Hang the sanity!

"I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, I am a lie." Rainer Maria Rilke

Down on the Farm


The farm welcomed me to my first day of work by opening up her fencing and giving the new cattle the opportunity to seek greener pastures. The cows got out! Natalie and I (there are two of us Natalies) were seeding transplant trays when Matthew called to ask for assistance in herding the calves back into enclosed pasture since they had been spotted near a neighboring farm. Only trouble was that they didn’t know exactly where the calves were at the moment. So, we left the seeds and headed down to the creek to open the electric fence and hopefully direct the calves into the pasture next to the back barn where the chickens roost and two sows suckle their 15 piglets. Trotting down to the creek, I suggested to Natalie that I felt in the middle of a reality TV show hyping the drama of farm life. She said that the farm had been approached about a reality TV show telling the tales of volunteers on organic farms. Allan had typed up a winning description of their zany personalities, but Matthew had kaboshed it. Too bad since we had prime fodder for them here. Though they tell me this is a very rare occurrence. Eventually the four calves were located and waved into a pasture with four other head of cattle with the sense to stay home. The gates were closed in on them and all were safe if a bit skittish and riled up.

During the chase, I couldn’t do much more than observe the tension surrounding me. Later, I heard that Matthew had about given up the cattle for lost, along with several thousand dollars, during the woodland search for them. This is a precarious business in which I have cast my lot. And I do wonder what makes me want to throw myself into an internship at a small organic farm producing berries, meats, and vegetables at this point in my life. I’ve done a lot of schooling towards more academic and ministry-oriented work. And now, at 32, I’m starting again from the low rung when I’ve not really fully started a career in anything else. Honestly, I feel a bit foolish. Why this? Why now?

I do know what attracts me to farm work. After years working part time and one year full time in the windowless hallways, fluorescent lighting, and sterility of hospitals, I am ready to live under the sun, clouds, and rain. After years studying from books and lectures, I am ready to work my body and get dirty. After years of recycling and avoiding styrofoam and bicycling or public transportation, I am ready to more fully tackle an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. And since I’ve been reading up on the benefits of organic and sustainable farming practices in distinction from industrial farming methods and the processed-food industry, I am even more convinced that we all need to be more engaged in food production for the sake of our health, our animals’ health, and our earth’s health.

What I don’t know is why organic farming didn’t capture my interest before now. Perhaps I’ll never know. Perhaps all the differing pieces of my life will coordinate more obviously in the future. In any case, this internship has my attention now, and I’m doing it.

Today, on my second day, the farm offered less cow-escape drama and more weeding and cleaning up the market barn. I am a little more sore today and tired. But I am happy to be tired doing something that I believe provides healing for us and the earth. I am thankful that I want to do this strange life detour. We’ll see how I feel in July!



On behalf of free speech, I’m sorry

Last week I sat in a basement conference room turning my attention to a Muslim funeral home director. I sat amongst chaplains and clergy of Christian and Jewish faith to learn how to provide culturally appropriate care to Muslim hospital patients. This funeral director looked Muslim. He wore the white skull cap, a lengthy beard, and a long white tunic over brown trousers. He spoke with a barely perceptible Middle Eastern accent. His first words were a soft-spoken and sincere apology. He apologized to us for the recent murderous terrorism in Paris from extremists claiming to kill in accordance with their religion. The funeral director added that though these men claimed the Muslim faith, their actions did not uphold the Muslim faith that he knew. However, since the terrorists and himself claimed Islam as their guide, he chose to apologize to us on their behalf.

I felt somewhat embarrassed to receive this apology for acts occurring on the other side of the ocean. He had no need to feel culpable, though I appreciated his acknowledgment that the killings at the Charlie Hebdo office should not have been. And who was he apologizing to? We were Americans, not French. Did he offer regrets to Westerners, to those committed to free speech? If so, however much I value freedom of expression, I wanted to return the condolences and apologize to him on “our” behalf. I wanted to say sorry for those who believe “free speech” provides warrant to communicate offensively to those of another culture.

