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Loving It Too Much

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

The daily correspondence, March 20, 2019—Alexander, the author of one of my favorite books, River Queens, is always holding me accountable. He writes, “John, I luv your phrase, 'Don’t love it more than God loves it,' but I don’t really understand what it means.”

Dear Alexander: In the religion-besotted South of my formative years, I listened to countless sermons—they were launched each Sunday from the pulpit of the Standing Springs Baptist Church in the manner of the Russians firing their Katyushas at the Wehrmacht and accompanied by the same kind of unearthly kind of wailing. And I waited for the spiritual denouement. When it failed to arrive, I began to discern that God's role was a distant one. His eye wasn’t really on the sparrow, but it was good propaganda for us to think it was. His love was like that of my Aunt Eunice in Atlanta whom I only heard from, in the form of a small handwritten note, on birthdays. The universe was large, I recognized, and contained many sparrows. Therefore, given time and distance, I learned to apply His remote oversight to my manuscripts. Thus unencumbered, I made a closer observance of what I was doing. That contemplation became, in a way, God’s work.

Love circumspectly, Alexander, especially when we confront our own small sentences...


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