I returned last night from Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing. And I'm marking my calendar for 2012. It's a wonderful conference. I heard great speakers, including Scott Cairns, Mary Carr, Eugene Peterson, Sara Miles, and Donna Freitas. They disagree with each other and represent a large swath of the Christian (and sometimes not-so-Christian) tradition. They challenge me, inspire me, and comfort me.
A few things they said that I'm still thinking about (and, in some cases, still disagreeing with):
"The way of salvation is not the way of the mercenary, to gain reward. It is not the way of the slave, to avoid punishment. It is the way of the lover, who serves simply to be in God's presence." –Scott Cairns
"The Holy Spirit doesn't seem to mind being embarrassed." –Eugene Peterson
"Prayer can't cure. All prayer can do is heal." –Sara Miles
"The average American WASP can ignore reality more than any drug addict. Plus they won't steal your television." –Mary Karr
See what I mean? Quite a weekend. I know my friend Trish Ryan is doing some reflections on her blog from the conference, so be sure to check in with her if you're interested. And check back later today to see if I've gotten to write more. My task for the week is a 50 page paper on Flannery O'Connor, so I'm giving myself permission to write here again only once I've got 15 pages on Flannery!