By Wendy Grisham
It is a dangerous thing to give your heart away to someone you have only just met. Like most people, I learned that the hard way. Protecting your heart is a survival skill you learn as you grow and I am particularly bad at it. I think it has something to do with being too trusting or expecting everyone to be good, or maybe it comes from being the baby in the family, I don’t know. Over time, I have learned to study folks first before I hand them my heart and even that is no guarantee. But the cold winter morning that I plopped down opposite Becca Stevens, I had her my heart with one hand and a hot mug of coffee in the other. I saw safety in her eyes when I looked up at her. I saw wisdom and experience and I just handed it right over.
Becca wasn’t to know that I’d had a rough morning or that I’d had a rough few weeks, trying to start a new life with a new job in a new town in with few friends other than the books that filled my house. She didn’t know my story. And I didn’t know hers. But I wasn’t there to tell my story. I was there to talk about a book idea, and trying to choke back tears and act professional, I slapped on a smile as I walked through the door to meet this reverend with a cause. It took all of six seconds to unwrap my winter layers and my heart, take a deep breath, and make eye contact. Suddenly, the slapped-on smile wasn’t necessary and I was safe. I knew that the instant I met her and I know it as I type this blog.
Thoughts on Easter and Holy Week, from the Jericho Staff and Authors
As we did on Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, we took a moment to ask the Jericho staff and authors what Easter means to them this Holy week. Comment below and let us know what Easter means to you.
Heather Kopp, author of Sober Mercies:
I love Easter Sunday as much as the next Christian. But in recent years, I resonate more with the spiritual themes of Good Friday.
I don’t mean to sound flip, but since God is all-powerful, the idea that He could raise Jesus from the dead is not all that surprising.
But the idea that God Incarnate would make himself vulnerable to his own creation—to the point of death on a cross—astonishes me.
As a recovering drunk, I’m keenly aware that I am powerless over alcohol. The idea that God once made himself as powerless as I am—so that one day I could rely on his awesome power instead of my own—seems almost too good to be true.
Yet here I am sober, living proof that it’s so.
“God allows himself to be edged out of the world and onto the cross. God is weak and powerless in the world, and that is exactly the way, the only way, in which he can be with us and help us.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Phil Madeira, author of God on the Rocks:
Easter is the one Sunday in the year that calls me to rise early. Mind you, I’d rather sleep in. But if I’m vigilant enough to rise, and hightail it to a favorite park before the sun gets there, I can be reminded of the Light that has been visited upon my darkness, from which I raise my mug of coffee and shout “Christ is risen!”
By Wendy Grisham
One of my favorite movies of all time is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Not because I get to look at Paul Newman for 2 hours (though that is a perk) but because of Burl Ives. Judge if you must. I love his voice. I always thought he would be such a great grandpa. Of course, when I was younger I didn’t understand all the nuances of Tennessee Williams but I loved it when Big Daddy would say ‘mendacity’ with such force, over and over again.
At the time, I thought mendacity was a good thing. It had to be if it came from Burl Ives but when I got a little older I learned it wasn’t and of course that made sense with the movie. Until I learned the difference, I thought it meant ‘tenacity’ which is obviously a whole different kettle of fish (and still oddly fits the movie). All that to say, when I hear the word tenacity I think of it with Burl Ives voice. I hear the force and vigor behind it. And it makes tenacity a much more powerful and important word for me.
If I had to use one word to describe Lillian Daniel, it would be tenacity.