Rivers in the Desert

I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. – Isaiah 43:20 NKJV

I see you by the riverside
Your sweet reflection in her tide
I see the pain you try to hide
Those deepest eyes so much have cried

I know those tears, I cry them too
I am heartbroken,  just like you.

Yet there is a secret you must know,
Tears feed the inner seeds He sews,
With tears collected, His rivers flow
With pride neglected, we shall grow

I see you, see you deeper still
I see the man, your heart, your will
I see God’s work, your mind renewed
I see the breath of God in you imbued

So please, cry not for earth and clay
Cry not for what will pass away
To worldy patterns we shall not conform
But minds renewed, we shall transform

So let our tears be gifts to Him
As painful shackles fade
We find our truest selves in Him,
Fearfully and wonderfully made!

That according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being - Ephesians 3:16 ESV

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. –Romans 12:2 ESV

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:14 ESV


Down to the Dusty Bones

Psychological suffering is hard.  It is painful, confusing, exhausting, and (here’s the kicker), somewhat of an indulgence. At this time in American history, we are under constant psychological attack; from future uncertainty, nonsensical oppression, glaring deceit, a gaping lack of justice, and a plethora of swamp suckers – those people around us believing so many lies without a moment’s critical thought, championing foolish and harmful actions, and snapping like little angry mongrels at anyone who does not adhere to their hypnosis; truly a bog of despair to be navigated by those without muddied faculties. Such violent attacks of lunacy and degeneracy onto the collective human mind and heart are overwhelming and disorienting to the spirit.  Wars of the flesh are outdated and messy; now evil and its cohorts kill from the inside out.

I could offer many examples of this terrible and willful disavowal on many different battlefronts, as could you.  We witness spiritual suicide by those in the trenches with us, those that we love and those that we desperately need to fight with us.

This makes me angry.  I want to not care. I want to curse all the willfully blind people and their destructive perversions and  disgusting cowardices. I want to unblind them, make them see what I see. Make them recognize the hell they’ve endorsed and helped create, a rotting and burning thing.  But without me in it. 

Perhaps we are currently living through Dante’s inferno, walking through the spheres of hell, as we fight our way toward heaven.  One can only hope.

But once all the anger and cursing and hot air is spent…well, then I am left with myself.  And my God, and my family, and my dogs, and all the little things in my life that I love.

With these good and lovely things called to mind, I often think of this quote by CS Lewis:  “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.  Aim at earth, and you get neither.”

The psychological suffering of the mad circus we are living through, is providing me with ample evidence that my aim is off.  Perhaps I need to line my sights to the target instead of shooting at the dark.  Perhaps, in that dark, I sense the worst of humanity’s sloth, stupidity, greed, and corruption.  Perhaps, in that darkness, I sense that, in another time or space or circumstance, I could be (or have been) guilty of these same things, which I hate in others.

It is that terrible squirming truth that I do not want to look at, so I hate and blame the other, desperately clinging to the hope that I cannot be so bad as I fear I might be.  I also discover, that while we are paradoxically all in this together, in the end each man will only ever be able to save himself, and God will know the truth in each man’s heart. 

Mirror mirror on the wall

Who is the foulest of them all?

Shall I be saved or shall I fall?

It is an age-old reactionary tale.  Adam blames Eve, Eve blames the serpent, and we blame all three of them.  We also blame the fallen angels, and all the other people who’ve I’ve taken ample aim at above for my own hot-air-target practice.  Angry proclamations of blame, while the planks in our eyes limit our vision, and the supernatural war of good and evil rages around us. We can feel so small and handicapped.

The power of world governments and financial institutions, the logistics of foodstuffs and electricity power grids, the undisclosed effects of experimental injections, the hidden hands and shadow networks, all these ‘powers’ are far bigger than us, and we find ourselves humbled right down to our dusty bones.  Inside this arena, we don’t really seem to matter.  This leads us, not only to a certain material hopelessness about our future in the arena, but to a deeper despair about our purpose.  What is our purpose, if we don’t seem to matter?  The profound sadness contained here is inexpressible.  For we all want to matter, we want to do things that matter, and lately, it is hard to find something to do that feels like it matters.

