We can be reluctant to recognize how much of our culture was literary, particularly now that so many of the institutional purveyors of literature happily have joined in proclaiming its death. A substantial number of Americans who believe they worship God actually worship three major literary characters: the Yahweh of the J Writer (earliest author of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers), the Jesus of the Gospel of Mark, and Allah of the Koran.

and after all in this house what have we to fear? There is always someone with us who is stronger. The devil may visit us, but God lives here.

Tzedakah is different than charity. Charity comes from the word charitus, which means heart. Tzedakah comes from the word tzedek, which means justice, so when you are giving tzedakah, you are not just making the world a better place by contributing to hospitals, synagogues, churches, or your favorite cause. You are in a position of bringing justice to the world, becoming as God-like as possible.

It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

We love with all our heart but we also keep our heart light and pliable. It has space. It breathes. It waits on life to give instructions. It sings with sweetness when the winds are soft and warm. It stands with calm patience when the storm is brewing. It lets go when endings have left their irrefutable mark. It moves. It heals. It hopes.

Christ should leave us. He is too much with us and I don’t like his friends. We have no hope of recovering Christ until Christ leaves us. There is after all something worse than being God-forsaken. It is when God overstays his welcome and takes up with the wrong people.

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