Gilead

Robinson, Marilynne

Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2004

pp. 44-45

John Ames reflects on the advantage of providing pastoral care to people.  Each person is a unique divine thought.  Each is a deeply valuable life.  “When people come to me, whatever they say, I am struck by a kind of incandescence in them, the ‘I’ whose predicate can be ‘love’ or ‘fear’ or ‘want,’ and whose object can be ‘someone’ or ‘nothing’ and it won’t really matter, because the loveliness is just in that presence, shaped around ‘I’ like a flame on a wick, emanating itself in grief and guilt and joy and whatever else.  But quick and avid and resourceful.  To see this aspect of life is a privilege of ministry which is seldom mentioned.