Tag Archives | darkness

The Ocean at the End of the Lane | Neil Gaiman

Gaiman's Ocean at the End of the Lane coverCertain fairy tales have staying power. Take the Brothers Grimm, for example. Who can forget the story of “The Frog Prince” or “Rumpelstiltskin” or “Rapunzel”? Disney’s built an empire on rebooting these stories.

If you’ve ever read the original fairy tales (not the modern sanitized version), you’ll know that they’re much darker. The second sister of Cinderella, for example, slices the back of her heel off at the will of her mother to fit it into the glass slipper. The rationale? “When you are Queen you won’t have to walk any more.”

Neil Gaiman has written a masterful fairy tale in the older, darker tradition. If light can only be seen in contrast to dark, Gaiman’s light shines!

The novel centres around a young boy’s memories of life with a friend who lived down the lane-way from him. When the circumstances in his life became increasingly difficult, his friendship with Lettie Hempstock became life-giving.

As I read through this short 178 pages novel, I felt like I was reading something older—more primal—than the stories we’re used to today. It’s the sort of gripping, enduring, story that you will want to consume in one sitting.

—Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (New York, NY: William Morrow, 2013).

Fatalism and Faith | Henri Nouwen

The opposite of fatalism is faith. Faith is the deep trust that God’s love is stronger than all the anonymous powers of the world and can transform us from victims of darkness into servants of light.

—Henri Nouwen, Here and Now, 79.

A Holy Interruption: A Prayer | Shane Claiborne

While we sat in darkness, Lord Jesus Christ, you interrupted us with your life. Make us, your people, a holy interruption so that by your Spirit’s power we may live as a light to the nations, even as we stumble through this world’s dark night. Amen.

—Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, Common Prayer, 209.

Staring into the Darkness | Michael V. Fox

Here’s a quote that makes me want to stand up and applaud the Qohelet of Ecclesiastes (in A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes)

Wisdom . . . includes the free exercise of intellect. . . . Wisdom means lucidity, the ability to stare into the darkness and say honestly what one sees. Qohelet chooses this uncomfortable path and pursues it with determination, even zest.

May we all follow.

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