In this world of matter, mattering seems to be of utmost importance. At least, to the self.  But, perhaps mattering does not matter, when one shifts her orientation from self to God.  Perhaps it is enough, and all we can ever do, to listen (actively) and obey our Father.  He offers us the map to wisdom, contentment, and ultimately, salvation. He offers us everything that actually matters.

There is an unexpected freedom in relinquishing our own mattering, our own ideas of purpose. Here we find ourselves, peeled back by psychological suffering to our raw and pulpy insides, finally realizing that we don’t want to do things this way anymore, bloated with our lurking fears and secret desires and hidden self righteousness. We don’t want it anymore. We just want to give it all to Him. We just want to be clean.

When one takes her proper station, relinquishing any illusion of significance outside her service to God, she can take her very first deep breath in lungs unburdened by pride.  She is free to be directed by her Father. And she finds she is contented and in love. And those around her, those she loves, those in the trenches, those blinded by planks or swamp mud or whatever, they will feel it too. It is an unstoppable, irresistible force. It is Goodness, and it lives in everything she touches. It is wise and brave and thoughtful and humorous, full of good cheer and optimism.

It is reading a very wonderful book to your children, or playing legos on the floor. 

It is a healthy meal and cheerful conversation around the dinner table. 

It is caring for your parents.

It is eye contact and smiling and greeting, even with a mask on.

It is singing along to good music while cleaning the home.

It is diligently completing tasks in good humor.

It is big prayers to the big guy upstairs, throughout the day.

It is teaching the ones you love about the hope you have in Him.

It is allowing His inner convictions to humble and strengthen and change you.

It is the humility to mind your business, the courage to speak up, and the wisdom to know when to do each.

Suffering removes the burdens of the self, empties our inner vessels, allows the Holy Spirit to pour in and start directing our inner affairs.  Take your hits my friend, and I will take mine.  Humility, patience, endurance, wisdom, and a Love so big I can hardly touch it or even think on it. 

Down down down, to our dusty old bones.  “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”  But, how many specks of dust ever get to freely serve the Creator of all things?  To actively bring about the completion of his glorious master plan in the fullness of time?

If I am to be dust, then dust I shall be, but magical fairy dust. Poof.  God wins.


Greasy chicken wings and barefoot people,
Smokers and gregarious, leathery bleach-blondes.
Rank is worn on a salty ball cap,
Reputation built on hardy helllo’s from seated bar stools.  

Dreams can rest here,
And ambitions wash away with the tide.
Smiles here are easy and often.  

There are stars at night and warm thick air,
Tumblings of waves and rumblings of thunder,
Iridescence on the water, if I’m lucky
But there I am lucky anyway.  

I just want to go there
To the place where the plants grow
Even at night.  

Where the greedy sea gulls,
Those beautiful, nimble thieves
Steal my food right out of my hand
And make my fingers bleed.  

Where the simple memory of a pregnant sea turtle
lumbering to shore in the secret of night
Stuns my mundane mind back into magic
And stirs my weary heart to delight.  

Where I can softly fade into the background
Of the old, reliable reggae music
And wooden lacquered picnic tables.

Oh, sweet place the world skips over!  
May it never see you,
May it never find this secret spot!
May I ever fall back into its predictable comfort,
And unconventional magic.  


*Dedicated to KH and our crew, and AO and hers.

Of Fruits and Thorns

In the process of reading books of the Bible, I have found myself working through two distinct phases.  First an instructive phase, offering history, information, a code of conduct, ground rules, and the core mechanics of natural law. 

Then I discovered a deeper level, not just for the hard working student, but for the deeply seeking student.  The one who wants not just the benefits of Truth’s lessons, but wants the Truth itself.  Nothing less will do. Truth is that only thing that can satisfy the longing of the broken heart.  Truth is the lost fruit of the hungry human soul. 

