taking the words of Jesus seriously

William Shakespeare, in ‘Hamlet’ describes death as “the undiscovered country” from which “no man returns”.

And if we believe in God, there is only one thing we know for sure – if God is here, he is also there.

I have a granddaughter who, when she was about a year old, and just beginning to walk and use words, visited some friends of her parents and relentlessly explored every corner and object, and with every new discovery, used her new phrase “Oh wow”.

Phonetically, it’s easy to say, and my daughter’s friends laughed as this new child matched each discovery with her own response.

Every object, every speck and every new experience is a miracle to new and innocent eyes.

As we live in our world, that we are commanded to care for and explore, in short to love and appreciate, how could we have lost this child-like, creaturely intoxication with the marvel and mystery of the world around us?

Will we treat the world beyond this one as callously and coldly as we have treated this one?

It is not creation that is routine and numbing. It is our hearts.

It is not the seasons or the landscapes that ever cease to shift or emerge; it is the roads we impose that stretch in their endless sameness.

We are all unwilling participants in this constant war between the made and the born. We too easily miss the glory within our reach.

But our children remind us, sometimes, that the fleeting glow of the divine unnameable is never far from us.

As my granddaughter was blessing each new encounter with her newfound words, Steve Jobs’ life was coming to an end.

And his final words echoed hers.

In his typical fierce, yet elegant simplicity, he said all that needs to be said as one steps into eternity – “Oh wow”.

Morf Morford considers himself a free-range Christian who is convinced that God expects far more of us than we can ever imagine, but somehow thinks God knows more than we do. To pay his bills, he’s been a teacher for adults (including those in his local county jail) in a variety of setting including Tribal colleges, vocational schools and at the university level in the People’s Republic of China. Within an academic context, he also writes an irreverent ESL blog and for the Burnside Writers Collective. As he’s getting older, he finds himself less tolerant of pettiness and dairy products.

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About The Author


Faith is not a formula. And I wouldn't even use the word 'relationship' - and probably not the metaphor of 'a journey'. The older I get, the more it seems that faith is a process - a determined focus on listening to the eternal, sifting out the noise and distractions and becoming closer with each breath and each word, to the fullness - and emptiness - of the pulse, hand and purpose of our Creator, which, ultimately brings us where we belong. I'm a teacher and writer, which really means that I am a listener and I share what I see and hear.

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