I have seen God take care of me in unexpected ways, and it is humbling. But he does take care.

Does the whole verse illuminate why Jesus used "man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD" when he was tempted? Yes. Satan tempts Jesus: You're hungry, make bread. That would be the known solution. Jesus remembers that the Father often has an unexpected solution. 


Once in a time of grief a friend gave me a memorable gift. Without words she looked at me with compassion. I thought to myself “Awesome. I’d thought communicating by a glance without words was purely a literary cliché, from a literary genre I didn’t read much. But it is real, and quite powerful.”
That is what I wish for you who mourn. May you see compassion. May your eyes be opened to perceive in your heart the compassionate gaze of your heavenly Father. I will try to mourn with you, but no one can mourn with you like He can.

Appearance of chaos

C. S. Lewis wrote “if you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it is not so bad.”
That quote reminded me of something that happens in our building from time to time. Periodically there is a training course on how to learn to adapt and thrive when working in different cultures. One of their exercises is not in the classroom but in the hallways. They take a half day to simulate applying for visas or residence permits from a rigid and inefficient bureaucracy. They set up tables around the halls to represent different offices one needs to visit. I can overhear snippets of the conversations, how the photographer assures the clients there’s no problem with him taking their ID photo of them, but just not right now. If they will just come back in an hour, he’ll be totally ready. An hour later he won’t be there, or the clients are still in line at another office.

How does this relate to Lewis’ notion that this world is really a training place for us rather than a resort spa? It struck me that the training exercise attempts to maximize the sensation of chaos and disorder with the frustration that the desired goal cannot be obtained. But really it is only an appearance of chaos. It is by design that it looks chaotic. Maybe the distresses of this life are also designed to look more chaotic than they are. I think Scripture does not want to give us naive optimism, that nothing can really go wrong. But it does want to give us hope, realistic optimism, that when painful, horrible things do happen, God is with us, and the pain of the chaos is not the final word. 

My Psalm

How wonderful you are, Lord!
How amazing your world,
How awesome you love me.
Who am I to be loved by the Lord?
Do I ever really care about you?
What do I have to offer?
How much do we really have in common?
Surely there can be no other reason for loving me except that you love me.

Your world is startling and intricate.
I’ve made it a joke before: “God must love details, he made so many of them.”
Yet true indeed: How many things you have made!
And I am one — with so many things inside me.
Organs, skin, blood, down to myriads and myriads of atoms,
to one another.

I am a wonder. Yet so is my neighbor.
Even the annoying, hateful ones.
Help me remember how you hung there in agony
Asking that they be forgiven. That I be forgiven.
And I don’t understand why.
You who say “Let there be” and the thing is,
Why wasn’t forgiveness that simple?
A bloodless, painless “Undo” of our self-centering, self-defining egos.
Yet that isn’t what you chose.
You descended into our world, held firm through pain and agony.
Forgave, said it was finished, gave up your Spirit
Then took it back again.
Hallelujah, worthy is the Lamb that was slain,
To receive glory and honor and wisdom and power.

this was inspired by these two articles:
The Gaping Hole in the Modern Missions Movement: Part 1 Part 2


Did Jesus’ disciples have a post-Easter letdown? We can read how they struggled to believe in the accounts of the resurrection, but then they saw him. That must have been awesome. But how many more times did they see him? Luke says he stayed with them for forty days, then was taken up into heaven.
Did they wonder what on earth Jesus was doing? “Lord, why are you going away again? Isn’t it obvious how lost we are without you?”
Then Pentecost, the Spirit came with power, tongues of fire and words you had no idea what you were saying, except that others said you were praising God and declaring his works in languages they understood. And the small group of one hundred disciples is now over three thousand.
Yet Pentecost was just a one day event. Normal life comes back. Questions, doubts must have come. You must have exaggerated, made up that story. It’s sure not happening now, is it?

All of Scripture really is a series of one time events that don’t repeat. But we are called to remember the God who acted, and is still present, even if hidden.

The one who is able

One of my wife's favorite passages of Scripture:

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21. 

I have a complicated relationship with these words. I think more often I've prayed and God did significantly less than I asked for. I can remember praying in the 70s that Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev would come to Christ. It didn't happen (as far as I know). In the 2000s I prayed that Osama Bin Laden would come to Christ. That didn't happen (as far as I know). When I told my wife how I was praying for Osama, she said that sounds good, but don't get disappointed if it does not happen. She knows me well.