So, where on earth do we find such fruit?  I think we first find it in the garden of Eden.  Of course, this idea immediately suggests the infamous forbidden fruit; the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Additionally, we may recall the famous tree of life, whose fruit gave eternal life to whomever ate of it.  God forbade Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of both these trees, though He did so at different times.  After Eve and Adam ate of the tree of knowledge, God quickly sends them out of the garden so they could not partake of the tree of life and become immortal, saying “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.  And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” (Gen3:22)

Interesting that God says men will become like one of Us. Could Us be divine, immortal beings?  Some, perhaps, who have rebelled and created a problem for God because of their combined gifts of knowledge and immortality?  Could God, by exiling Adam and Eve, have been trying to avoid another fallen angel event? 

Another question arises:  If Adam and Eve were forbidden from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, why was the tree in the garden?  Why was the tree accessible?  Could it be because they were not supposed to eat of this tree yet?  Could it be that, perhaps the fruit of the tree of knowledge was being saved for a later time, after these two brand-new humans had eaten their full of the other fruits offered?

God commands Adam, saying “of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat…” (Genesis 2:16-17)  We as readers tend to focus solely on this tree and the tree of life.  Surely, these are two extraordinary trees, and they are the only two trees the narrator of Genesis highlights in specific detail as to their functions, because this information is essential to understanding the story.  But, what about the other trees in the garden?  It would be a mistake to overlook them simply because they are not described in so much detail.  It would also be illogical to assume that these other trees do not have similar supernatural qualities, with similar supernatural fruit. 

What if each tree and its corresponding fruit had a specific Godly purpose, a specific type of supernatural nourishment?  What if God intended for these innocent humans to eat of the other fruits first?  What if the other trees’ nourishment was foundational for the humans; to strengthen them, to teach them, to prepare them for the ultimate tree of knowledge?  Taken in the right order, the fruit could be utterly creational.  Taken in the wrong order, utterly detrimental.

Adam and Eve were not ready for the fruit of knowledge at the time of the serpent’s deception.  Perhaps they needed first to be anchored in Goodness. They needed the spiritual nourishment of the other fruits first.  The firstfruits, interestingly, is a word often used in the Old Testament, referencing a person’s good offering or sacrifice to God.  First, the firstfruits.  They are primary, they are how man prepares himself to receive God.

But, what could these first fruits of the garden be, functionally?  What virtues might they have bestowed upon the two original consumers? Perhaps we can look to the mystical apostle Paul for some answers.  Paul, throughout his story, has many mystical experiences, including a vision of Jesus (whom he never met in the flesh), and a visit to a mysterious and paradisiacal third heaven.  Paul, in one of his epistles, describes a different type of fruit, the fruit of the spirit.  “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  (Galatians 5:22-23) 

What if the fruits of the spirit were embedded within the fruits of Eden?

Eden was a garden paradise of ease and rest, and was anchored in God’s goodness. There was, at the beginning, no toil, no thorns and thistles, no sweat of the brow, no shame.  How would God teach his new creation in such a place? Perhaps He taught them through the fruit.  Perhaps, upon eating the allowed fruit of Eden, the fruits of the spirit would blossom within man, over time?  Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, all wrapped up in a tropical fruit basket?  What if this food was not just physical nourishment, but mental, spiritual, and emotional nourishment, delighting their mouths, filling their bellies, and digesting into their beings?  It would be a kind, gradual, and beautiful journey for the human to grow with God and embody His Goodness through the nourishment He provided.

When Adam and Eve transgressed and received knowledge before they were prepared, they traded in the teaching instruments of fruit and ease for the teaching instruments of thorns and hardship.  New classroom, same lessons. “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you…” (Genesis 3:17-18). 