That morning the news blared the story of Charlie Hebdo’s current cover: a depiction of a teary Prophet Muhammad holding a “Je suis Charlie.” sign and captioned, “All is forgiven.” One columnist at the New York Times disagreed with the editor in chief of NYT for declining to reprint this cover image, citing that news value trumps potentially offensive material. In fact, in the columnist’s opinion, “The cartoon itself, while it may disturb the sensibilities of a small percentage of Times readers, is neither shocking nor gratuitously offensive.” This is precisely the callous attitude that contributed to the tragedy of Charlie Hebdo. I am grieved over the deaths of the French satirists, and yet, I will not join in a protest for supposed free speech. I see the tragedy revolving more truly around the axis of respect for differing sensibilities.

Islam has always forbidden the depiction of its prophets, prime among them Muhammad, but others also whom we might recognize: Adam, Noah, Moses. Muhammad feared the ease of idolization and out of reverence for God chose that no holy image be made of mere mortals. This is a serious value. There is no religious art of Muhammad. Secular cartoons of The Prophet, then, spit in the face of a Muslim, and worse, desecrate the holy. Just because profaned images of Jesus do not offend Christians to the same degree. Just because we don’t understand. What’s the big deal?! Does that justify us in mocking our neighbors?

This is not free speech. This is respect for the dignity of all people, even if we don’t get why they can’t take the joke. David Brooks, again from The New York Times, makes that clear the very day of the atrocious slaughter. We wouldn’t tolerate Charlie Hebdo style speech in the U.S., and we wouldn’t call it censorship either. If we want to live in a pluralist society, and I assume we must if we want to trade with everyone to our advantage in order to rest easy as the greatest economy in the world, then we must back down when the other cries “Foul!”

So, whether appropriate or not, on behalf of all of us who prize free speech, I apologize to Muslims the world over for not respecting the reverence you hold for Your Prophet.

Christmas: What are you waiting for?

After a friendly game of Scrabble last night, the conversation turned to politics and news media. You can probably guess what we were discussing. To talk politics and culture is not so rare among my siblings – we enjoy discussing the times we live in. But it reminds me of the thoroughly surprising adventure my extended family encountered on Thanksgiving evening when we wandered into an open debate of current political and economic issues. Aunts and uncles, parents and siblings, cousins and in-laws (or outlaws as some might say) sat around the dining room table speaking our minds on the times. We moved from the liberal-conservative enmity dilemma to the Michael Brown case to incarceration rates to minimum wage. Some spoke more than others, some with more studied authority, some with more passion, and some more tentatively, but it seems to me that we all had some sort of say. And there were diverging opinions. But perhaps, what was clearly a common sentiment was that we all cared. We all want our world to be better than it is. We want all people to be well, to flourish. Sensing this common concern from everyone, regardless of differing views as to how to employ such care in our federal and local institutions, I see that we can leave the table with continuing respect for all involved.

Still, as some of the same issues resurfaced last night in a smaller group, I am caught by the fear that none of us really know what to do about it all. There are myriad strategies promoted to implement reform on the spectrum from personal to societal order. We seem to give ear mostly to the antagonistically-opposed liberal and conservative methods blasting from the pervasive media. The supposedly polar opposite stances of democrats and republicans rage at one another in the same well-heated house. The fight with one another ignores the enemies that devour us all. It all gets exhausting. Even the nice guy who promoted loving family with comedy has let us down. Who can we trust? Can we even trust ourselves?

Readings from the Hebrew prophets given at a Lessons in Carols service voices hope that reminds me of what we long for this Christmas season. Isaiah’s vision appears near impossible to my weary eyes:

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.             Isaiah 11:6

The only thing that makes this startling image slightly realistic is that someone could glimpse it even enough to imagine it and record it. But should we even hope to get there? I can’t see how we might. So, I trust that someway, somehow, God, who instilled such a vision in the hearts of prophets thousands of years ago and still gives us all a yearning for something more, might mark a clear path for us towards justice. I trust that Rob Bell is on to something when he interprets these prophets as reminding us all that God will stop us in our tracks someday and make judgment on the way things are. As Bell writes in his signature style:

God says no to injustice.

God says, “Never again” to the oppressors who prey on the weak and vulnerable.

God declares a ban on weapons.

