Generosity in quotes

“The people of Israel . . . were told to worship, not because they felt good, not because their budgets were flush, and not because they had everything that they wanted.  Indeed, quite the opposite, they are told to worship as they leave the land of Egypt…. and set out in to the wilderness for forty years as the story goes, subsisting on manna, beset by enemies, and lost to uncertainty, until most of them had died in the desert.  Although the commandment to worship in the midst of difficulty seems perverse, it rings true to my sense that in the midst of difficulty, we are sustained and healed when we understand those difficulties in relation to and connection with a reality larger than ourselves.  In pausing to remember that there is no thing beyond the care of the Creator, we are sustained in the effort to care for one another.”

Peter Powers, dean of the School of Humanities at Messiah College, reflecting on Psalm 81, from his blog, Read, Write, Now.


  1. I really do appreciate this quote/sentiment, but it would mean more to me if it were spoken by someone midstream in some kind of exhausting trial or even life-long experience of dread. I honestly can’t think of a more secure profession than that of a college professor, especially one whose career and esteem advances by making such quotes. I don’t want to be negative, and I am sure (like all of us) Dr. Powers has his trials, but in a world awash in blood and suffering, and especially now aid a national political campaign when words become meaningless, examples of of modern day faith are more helpful than sermons. But I DO love this blog and your postings. You are for me one of the most articulate and brave writers in the philanthropic space. Forgive my pushy remarks here.

  2. I’d have to say there is risk in any American commenting on trials and hardships, college professors, bloggers like me, all of us — which makes it all the more important that we remind one another that to whom the Creator has provided much, much is required. Unfortunately, most of the people caught midstream in hard stuff don’t have the time or the access to technology to write blogs or to speak out in other ways. Sometimes we need to speak on their behalf, which what I believe Dr. Powers is doing. Thanks for checking in, James. Always good to hear from you.

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