Interestingly, the apostle Paul, who gives us the beautiful description of the fruit of the spirit, also describes his own “thorn in his flesh”, an illness or injury from which he suffers, and for which he prays three times to have removed from him.  God answers him, saying “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Paul later echoes this sentiment, saying “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Why would God’s strength be made perfect in our weakness?  Why would Paul personally confirm this so vehemently, a man who had deeply and mystically communed with God? 

Paul sometimes speaks of two distinct parts of man’s makeup; an inner man: that internal aspect of man, the spiritual man of God; and the outer man: the external, material man of earthly concerns and desires.  Perhaps Paul was saying, when his outer man is made weak, humbled by the thorn in his side, his inner man is made strong. 

Instead of the fruits of Eden to nourish and strengthen the inner man, fallen earth offers thorns of pain and toil to weaken the outer man. As God keeps the thorn in Paul’s side, He also keeps Paul humble and focused; God tempers the outer man, who possesses knowledge before his time, with thorns of toil and weakness.   Wielding knowledge of good and evil requires constant humility, focus, and vigilance against indulgent distraction or blinding pride.

Paul has decided, even if he must ‘consume’ the thorns of fallen earth that will destroy his outer man, he will not lose hope, but be glad to strengthen his inner man, to complete himself, and return himself to God.  In Paul’s own words, “We do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

When Jesus was scourged, humiliated, mocked, tortured, and crucified, what was placed upon his head?  A crown of thorns.

This is faith.  This is sacrifice.  This is service.  This is growth.

Perhaps, to some humble extent, we can do the same. Perhaps in our journeys, we can endure the thorns in our sides, remembering that in our weakness we are made strong, and remembering that, maybe they were not meant to be thorns, but were once offered as fruit. 

But no matter, we are strong.  We shall be inspired by the life of Jesus, by teachers like Paul, by stories like creation, which support us and guide us to complete our journeys, complete ourselves, and find our way back to God.  From thorns to fruits, with the help of the Spirit.

Adam, Eve, and the Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Who am I?  Where do I come from? What am I here for? And finally, what shall I do?

Hungry questions from my hungry mind. 

As an almost inadvertent truth seeker, I am ever searching for clues to my origin, creation, and purpose.  I say inadvertent, because my desire for truth actually surprises me sometimes; I didn’t really know I was looking for truth for much of my life, even though the subtle undercurrent was always pulsing away within me.  I did not look for a solid, well-trodden and dependable path to truth. I was not deliberate or graced with much forethought.  I was more of a “not all those who wander are lost” type; stumbling into great adventure, discovery, sorrow, and honesty, being guided by a secret heart set on truth, but a mind unaware.

Because of this personal disposition, the Bible never really appealed to me.  I tended toward the tactile and experiential, and the Bible felt outdated, arcane, and even suspicious.  A tool for global control maybe, a comfort to very sad people yes, a superficial layer of protection for broken psychologies.  But the truth, the way and the life of John14:6? I mostly did not think so.  The truth would be more hidden I thought, the way would be less narrow, but the life… now that always tantalized me.  The life.  The singular life.  The singular Alive. That is where the mystery of the Bible romanced my heart, even as a child, and that little seed of Alive stayed with me.

I also did not like the Bible because I conflated its contents (mostly unknown to me), with the way its contents were presented to me.  I listened to the edicts and interpretations of a storyteller (a religion and its priests), rather than reading the story myself.

For the last few years, I have endeavored to read the Bible, at least books of it, in the hopes of one day possibly completing the entire compilation, but more importantly, in hopes of diving deep into each book that I do read, and do my best to understand it for myself.  I may be right or wrong in my musings and interpretations, but I am at least making a personal effort.  Thus creating a tactile and experiential reading of the Bible, something in which my disposition delights. And, working hard at something is good for the soul. 

So, here I go!

