The Price of Restoration

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We live in an unbelieving age
but one which is markedly and lopsidedly spiritual…
an age that has domesticated despair
and learned to live with it happily.
There is something in us
that demands the redemptive act,
that demands that what falls
at least be offered the chance to be restored.
…what <modern man> has forgotten is the cost of it.
His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether,
and so he has forgotten the price of restoration.

This is an unlimited God
and one who has revealed himself specifically.
It is one who became man
and rose from the dead.
It is one who confounds the senses and the sensibilities,
one known early on as a stumbling block.
There is no way to gloss over this specification
or to make it more acceptable to modern thought.
This God is the object of ultimate concern
and he has a name.

~Flannery O’Connor from a 1963 lecture published in Mystery and Manners

He has a name,
this God of specificity,
and asks us to say His name.
It sounds like a breath,
so we say it
with each breath we take
even when we don’t believe.
And He knows our name
and calls out to us
even if we don’t listen.

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3 thoughts on “The Price of Restoration

  1. these words SO relevant today. i just came from coffee with a friend, and this is just what we talked about. thank you for your wonderful insights. you are appreciated! blessings…

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  2. Always enjoy reading O’Connor. I have several of her books. She is so practical, easy to read, does not mince words — like you, Emily, in your Comment on her excerpted quote today.
    .
    Isaiah is perhaps my most favorite prophet and this is one of my favorite assuring, intimate quotes:

    “…thus says the Lord who created you…I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine….Because you are precious in my eyes…and because I love you….” (Isaiah 43:1; 4a NAB).

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  3. Yes, He is our breath…always with us, surrounds us, within us…we live because He lives. Great quote by Flannery O’Conner, a writer who understood the holy nature of God as well as the sinful nature of man.

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