I notice Paul clearly does not say God will give us more than all we can ask for or imagine. He says God is able to do more than all we ask or im

But I have seen God answer with more than I asked. In 2001 right after a conference which had talked about mentoring, I was in church thinking I wasn't sure anyone had ever mentored me. And I prayed, God mentor me. I don't quite remember what I was expecting, but I look back and realize God has been answering that prayer for years now. I believe I have been mentored now. Yet keep it coming, Lord, I need more. 

And I'm sure when I see God face to face, I will see how much more he has done, far beyond what I have asked for or imagined. Saying he is able won't be such a theoretical exercise as it often feels now. 

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Cor 2:9, also Isaiah 64:4

Secrets and Significance

Like anyone, I wonder if what I do matters. Who really notices?

A curious novel encouraged me last fall on this topic: Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan. A fantasy-like novel set in contemporary San Francisco. An obscure guy, once web designer now bookstore clerk, uncovers a secret hidden by a 16th century typeface designer, a secret that Google with all their computing power had failed to find. 

Maybe totally unrealistic, but the story touched me. I am convinced that each of us knows things that Google or Apple or Amazon do not know, that the media and politics do not know, and that these things matter to God. I could make a joke of this (altered from a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln): "God must love details. He made so many of them." But I think it is true, not just a joke.

Along these lines, I think of the liturgy C. S. Lewis imagined at the end of Perelandra. A few snippets of it:
Each thing was made for Him. He is the centre. Because we are with Him, each of us is at the centre. ...
In the plan of the Great Dance plans without number interlock ...
All that is made seems planless to the darkened mind, because there are more plans than it looked for. ... There seems no plan because it is all plan: there seems no centre because it is all centre. Blessed be He.
God knows, God hears, something whispers to me, and I believe it. I feel joy, and think I can be calm, I can listen, I don't have to prove myself.

The persistent widow and the lamb that was slain

My devotional paired two readings the other day: Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the persistent widow; and Revelation 5, the Lamb that was slain celebrated as worthy to open the seal.
They do resonate together. The widow persists in crying out for justice, until the judge who doesn’t care decides to give in and respond so she’ll stop bothering him. How much more, Jesus says, will the Father hear those who cry out for justice day and night? He will swiftly grant justice.
“Swiftly?” I want to ask. Jesus can’t mean that literally, or else there would be no need for persistence in crying out. I suppose he’s presenting the eternal perspective; that the injustice or afflictions we suffer for a day, a week, ten years, a lifetime, all seem so short compared to the fullness of eternity. So don’t be afraid to cry out to God in suffering, he does hear and will swiftly answer (and the time will come that it will appear swift).

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Worthy is the one who appeared weak, gave no resistance, is also the victorious Lion who has conquered. The great Winner is the one who appeared as the Loser, helpless and weak who did not defend himself. So losing is winning, crying out and not getting what you ask for is not a loss but a gain. Can I believe that?

Are we each alone?

“Each heart knows its own bitterness,  and no one else can share its joy.”

There’s a lonely thought. What sad-hearted cynic penned this? Actually it comes from the Bible. Proverbs 14:10. (Perhaps still a cynic, if Proverbs and Ecclesiastes were written by the same author).
What is the point of this proverb? Are we indeed each alone? In human terms, we may well be. If we are each unique, if the modern proverb is right (and I believe it is) that there will never be another you, then it is inevitable that we will never know anyone exactly like ourselves. If this is what true companionship depends upon, we are indeed each alone. We are each unique in our experiences of sorrow and joy, the things that encourage and the things that perturb. Whose heart knows exactly the same notes of tragedy or of triumph? No one.
I remember some years back attending a family reunion. Early morning before it started I roamed our motel parking lot wondering how much I really looked forward to this event. I wasn’t typical, I was different. But then I thought how everyone probably had their own list why they are different, the things that other people don’t just get. I summed it up with the ironic thought, “We are each alone.” No one exactly like me. But no one exactly like him or her either.

We can extend grace to one another, remembering to be kind when we do not understand. It is not easy to be misunderstood, we all know that. But can we ever really, fully understand? So let us strive to be kind when we do not understand, remembering when we were not understood. And let us turn our hearts, and encourage one another to turn our hearts towards God, the one who does know and does understand. 