In my childhood Biblical lessons, I was generally taught that, because of Adam and Eve’s transgression at the Tree of Knowledge, man is inherently sinful.  With the additional implications that, because they were so easily deceived, humankind is also feeble-minded.  And, in their hiding from God, human beings, in the face of righteousness, are fearful and ashamed, rather than repentant.  (I used to wonder as a child, why they didn’t just apologize and ask forgiveness.  Perhaps they did.  Still a valid question.)  So, almost straight from creation, man has proven sinful, stupid, weak, and afraid.  Yikes.

Well, that was the storyteller’s version, and honestly, it could be true.  But, I read it for myself anyways, many times.  And thought about it, imagined about it, allegorized it, let the old story I’d heard fade, and let the actual reading of the story live in me awhile to see how it would grow.

Biblically, the only evil force presented during creation and the time of Eden is Satan, disguised as that ‘serpent of old’, the devil.  Satan’s genesis remains a mystery.  Many believe him to be a fallen angel.  Others believe him to be an original adversary, created by God to be a tester.  He remains rather enigmatic, outside of his obvious force for evil and deception, and the curious circumstance that God allows him to exist in this state.

As far as I know Biblically, Satan was acting alone in the Garden of Eden.  Later in the Bible, specifically the New Testament, I read of multiple references to ‘legions’ of demons.  Legion is defined as a great number of men, usually in a military capacity.  So, assuming Satan may be alone in Eden, at the genesis of humankind, how does he garner followers, a legion of fallen angels (or demons), as referenced in the New Testament?

Well, he needed bait, a reward, something to seduce other angels, something to addict and enslave them.   Could it be the promise of sensual human pleasures?  Pleasures only corporeal beings could enjoy?  Why did the serpent deceive the woman?  It seems the man would’ve been a greater prize, a more prestigious bounty, as God’s original human creation.  But, no, Satan chose the woman.  Did Satan deceive Eve so that he could attract his legion of fallen angels?  Did Satan promise these angels, if they would only follow him instead of God, the chance to become sensual beings, to mate with women, as Genesis 6:2 suggests,  to have offspring of their own?  Sensuality, sex, and procreation – three things that seem to be specifically human and non-angelic experiences.

In the garden of Eden, God is the external protection to Adam and Eve, at the expense of their wisdom, at the expense of the knowledge of good and evil.  This is very important.  Adam and Eve do not know good and evil.  So, under these circumstances, Adam and Eve have no chance at being ‘the man in the arena’, because there is no adversary.  There is peace, but is there completeness?  I think there is not completeness, only a protective nescience. Nothing to hurt them, break them, or scare them.  Also nothing to fight for, strive for, or long for. It’s almost like a blissful stasis.  Like unignited potential. 

And thus enters the adversary, persuading Eve to eat the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  But why did Eve listen to the serpent?  Why did she disobey God?  Was she even capable of disobedience if she had no knowledge of what disobedience was?  Perhaps Eve inherently trusted the serpent because she had no capacity for distrust.  It reminds me of a very little child, a toddler perhaps, who does not separate his external reality from his internal reality.  Perhaps to Eve, everything was God, perhaps there was never a question in her mind that the serpent was a deceiver, because she had no concept of deception, because God is not deception.  And what does she do after she eats?  She convinces Adam to eat of it also.  (In my mind, I imagine after her first bite, the knowledge awakens within her, and she sees her disobedience to God, the deception of the serpent, and the absolute unprotected state in which she placed herself; symbolically naked.  She’s probably freaking out, trying to explain what happened to Adam, and he cannot understand.  Not until he also eats of it can he comprehend his wife’s predicament.)

Now, they are both unprotected, naked.  Now they both feel unsafe, ashamed, and ultimately hide themselves.  They have sinned, but are they guilty?  Is there guilt in a mistake? There are consequences to mistakes, but not necessarily guilt.  For example, if a toddler touched a hot stovetop, he would be burned, though he would not be guilty.  The burn would be a necessary bodily reaction to having touched the stovetop.  The burned skin would be damaged, may blister painfully in order to heal, and would also serve as a lesson for the child, not to touch hot stovetops again.  Consequences.  Now, if his mother fussed at him for being so careless and sent him to his room, that would be punishment.  But a good mother would never do that.  She would see that the child, from lack of knowledge and experience, did not know any better.  The consequence of his action, the bad burn, she could not change, but the punishment she would withhold.

