The boy’s mother said he was autistic and sometimes spaced out, staring at his hands, but because I didn’t know what autism was, really, I figured he was more or less mesmerized by his existence. I was romanticizing the situation because the kid was probably distracting himself or daydreaming or something, but I thought maybe he was like Hamlet looking at his hands, thinking sincerely about what it means to have been born.

Although their access to scholarly tools was primitive compared to what is available in our day, their method of biblical interpretation was in some ways more sophisticated and certainly more psychologically astute, in that they were better able to fathom the complex, integrative, and transformative qualities of revelation. Their approach was far less narcissistic than our own tends to be, in that their goal when reading scripture was to see Christ in every verse, and not a mirror image of themselves.

He said, “Don, when something hard happens to you, you have two choices in how to deal with it. You can either get bitter, or better. I chose to get better. It’s made all the difference.

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