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That’s Not My Name

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,” goes the rhyme, “but words will never hurt me.” If only that were true. The truth is that words come loaded with power and meaning and at any stage in life name calling is a damaging thing. There is one guy who has called me some really negative things; it’s usually in moments of frustration or anger or sadness but that doesn’t make it all right. If this person was anyone else, I imagine that I’d have given in to anger and yelled at them in return, or else just frozen them out of...
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The Boxer

I remember when I was in senior school I had a predicament involving someone who had frustrated me. I quickly hit upon the solution; I strolled down the class room, elbow dropped him in the back, and walked off. So what, I thought, he has asthma? Why stop yourself? The struggle will be good for him. As I returned to my desk I felt a surge of adrenaline, I could hear him winded and in pain behind me and I thought I had won. That feeling lasted for only the tiniest amount of time, however, when I remembered a few other...
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No Other Name

The Passion façade of la Sagrada Familia is an awe inspiring sight. Eight and a half thousand letters, hand carved into imposing bronze doors, tell the story of the crucifixion of Christ from the Gospel of St. John. Every time the name of Jesus is carved it is raised higher than the other letters and picked out in gold. I stood for quite some time before these doors, captured by their power and beauty, and as I did so something awesome happened; the shadow from the top half of the door fell above the name of Jesus and, for just...
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United by the Cross

I remember when I was young my family camped at the foot of Ben Nevis. When I awoke the mountain would sit towering majestically above us with its summit rising through a blanket of low mist. It was unimaginable to me that you could climb it. I couldn’t see a path or a route to the summit. Taking the car a few miles, however, would present you with an entirely different view. You had a path that you could follow and its gradient wasn’t too dramatic. The topography looked different and the ways of ascent seemed to be more straightforward. Describing the mountain from any view point would have brought a completely different description....
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No Coincidences

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed that I tend to be delighted by words. My friend Thom is probably the only person I know even more delighted by them; Thom, you see, is a linguist. I remember when I first came to church I was confused by the fact that I would sit next to him and he’d be taking notes in a different language each week just to practice. Last week we came to be having a conversation about the way that language shapes culture and he brought up a very interesting fact: There is no...
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