The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.— Frederick Buechner
The most scandalous Frederick Buechner quotes that are little-known but priceless
Lord, catch me off guard today. Surprise me with some moment of beauty or pain so that at least for the moment, I may be startled into seeing that you are here in all your splendor, always and everywhere, barely hidden, beneath, beyond, within this life I breathe.
Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world's greatest need.
You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.
My assumption is that the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.
We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old.
People are disturbed not by things but by the view they take of them.
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
In his holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief.
These handkerchiefs are called saints.
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid.
Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness.
A bleeding heart is of no help to anyone if it bleeds to death.
The grace of God means something like: Here is your life.
You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you.
The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.
Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day's chalking.
A God in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is an on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you're going but going anyway. A journey without maps. Tillich says that doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.
Wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other, God is with them and for them and they are doing God's will.
Grace is something you can never get but can only be given.
There's no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about anymore than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks. A good night's sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace.
What deadens us most to God's presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continually engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought.
For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.
If you want to be holy, be kind.
Not to love is, psychically, spiritually, to die.
To live for yourself alone, hoarding your life for your own sake, is in almost every sense that matters to reduce your life to a life hardly worth the living, and thus to lose it.
Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you.
.. Remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God's busineess... Even your own life is not your business. It also is God's Business. Leave it to God.
Religion points to that area of human experience where in one way or another man comes upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage.
It is as impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle.
It is not the objective proof of God's existence that we want but the experience of God's presence. That is the miracle we are really after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.
Sin and grace, absence and presence, tragedy and comedy, they divide the world between them and where they meet head on, the Gospel happens.
... the world can give you these glimpses as well as fairy tales can--the smell of rain, the dazzle of sun on white clapboard with the shadows of ferns and wash on the line, the wildness of a winter storm when in the house the flame of a candle doesn't even flicker.
Beneath our clothes, our reputations, our pretensions, beneath our religion or lack of it, we are all vulnerable both to the storm without and the storm within.
Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting.
For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost.
The first ministers were the twelve disciples.
There is no evidence that Jesus chose them because they are brighter or nicer than other people. Their sole qualification seems to have been their initial willingness to rise to their feet when Jesus said, "Follow me."
Snobs are people who look down on other people, but that does not justify our looking down on them. Who can say what dark fears of being inferior lurk behind their superior airs or what they suffer in private for the slights they dish out in public?
The world needs people who save lives.
To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness - especially in the wilderness - you shall love him.
Go where your best prayers take you.
Remember Jesus of Nazareth, staggering on broken feet out of the tomb toward the Resurrection, bearing on his body the proud insignia of the defeat which is victory, the magnificent defeat of the human soul at the hands of God.
We must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously.
Lord, I believe; help my unbelief' is the best any of us can do really, but thank God it is enough.
the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all
The birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it.
Love yourself not in some egocentric, self-serving sense but love yourself the way you would love your friend in the sense of taking care of yourself, nourishing yourself, trying to understand, comfort, and strengthen yourself.
If you have never known the power of God's love, then maybe it is because you have never asked to know it - I mean really asked, expecting an answer.
Lust is the craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst.
The Jesus I follow is the peacemaker, is one who says forgive your enemies, who worries about the poor, who worries about the poorest of the poor instead of the richest of the rich.
If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.
Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all. Amen, and come Lord Jesus.
Of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless.
It is the most powerful because it alone can conquer that final and most impregnable stronghold which is the human heart. It is the most powerless because it can do nothing except by consent.
He [Jesus] speaks in parables, and though we have approached these parables reverentially all these many years and have heard them expounded as grave and reverent vehicles of holy truth, I suspect that many if not all of them were originally not grave at all but were antic, comic, often more than just a little shocking.