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We have on the one hand a desperate need; hunger, sickness, and the dread of war. We have, on the other, the conception of something that might meet it: omnicompetent global technocracy. Are not these the ideal opportunity for enslavement? This is how it has entered before; a desperate need (real or apparent) in the one party, a power (real or apparent) to relieve it, in the other.
A Church worshipping as a Creature of the Word doesn’t show up to perform or be entertained; she comes desperate and needy, thirsty for grace, receiving from The Lord and the body of Christ, and then gratefully receiving what she needs as she offers her praise- the only proper response to the God who saves us.
Prayer does two things. It shows the complete sufficiency of God and the complete helplessness of man. It shows that God is not lacking, that He is in need of no thing, that He is infinitely and gloriously wealthy, that He can give to, He can bless and He can answer without the need of help from anyone or anything else. And it also shows that we are in desperate need of that kind of sufficiency.
People may call what happens at midlife ‘a crisis,’ but it’s not. It’s an unraveling – a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you’re ‘supposed’ to live. The unraveling is a time when you are challenged by the universe to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and to embrace who you are.
Communism wasn’t a word that I thought of when I went to Cuba. The original Fidelistas were not Communists. They were graduate students at the university and law students. After the Fidelistas took over, they went to Washington and tried to get support from the U.S. government, which turned them down. They were in a desperate political and economic situation, so they took the offer from the Soviet Union. Communism was a matter of necessity.
It’s insulting when outsiders come in and tell a traumatized people what it will take for them to heal… People who have lived through a terrible conflict may be hungry and desperate, but they are not stupid. They often have very good ideas about how peace can evolve, and they need to be asked. That includes women. Most especially women.
No man is an island, as they say. No. I’ve tried it. I’ve gone on retreats at various times in my life for three or four or five days. I was desperate to get out of there and talk to somebody. But I fly fish a lot, and I can only do that really by myself. I find I’m never lonesome when I’m on a river, far from it, but it’s a lonely practice.
It’s no mystery why many of us in the media can’t get enough of the fabricators Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass, the latter of whom concocted more than a score of bogus feature stories for the New Republic (and who wrote for other magazines, including this one, once) in the mid-1990s. Anyone–journalist, student, academic–who has ever stared at a blank screen, their brains grinding emptiness, and thought, How can I fill this hole? knows that in those desperate moments before a deadline, almost anyone can do almost anything: make stuff up, plagiarize, scribble senseless half-truths.