A week ago I posted one of my favorite quotes from Annie Dillard. My friend and former Baptist colleague (former colleague, not former Baptist) Ashley Smith commented (on my Facebook Page): “Dillard is one of my favorites as well; I’ve read Holy the Firm over and over, and used these quotes more than once in preaching and writing.”
And she found it. Thanks Ashley!
It’s from the essay “An Expedition to the Pole” in Dillard’s volume Teaching a Stone to Talk:
“On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.” (Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk. Harper and Row, 1982)