I met a celebrity once

A response to Addie Zierman's new book, Night Driving

What great news. Addie Zierman, that great blogger and author of a compelling memoir about the shallowness of evangelical certainty was coming out of distant Minnesota to our odd corner of North Carolina, and we could go see her. But as the day drew closer, I began to fear. She’d come, read from her book, and go away again, and I’d never have a chance to say how I’d connected with her words. Or if I did have a minute, would it come out clear, or all tangled up. So often I have this image of something to say that looks so clear and compelling, but putting it into words comes out such a mess. Or perhaps worst of all, I’d manage to be adequately coherent, she’d listen and politely smile, say that was all so very interesting and then disappear, not getting a word of it.
After all, who was I to attempt to talk to her? She’s a celebrity. A blogger that people actually read, a writer with a real published book that is sold in bookstores. Who was I? A blogger no one read, a self-published writer whose book hadn’t sold. But surely, my heart whispered, she ought to know how much it would mean to me if she listened and accepted my thoughts. She’d validate my existence, let me know I counted for something, was on the right track. But if she didn’t, if she snubbed me, could I handle the disappointment?
When she posted on her blog that she was cancelling her Charleston appearance because she just couldn’t fit it in, I wondered if she would soon cancel the Charlotte stop too. Maybe it would be just as well. Less risky. But the blog post affirmed she was keeping the Charlotte date. So maybe it was up to me to decide to stay away, keep hidden. But I decided to go ahead.
Addie in person was pretty cool. She recognized me, just because I’d commented on her blog and Facebook. She read from her book, then summarize what happened between that excerpt and the next one she’d read, and her extemporaneous summaries were as articulate as her written text. In the QA my wife got to tell her story of reading Addie’s book just at the right time to encourage someone else. And I learned another intriguing detail. Not only had she come to Charlotte, but she was actually staying just a few miles from our house miles south of Charlotte. The kind of odd coincidence that any evangelical knows has to be a God thing. (Aside: Why do we do this? God makes and arranges so many unique circumstances, but we only celebrate the oddly coincidental ones. Aren’t the other ones any less his handiwork?).

So that was the darkness I wandered in, feeling I needed Addie’s attention to be whole, to be noteworthy. Oh a celebrity, so grand, so far above me. How wonderful if she should look down from the heights of fame and notice me — then my life would be worth something. But faith reminds me my life is truly worth something; God looks down from the heights of heaven, and not only sees me, but longs for and invites me to relationship.

The new book, Night Driving is her story of this road trip. I can't wait to get to the part where she gets to Charlotte and meets me :)

My other posts about Addie Zierman
Addie Zierman and the Second World War
Addie Zierman
The Happy Middle