It’s important to remember this the next time we hear people say they can’t believe in a “God of judgment.”

Yes, they can.

Often, we can think of little else.

Every oil spill,

every report of another woman sexually assaulted,

every news report that another political leader has silenced the opposition through torture, imprisonment, and execution,

every time we see someone stepped on by an institution or corporation more interested in profit than people,

every time we stumble upon one more instance of the human heart gone wrong,

we shake our fist and cry out,

“Will somebody please do something about this?”

We crave judgment,

we long for it,

we thirst for it.

Bring it,

unleash it,

as the prophet Amos says,

“Let justice roll on like a river” (chap. 5).                   Rob Bell, Love Wins, ch. 2

I long for the visitation of a God who will make a way for us to live in peace and justice and love and truth. How do we answer God’s call for justice? I’m not quite sure. The implementation of justice may constantly be shifting as evil finds new ways to pervert what has been good. But through it all I trust that God will make a way for us now. Just as God entered our world through the words of prophets imagining taking a child’s lead and through the baby Jesus born of Mary, so I trust that God’s spirit will find us now and offer us an unanticipated way towards true living for all. So, this Christmas, let us celebrate as the angels did, giving “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).*



*This need not be interpreted exclusively but as recognition that God’s peace finds a home with all those who welcome it to rest in their hearts.

An equation for love?

It seems fitting that the movies Interstellar and The Theory of Everything came out within weeks of one another. I believe they have a lot to say to one another, so I’m going to make them talk together in this post. Both films give a poetic, romantic spin to the scientific sphere. Perhaps science and the arts are not so opposed to one another as we tend to think? They might comfortably collapse into one another if we might allow it. I am reminded of reading Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in Anglo-American Philosophy class. (Big thank you to R.J. Snell for that.) Kuhn contends that scientific theory is as much determined by the scientist’s perception and arrangement of the data as the data itself. This suggests to me that good science requires an artistic temperament that plays with the materials within the proscribed arena created by the concerns of the specific community. Whether we be exploring the meaning of words in certain sequences or the reactions amongst certain chemicals, we are at play within this universe to discover what makes for living. And living, the persevering pursuit of the what, where, when, why, and how of living, shows itself in the motivations both of the scientific protagonists of these films and in the filmmakers themselves.

So, that said, I think it is worthwhile for a film about the brilliant cosmologist Stephen Hawking to revolve around the conditions of his motor neuron disease and marriage. While Prof. Hawking seeks to solve the riddle of the one simple equation that accounts for the whole of existence, what gives him the courage to struggle on despite the debilitating effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease? The Theory of Everything puts the question to Stephen Hawking in the mouth of a lecture audience member, who essentially asks: Since you do not believe in God, what gives you the determination to persevere through ALS? Hawking answers that since he believes in evolution, that we have all come from nothing and have come so far in intelligence, he maintains hope to continue pushing the boundaries of human progress no matter the limitations. “There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.” Yes, Hawking has an extraordinary will to continue pondering the mysteries of the universe even while he can’t do much else. He enjoys using the mind and technological advances allow him to relay his thinking to the world. Yet it is more than just will power. It is love. Hawking’s life story reveals that the possibilities he has opened up to us all both through his scientific achievements and by his living within the restrictive domain of ALS were all granted life through love. It is Stephen’s marveling at the universe and his love of scientific discovery that gives him work for which to live with purpose. It is the love of friends and colleagues respectfully esteeming him that promotes his work and thought. It is Jane’s love that makes a family’s love that provides the emotional and physical support necessary to live on through bodily debilitation. Watching Prof. Hawking search out the single equation for the universe, we see love making it all possible.

