Bathed in the Warmth of Stories

fireBy Joyce Hollyday, a facilitator of the upcoming “Heart and Hearth: A Writing Retreat for Women.”

During Advent many years ago, I preached in the morning chapel service at a Pennsylvania college. The chaplain’s five-year-old son, Kyle, had memorized the Gospel of Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, and he was eager to recite it at lunch. He was flawless until he got to the part about the angels announcing to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace!” Forgetting the last phrase, Kyle concentrated for a few moments. Then he confidently launched in again, enthusiastically attributing these words to the hovering heavenly host: “Glory to God in the highest…and I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!” Continue reading

Rebels and Saints

indexBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

For the last two weeks, Isaac has asked me to read the same story every night- The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter. It is the story of Alia Muhammad Baker who saved all the books from her library just before the library was burned to the ground during the US bombing of the Iraq War. It ends with her dreaming of peace from her home filled with books from floor to ceiling. Each night, Isaac asks what happened to Alia? What happened to the books? We finally looked it up and they re-built the library and she is the librarian again with all the books and stories she held safe from our mass destruction. Continue reading

Stories

ceremonyI will tell you something about stories,
(he said)
They aren’t just entertainment.
Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off illness and death
You don’t have anything
if you don’t have stories.
Their evil is mighty
but it can’t stand up to our stories.
So they try to destroy the stories
let the stories be confused or forgotten.
They would like that
They would be happy
Because we would be defenseless then…”

  • Leslie Silko, Ceremony