"Remember, I said it was God who was prying the little girl's hands off her eyes. As if He were saying, 'I can't use ivory-tower followers. They're plaster of paris, they crumble and fall apart in life's press. So you've got to see life the way it really is before you can do anything about evil. You cannot vanquish it. I can. But in My world the battle against evil has to be a joint endeavor. You and Me. I, God, in you, can have victory everytime.' After that, He was always right there beside me, looking at the dreadful sights with compassion and love and heartbreak. His caring and His love were too real for bitterness to grow in me."
"You see, Christy, evil is real--and powerful. It has to be fought,not explained away, not fled. And God is against evil all the way. So each of us has to decide where we, how we are going to live our lives. We can try to persuade ourselves that evil doesn't exist; live for ourselves and wink at evil. We can say that it isn't so bad after all, maybe even try to call it fun by clothing it in silks and velvets. We can comprimise with it, keep quiet about it and say it's none of our business. Or we can work on God's side, listen for his orders on stategy against the evil, no matter how horrible it is, and know that He can transform it."
"...if we're to work on God's side, we have to decide to open our hearts to the griefs and pain all around us. It's not an easy decision. A dangerous one too. And a tiny narrow door to enter into a whole new world.
"But in that world a great experience waits for us: meeting the One who's entered there before us. He suffers more than any of us could because His is the deepest emotion and the highest perception.
"Not, mind you, that He approves of suffering or wills it. Quite the opposite. And He doesn't just leave us and Himself in the anguish. At the point where His in ultimate love meets His total capacity to absorb and feel all our agony, there the miracle happens and the exterior situation changes. I've seen the miracle."
"Christy, have you ever watched a baby learning to walk? He totters, arms stretched out to balance himself. He wobbles--and falls, perhaps bumps his nose. Then he puts the palms of his little hands flat on the floor, hikes his rear end up, looks around to see if anybody is watching him. If nobody is, usually he doesn't bother to cry, just precariously balances himself--and tries again.
"Well, the baby can teach us. What you've undertaken here in Cutter Gap in your schoolroom isn't a state of perfection to be arrived at all of a sudden. It's a walk, and a walk isn't stactic but ever-changing. We Friends say that all discouragement is from an evil source and can only end in more evil. Wallowing in self-condemnation or feeling sorry for yourself is worse than falling on your face in the first place. So--thee fell into a temper. So thee is human. Thank God for humanness."
"Whenever you've taken a written prescription from your doctor, the first step after that is yours. You move on this, and then God will move. I'll guarantee it. And as for religion being vague--well, it isn't. It's been the delight of my life to find God more common-sense and practical than any human I know. The only time I ever find my dealings with God less than clear-cut is when I'm not being honest with Him. The fuzziness is always on my side, not His.
"More people than not think religion dull. Some religions are dull. But believe me, Christianity isn't. It's the most facinating, delightful thing I know."
"First, the Master cares. He suffers with us. He weeps when we weep. He aches when we ache. He cares.
"Second, we can have His friendship only if we are willing to let go of our resentments and our bitterness and our hating and our fueding and our name-calling and our shooting and love one another....
"You see, my friends, bitterness is like a weed with a strong root growing in us, like Spanish needles that harass us here. If we allow that root to get started, soon it will take over the heart and contaminate us, mind and spirit and body.
"But that does not have to happen. We can trust our Friend. He will root out the bitterness and fill up the hole where the root came out with His love--if we will let Him. 'I will never leave thee, or forsake thee,' He promised. It is a sure promise."
"Most of us are still talking religious theory that we haven't begun living... A watered-down message is as futile as applying rose water to a cancer. When your heart is ablaze with the love of God, when you love other people...so much that you dare to tell them about Jesus with no apologies, then never fear, there will be results. One of two things will happen. Either there'll be persecutions, or the fire will leap from you heart to catch and blaze in the depths of other men's beings. I've watched the process over and over. And then when the blaze starts, the reforms will follow as surely as the flower follows the bud, or the fruit comes after the blossom on the tree."
"Christy, those who've never rebelled against God or at some point in their lives shaken their fists in the face of heaven, have never encountered God at all.
"I mean that rebellion against our human lot and admitting that we don't understand are clear steps on the way to finding reality."
"Go on, Christy, ask questions, never be afraid of truth....And ask God. Ask Him ultimate questions--about the why of things: about your place in the world, about life--and death. Ask, Christy, ask. You'll find. The promise is sure."