Interstellar states it explicitly: love is the unifying dimension of existence that makes life possible. For this reason, Interstellar appears to me to follow upon The Theory of Everything‘s depiction of Hawking in pursuit of the unifying principal of the universe. Interstellar picks up the quest for life after earth’s (not too distant) environmental and economic collapse. The futuristic sci-fi tale presents humans exploring the galaxies in search of habitable conditions elsewhere. Its hero, Cooper, is drawn into the quest by his love for his family determined to find a better world for his children as well as his vocational ambition that wearies of farming fruitless land. A key tension of the plot is that Cooper’s love for his children, especially for his daughter Murph, compels him to search for a more habitable planet while simultaneously desiring to be with his family. Circumstances seem to make the two options mutually exclusive. So, what does it mean to truly love Murph? To do as she pleads and stay with her? Or to follow his adventurous spirit and seek out a hospitable life for her? Cooper chooses the latter, believing he will come back to her. But when all hope of return appears lost, Cooper stumbles into the dimension of love that guides him back in time to a parallel existence in which he communicates to the child Murph the universe’s secrets that allow human living to continue. Love is the antidote to human destruction. Even after deceit and corruption and mistaken choices, life finds a way because of love.

Interstellar definitely paints in more fantastic hues than The Theory of Everything. Interstellar, while based on scientific parameters, colors outside the lines quite a lot. Still, I believe that both movies depict the world, even a world ruled by scientific and technological achievement, to be formed and guided by love. This is how an artist expresses it. I really do wonder if there could be an equation to prove this theory?

Is love worth it all for love’s own sake?

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.

from Job 1, The Holy Bible

The above exchange between God and Satan (“The Accuser”) can be taken to portray a devilishly manipulated God who flippantly gives over his servant to suffering in order to win a game with Satan. But the sermon I heard this morning asked us not to see Job on trial, but rather God. Instead of watching Job to see if he holds up under the weight of Satan’s afflictions, the debate between God and Satan could be seen to test God’s policy of giving good gifts to humanity. Do humans only worship God because of the great benefits package or is there a truly loving and respecting relationship between God and creation?

pollyanna-rainbows-prismsI appreciate this refraction of the plot of Job. It posits God to be interested in a genuine relationship with humans predicated on mutual appreciation. It entrusts us with the capacity to love with a purity beyond self-interest. In allowing Satan to deprive Job of all God’s good gifts to him, God hopes that Job will remain a true friend and thereby demonstrate the worthiness of Job’s worship. So, I adjust the pastor’s claim that alternates Job’s testing for God’s, and say that both God and Job are tested. Withholding God’s blessings tests whether God is worthy beyond all the good resulting from serving God. Is God worthy in the simplicity of Godself apart from God’s good gifts to us? Has God created humans capable of disinterested love? From the human vantage, however, Satan’s game appears to test the authenticity of Job’s devotion to God. Will Job worship his Creator and Benefactor even when life loses its luster? Or is Job all for what he can get?

This set-up of Satan’s questions the nature of love. Does love require comfortable benefits in order to be worthwhile to us? Or is love, admiration, worship, respect a good in itself? Examining the premise of Job from this direction, I am struck that Satan’s manipulations paradoxically allow Job to be purified further into the greatness of God’s image. As God loves without the necessity of a return in affection, so Job is refined to honor God without the gratification of God’s blessings. Job’s commitment to God withstands the dismissal of all the benefits of friendship with God. The relationship between God and Job is stripped to the bare existence of one beside the other. Job must decide if it is worth it to him to remain with God even if without life’s joys. Still, they remain connected. God never intends to sever ties, even if Job is tempted to curse God and die. Yet Job demonstrates a tenacity of faith capable of withstanding brutal assaults. He may despise his own life, but in the end God remains Good whether one enjoys the great comforts of life or not. The story of Job proves God good to the very core even beyond all the blessings of life. Then, in Job’s devotion to God, the book commends the human heart as capable of loving as God loves – without need of gratification. We can love, we can care, with fierce determination in the face of apparent apathy or outright rejection.

Why must love be pushed to these great precipices of altruism? Is love truly most pure when completely lacking self-interest? I suspect it is so. And still, love cannot help but bless us. At the end of this tale of woe, God again blesses Job with health, wealth, and family. The tragedies of Job’s life enabled him to honor God without the trappings of blessings, but God cannot resist giving good gifts to those who live well. Ultimately, life rewards good living. Suffering happens. We cannot say why. With this comment, I hope not to belittle the gravity of suffering in this world. Our grief is true in the face of evil. However, suffering and evil do not negate God’s goodness. At least, that’s what Job says. And what I truly hope is that we open ourselves more and more to God and God’s goodness that we might live in peace and prosperity. To live in the truth of God’s goodness, Job suggests to me, is to love like God – to care with tenacity and to hang on to people even when it feels like all has gone to hell. So, I guess I ask myself, is it worth it to love for the simple sake of caring?