Thus God finds them ashamed and hiding, and is angry.  He curses the serpent for his treachery and curses the ground, but in cursing the ground, He tells Adam and Eve He does it “for your sake”.  (Genesis 3:17)  This is the consequence of their actions.  If Adam and Eve touched the burner, then for their sakes they must be burned, in order to heal, learn and grow.  Endowed with this new knowledge, they must refine their understanding of it through experience on a cursed and polarized Earth, in order to become complete.  New knowledge, new responsibility.

So Adam and Eve enter the Arena of fallen earth.  The innocent babes are now at war with Satan; the first two humans on the spiritual battlefield.  As time passes, angels fall (if they hadn’t already), mate with women, teach humans inappropriate things and cause much pain and depravity upon the earth.   It seems almost an impossible battle, a totally unfair fight; this fight between the demonic and men.  It seems like God would put an end to the pain, chaos, death and debauchery immediately, and wrap up his little, infantile, fragile humans back into the safety of his undifferentiated one-ness. Unless He saw something that we do not so easily see.  Unless he saw a victory.  An unexpected, unprecedented, unpredictable, epigenisis of the human race.  The hobbit who somehow defeats Sauron.  Impossible.  Happened anyway. 

There would be much pain, intolerable and utter evil, deepest sorrows, total despairs, and great sacrifice, especially for God. But in the end, there would be victory.  And perhaps such a victory as would change the make-up of all the holy things, of all the cosmic energies; a new time, a new place, a new creation.

We humans were deceived to enter the arena, the cursed playing field, but were we as a race cursed?  God never directly curses Adam or Eve, only the serpent and the ground.  God gives consequences for their actions, but not curses.  He even tells Adam and Eve that he curses the ground for their sakes, not their punishment.  In contrast, when Cain kills his brother, having the knowledge of good and evil and choosing evil, God curses Cain.

So are we inherently cursed or corrupt?  Are we feeble minded, weak, and afraid?   Or were we only convinced of these things based on a religious, interpretive narrative and an influential corrupt playing field (fallen earth)?

I am not positing this to fluff up our human pride or discount our earned guilt through life choices. Humility, prudence, and vigilance at every step.  But.  Perhaps we are not wielding the weapons we have been given.  If we underestimate ourselves inherently, if we live believing we are inherently cursed sinners, we are possibly suffering from another terrible deception. A spiritual and mental disability of our own wrong perception.  For example, if I told a very gifted athletic child, over and over again, he was a cheater at his sport, that no matter what he did or how he trained and excelled, he would always be a cheater, this would no doubt affect his attitude, and over time, he would hate his sport.  He may perform perfunctorily, and enjoy the cheers from his family and friends, but he would never achieve his potential, or find fulfillment in his role, because he had been handicapped into believing he was a cheater, no matter what.

We can all admit to sinning and being a sinner, without having it inordinately define us, without having it limit our goodness or our ability to fight evil, without a curse being our origin.  We are living beings, to be pruned and nourished.  We all bear fruit. To paraphrase Matthew 7:16, we will be known by our fruit.  Our fruit is our choice.

Adam and Eve accidentally upped the ante.  They went from the baby’s cradle to the gladiator’s arena.  God allowed it.  Scary.  Accidental. Exciting.  Epigenetic.  God knows where this is going.  Biblically, we may not know the details, but we know that there will be suffering, and we know there will be unfathomable reward.  We are in the arena.  Shall we be tricked into spectating?  Believing that we are weak and sinful?  Or shall we be wise, and realize that we can be weak and sinful, but we do not have to be, and our place on the spectrum between sin and righteousness, between weakness and courage, between ignorance and wisdom, is ours to move.