Addie Zierman and the Second World War

Sometimes you read a book and it shines a light on something completely different. Addie Zierman’s memoir When We Were on Fire did that for me. She writes of growing up evangelical in the 90’s, of the certainty of that subculture that if you did and said all the right things all would be well and effortless. I became an evangelical in the 70’s and I recognized her world. She had different popular bands, and different slogans, but the certitude that you could Get It Right was the same. Now don’t misunderstand, evangelicalism does get much right — the call to a relationship with Jesus Christ and to plunge deep into Scripture are two very right things. But the belief We Can Get it Right and Must Get it Right has dangers.
I’ve had a lifelong fascination with World War II. As a child, I knew the Hollywood version, where the heroes almost never died, even when things looked their darkest. I read history some to know that wasn’t totally realistic, but still the war ended in a resounding victory less than four years after Pearl Harbor. One of my favorite books growing up was called Great American Fighter Pilots of World War II, and my favorite chapter was about the Marianas Turkey Shoot. In the war against Japan, American fighter pilots started with big disadvantages, since the Japanese Zero was a better plane. But about a year before the end of the war, the Americans had a new fighter plane, the F6F, that outshone the Zero. The result, the Americans had a battle that seemed easy, like target practice (hence the name “Turkey shoot”). I loved this story — things only stay hard for a short time, then they become easy.
Another childhood memory: sitting in my living room, the radio is playing To Dream the Impossible Dream. I listen to the words and think that is how life ought to be. To dream the impossible dream, to fight the impossible fight, to dare with my last ounce of courage. Can these two memories be reconciled? Is life an impossible dream, requiring courage and self sacrifice, or is it a crisis that can soon be resolved? I think I attempted a reconciliation; to believe when the crisis came you should dare everything, hold nothing back, break through the opposition and things would sooner or later become easy.
The evangelical faith I found in college adopted this notion of dare everything and break through to victory. Is it not what Jesus did? He suffered and died, and on the third day he rose again. Then the Spirit came upon the church at Pentecost, and the church began to spread. But unfortunately the church grew complacent and overly traditional, and compromised. We needed to rediscover the fire, get serious again and turn the world upside down.
Addie was taught the same image. Do the right things, it may be hard at first but you’ll soon be victorious. She wasn’t prepared for doing the right things, and finding life was still hard. Neither was I. When I’d been an evangelical over twenty years, a realization hit like a shock one day. I’d been a Christian over three times as long as World War II had ever lasted, (even for the British who fought for six years), and I still hadn’t gotten to the easy phase. I wondered what I might have gotten wrong, came close to giving up on the faith, but got to a new understanding. I’d been emotionally misunderstanding the promises of God for years, interpreting them as recipes to get to the easy phase. They are not keys to an easy life. They are assertions to cling to when life is hard, to remember God is with you.
At the same time I first read Addie’s book, I saw a comment Winston Churchill made to a friend during the war. Americans, he said, are prone to thinking once you have made the key decision, all will go well. Evangelical theology has the same tendency to oversimplification. If you’ve done the key thing, given your heart to Jesus (and that is key, I’m not suggesting it isn’t), all should be well. But I’ve come to realize that perhaps the standard narrative of Scripture is not the hero who finds faith in God so all becomes easy, but the hero who finds faith in God, and clings to that faith and God’s promises when circumstances remain bleak.
I’ve just recently read again the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. My old style of thinking returned: what great faith, what a great victory. If only we had the same faith. But I look again, and realize the story isn’t quite like that. Yes, Elijah had faith and saw a great victory. But it wasn’t the kind of victory that made everything easy from then on. Jezebel was still out to get him, king Ahab was still lukewarm in faith (at best). A real ultimate victory would have been to unite Israel and Judah together once again, make the two one kingdom, worshiping together at the temple in Jerusalem. That didn’t happen. This story too, like the stories of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the unnamed heroes of faith in the last verses of Hebrews 11, is about someone who had faith, who say the hand of God sustain his faith, but did not yet see the resolution of all problems.

Yesterday I started Night Driving, Addie’s second book. I felt a twinge of disturbance at the beginning. She’s still struggling with those same issues of life being messy that she described in When We Were on Fire? Why? Then it dawned on me. My disturbance was the old longing for instant and dramatic victory, only slightly readjusted. You learn that life is hard, that God is with you in the hard times but doesn’t always instantly remove the hard parts; that does not bring on its own instantaneous victory where you adjust your expectations once and then proceed serenely with perfect patience through the ongoing messes of life. 

Am I a dreamer?

Two memories combine as I contemplate the modern political scene.
One, a memorable speech from a meeting a few years back. Our work group director publicly thanked an assistant director for being a voice of clarity in their deliberations. He said she had a remarkable gift for gently yet firmly pointing out where his ideas were incomplete and destined to fail unless substantially reworked. An awesome speech, inspiring to hear of the wisdom of the associate. But the speech also showed the humility of our director, who would publicly praise his assistant for showing him where he was wrong, rather than sideline her as an annoying obstacle to his plans.
Second memory, C. S. Lewis writing about his wife in A Grief Observed, stating one thing he misses greatly about her was her ability to penetrate the nonsense in his thinking. “Her mind was lithe and quick and muscular as a leopard. Passion, tenderness and pain were all equally unable to disarm it. It scented the first whiff of cant or slush then sprang, and knocked you over before you knew what was happening. How many bubbles of mine she pricked!”
What makes politicians popular today? Saying what you think, not letting “those people” intimidate you.
Is not sticking to one’s convictions a good thing? Yes. Stick to your convictions of value, but be flexible and teachable about how to implement those values. What should we value in politics? My list would include the rule of law, civility in discourse, equal opportunity and responsibility for all. But I also value being alert to complexity, ready to learn and to modify one’s default reactions in new circumstances are also virtues. I’m sure when we meet God face to face we will have much to learn. “I had no idea” we’ll probably find ourselves saying often. What did Job say when he saw God?
Where are the politicians who explain what they’ve learned from their opponents?

No one is like that. I must be dreaming, I know. But is not dreaming of the better something to be encouraged?