Courage in Shadow

First things first. Moving to a new town, I had scoped out the public library even before signing a lease. After I had moved in but before I had quite unpacked, I happily handed over to the librarian mail sent to me at the new address. I wanted a borrowing card for my new local library. With card in hand, I asked for any fiction recommendations. The circulation desk librarian demurred, sending me on to the reference desk where I also was advised to find Connie in the basement. Down the steps and into the back room, I located Connie alone at a desk in the middle of a room surrounded by shelves of books. She asked me what kind of books I liked, and toured me around the book club section, pointing here and there with quick commentary. I had been looking for fiction, but when she pulled out Shadow Divers and cited it as her favorite book, I thought I might as well take it. Checking out an extra book costs me only the weight of the paperback in my bag.

I returned to the new apartment with four books where I perused the cover material of each. Which story suited my mood that night. Surprising myself, I took up the non-fiction that the unknown librarian had recommended. Only a few paragraphs in, I decided that the polite acceptance of Connie’s favorite had steered me well. Kurson offered the events small and large which had shaped each diver into the person he was to confront this challenging shipwreck in the particular way that each did. Kurson wound up a narrative that explained which aspects of the diver’s personality and experience led him to relate with the wreck as he did. The wreck changed men’s lives (as well as the lives of the women linked to these diving men) as they struggled to discover the wreck’s identity. In exchange for its name, the formidably mysterious wreck enabled the divers to reveal the depths of their own characters.

Kurson gave the honor of character not only to the heroes diving on the wreck but also to the German submarine crew whose skeletons lay within the wreck. Yes, these men fought on behalf of a Germany ruled by Nazis, but Kurson helped elicit my admiration for these enemies. Two of the three commanding officers on the U-boat despised Hitler’s usurpation of Germany. They held no regard for Nazi policies and governance. Yet, they served the men around them, leading the crew with respect and care. They foresaw their doomed fate as the U-boat floated from German shores in the fall of 1944. They left behind dearly loved families. Still, they performed their duties with courage and purpose. I see the honor of these men, the humanity of the enemy.

However, what catches my conscience is not so much that the enemy might be good at heart, but that men of such character would choose the path of duty bound to the Nazis. Nazi crimes against humanity are notorious. How is it that good men could fight their cause? As Kurson describes these U-boat officers, they held neither Nazi sympathies nor naivete of Nazi injustice. From whence came their motivation to accept an inevitably fatal defeat for a regime they despised? Can patriotism explain it? Did they hope loyal service might save Germany from the horrors of The Third Reich?

From my viewpoint on the opposing side and seventy years on, I’d like to scream or shake sense into them. Just say no. Just refuse to comply with the Nazis. Raise your voice. Perhaps you will embolden the rest of your countrymen to join you against these obvious atrocities. You can not die for them when you love your precious family so much. Do not go. It is not worth it. There must be some other way. But I hold back my tongue  from play pleading with men an age removed from me. In their shoes, I may have chosen the same. In my shoes, I may be retracing their steps. I may be ignoring another way calling out to me here and now. Others an age along the timeline may look back and see the obvious turn or the stubborn stand I ought to have made to live rightly. So, I ask: Must we surrender to the defeat of galling injustice? Must we give in to the way things are? Are the most honorable among us damned to live courageously only within the shadows?



Tribute to Grandma

Sunday buffet dinner with Grandma & Grandpa

Sunday buffet dinner with Grandma & Grandpa

Yesterday we celebrated the life of my grandmother Eldora Charlotte Gustafson Nyberg Nelson, and we mourned her passing from this world. I am thankful that she has entered the more immediate presence of her Savior as she longed to do. And yet, I am sad that Grandma will no longer greet me with her radiant smile and gentle kiss, eager to hear of my life’s happenings while assuring me of her continued prayers for me.

Listening to the memorials given by my aunts, dad, uncle, and cousins, it struck me harder how much I will miss her unique presence. They shared stories of the farmer’s hard-working spirit passed onto her children through the tasks of weeding the garden and helping with preserving food for winter; the discipline that could not permit watching the full length of a televised football game; the creativity exhibited in the detailed sewing of her own clothing and that of her children; the generosity and compassionate leadership exhibited in giving of her time to many years of Sunday School teaching, caring for her family and then the congregations that her husband pastored, chairing charitable committees, working as a visitation pastor, and acting as family to neighbors in need of support; her intelligence and ingenuity in working as an one room schoolhouse teacher, a nanny, a nurse’s aide, and a tax accountant; the frugality that motivated her to save the washing water for multiple loads of laundry until the limitations of old age finally prevented it; and the humor that rippled out in gently-jabbing wit, especially in the later days of relaxed inhibitions.

During the questionable wig phase Grandma's smile and humor still sparkled strongly.

During the questionable wig phase Grandma’s smile and humor still sparkled strongly.

Above all, each one remembered Grandma’s faithfulness to the God who loved her and all the world. She demonstrated such faith in relentlessly caring for people and in stewarding well all that God had provided for living. This faith found its fulfillment in the simple work of sewing the buttons of her son Neil’s shirts with an “N” stitch, opening her home in hospitality to church members at all times, or listening to the nerves of a soon-to-be college freshman. This faith also provided strength to serve in her late husband’s stead as a church visitation pastor in a new community even as she wondered how she would live without him. It motivated her to perform all the daily needs of care for a family-less widow and act as a responsible executor for her estate when she died. Yes, my grandma could be morally demanding in prohibiting watching television programs that brandished gun violence, and quite controlling as she insisted on oversight of the proper disposal of all her stuff (down to the pen) accumulated throughout her life. Still, she lived to care for others through performing the most ordinary household tasks.

During the questionable wig phase Grandma's smile still sparkled strong!

Enjoying a Fairhaven visit with Grandma & Great Aunt LaVerna.

I believe the moment that made my Grandma most proud of me was when I visited with a friend and her baby. My friend had a job interview in the nearby town. I came along to watch her baby at my Grandma’s house. Grandma and Grandpa Roy displayed their own generous hospitality by welcoming us all into their home. They both visited with me, and Grandma prepared dinner for us when my friend rejoined us after her successful interview. Years afterward, Grandma continued to ask how my friend was doing and commented on how impressed she was with my caring for a small infant. My Grandma lived to serve others in the daily needs of life. She loved to see her family doing the same.

More recently, while staying with Grandma during her last months, I asked her what she wished she could be doing as she lay exhausted on the couch. She replied that she would most like to make a meal or clean up the kitchen or do the laundry. She had no regrets other than that she could no longer serve. My Uncle Len shared that even in her last days she used her precious strength to swish some soapy water around Tupperware in the sink, hoping to give back to those who were caring so well for her.

This morning I read Agnes Sanford’s whittling down of the life well lived. If my Grandma could read this, she would nod her head in assent, even if she might not recognize how beautifully she demonstrated this truth for us.

For the very essence of the Christian life is the giving of the self to God. And we give ourselves to Him by giving ourselves to His children here on earth… We come to God that His love may recharge us with life. And He recharges us so abundantly that our own lives are nothing to us compared to the joy of giving Him to others.∗

Happy to receive a puzzle at birthday/Christmas.

Happy to receive a puzzle at birthday/Christmas with Isaac at her side.

As I woke up yesterday morning crafting a jumbled tribute to Grandma for my own benefit, I came to the conclusion that I knew Grandma as a welcoming presence. After all her years of living for God and caring for all kinds of people in all kinds of ways, she bequeathed to me a gracious welcome from her delighted smile and gentle touch. She might not have been as active as she desired to be, but as my cousin Priscilla brought out in speaking on a simple encounter of reading an inconsequential book with Grandma, her loving spirit was a gift to us all, whether she could be hard at work for our comfort or limited to offering a spot on the couch by her side. Grandma welcomed us into living.




∗ Agnes Sanford, The Healing Light (New York: Ballantine Books, 1990) 92.