Frederick Buechner quotes

  • The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Party #Mean #Grace

  • I don't want to give the impression that I'm a great Bible reader. I don't sit down every day and read for an hour through the Bible. But I really do read it with a great deal of pleasure... which is the last thing I would have suspected. So I read it sometimes as a devotional, but really more, not for fun, but because it's fascinating.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Fun #Giving #Want

  • Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day's chalking.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Sleep #Night #Grace

  • If you want to talk about grace, if you want to talk about revelation, talk about your life with some depth, which doesn't mean lurid revelations as much as simply looking at your own deep experiences and describing them as they are.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Mean #Grace #Depth

  • In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Yesterday #Today #Another Day

  • Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Inspirational #Life #Beautiful

  • Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ's love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ's love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering which Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Love #Justice #Judging

  • For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Long #Remember #Lost

  • Your calling is where your own greatest joy intersects with the needs of the world.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Joy #Needs #Calling

  • Jesus didn't come to merely speak words that were true, He is the Word that makes us true.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Jesus #Speak

  • Jesus is apt to come, into the very midst of life at its most real and inescapable moments. Not in a blaze of unearthly light, not in the midst of a sermon, not in the throes of some kind of religious daydream, but...at supper time, or walking along a road...He never approached from on high, but always in the midst, in the midst of people, in the midst of real life and the questions that real life asks.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Religious #Jesus #Real

  • The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Healing #Godly #Generosity

  • The worst isn't the last thing about the world. It's the next to the last thing. The last thing is the best. It's the power from on high that comes down into the world, that wells up from the rock-bottom worst of the world like a hidden spring. Can you believe it? The last, best thing is the laughing deep in the hearts of the saints, sometimes our hearts even. Yes. You are terribly loved and forgiven. Yes. You are healed. All is well.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Spring #Believe #Heart

  • Theology, like fiction, is largely autobiographical.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Fiction #Theology

  • The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Life #Happiness #Lonely

  • Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world's greatest need.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Joy #World #Needs

  • The world says, The more you take, the more you have. Christ says, the more you give, the more you are.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Giving #World #Christ

  • Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Mean #Lasts #Resurrection

  • Go where your best prayers take you.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Prayer #Best Prayer

  • Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Ignorance #Compassion #Joy

  • If you have never known the power of God's love, then maybe it is because you have never asked to know it - I mean really asked, expecting an answer.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Mean #Answers #Expecting

  • When you remember me, it means you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Heart #Mean #Who I Am

  • It is as impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Men #Would Be #Impossible

  • Religion points to that area of human experience where in one way or another man comes upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Men #Way #Mystery

  • Lord, catch me off guard today. Surprise me with some moment of beauty or pain so that at least for the moment, I may be startled into seeing that you are here in all your splendor, always and everywhere, barely hidden, beneath, beyond, within this life I breathe.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Pain #Today #Splendor

  • Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Life #Spiritual #Pain

  • When someone we love suffers, we suffer with that person, and we would not have it otherwise, because the suffering and the love are one, just as it is with God's love for us.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Helping Others #Suffering #Persons

  • Thus, when you wake up in the morning, called by God to be a self again, if you want to know who you are, watch your feet. Because where your feet take you, that is who you are.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Morning #Self #Feet

  • If you want to be holy, be kind.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Want #Be Kind #Kind

  • Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back--in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Kings #Fun #Pain

  • I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Mean #Secret #Enough

  • If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Eye #Artist #Imagination

  • the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Stories

  • The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Life #Beautiful #Party

  • Remember me not for the ill I've done but for the good I've dreamed.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Done #Remember #Ill

  • We must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #World #Matter #Sake

  • The birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Jesus #Understanding #Way

  • If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Children #Remembrance #Childish Things

  • The Gospel writers are not really interested primarily in the facts of the birth but in the significance, the meaning for them of that birth just as the people who love us are not really interested primarily in the facts of our births but in what it meant to them when we were born and how for them the world was never the same again, how their whole lives were changed with new significance.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #People #World #Facts

  • Despair has been called the unforgivable sin-not presumably because God refuses to forgive it, but because it despairs of the possibility of being forgiven.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Sadness #Forgiving #Despair

  • God himself does not give answers. He gives himself.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Giving #Doe #Answers

  • Faith is not being sure where you're going, but going anyway.
    -- Frederick Buechner

  • What's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Next #Cups #Lost

  • There is a fragrance in the air, a certain passage of a song, an old photograph falling out from the pages of a book, the sound of somebody's voice in the hall that makes your heart leap and fills your eyes with tears. Who can say when or how it will be that something easters up out of the dimness to remind us of a time before we were born and after we will die?
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Song #Easter #Book

  • Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is an on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you're going but going anyway. A journey without maps. Tillich says that doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Faith #Journey #Opposites

  • It is not the objective proof of God's existence that we want but the experience of God's presence. That is the miracle we are really after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Thinking #Miracle #Want

  • Justice is the grammar of things. Mercy is the poetry of things.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Justice #Mercy #Grammar

  • To be a saint is to be a little out of one's mind, which is a very good thing to be a little out of from time to time. It is to live a life that is always giving itself away and yet is always full.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Giving #Mind #Saint

  • The past is the place we view the present from as much as the other way around.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Past #Views #Way

  • If preachers decide to preach about hope, let them preach out of what they themselves hope for.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Preacher #Reach Out

  • To confess your sins to God is not to tell [God] anything [God] doesn't already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Bridges #Sin #Abyss

  • Avarice, greed, concupiscence and so forth are all based on the mathematical truism that the more you get, the more you have. The remark of that it is more blessed to give than to receive is based on the human truth that the more you give away in love, the more you are. It is not just for the sake of other people that tells us to give rather than get, but for our own sakes too.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Blessed #People #Giving

  • Listen to your life. Listen to what happens to you because it is through what happens to you that God speaks...It's in language that's not always easy to decipher, but it's there powerfully, memorably, unforgettably.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Language #Speak #Easy

  • My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Important #Stories #Way

  • It is important to tell our secrets too because ... it makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all about and what being human is all about.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Two #People #Secret

  • God doesn't reveal his grand design. He reveals Himself.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Design

  • The incarnation is “a kind of vast joke whereby the Creator of the ends of the earth comes among us in diapers Until we too have taken the idea of the God-man seriously enough to be scandalized by it, we have not taken it as seriously as it demands to be taken.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Taken #Men #Ideas

  • All other days have either disappeared into darkness and oblivion or not yet emerged from it. Today is the only day there is.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Darkness #Today #Oblivion

  • From the simplest lyric to the most complex novel and densest drama, literature is asking us to pay attention. Pay attention to the frog. Pay attention to the west wind. Pay attention to the boy on the raft, the lady in the tower, the old man on the train. In sum, pay attention to the world and all that dwells therein and thereby learn at last to pay attention to yourself and all that dwells therein.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Drama #Boys #Men

  • You can't be too careful what you tell a child because you never know what he'll take hold of and spend the rest of his life remembering you by.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Children #Remember #Be Careful

  • Our father. We have killed him, and we will kill him again, and our world will kill him. And yet he is there. It is he who listens at the door. It is he who is coming. It is our father who is about to be born. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Jesus #Father #Our World

  • You can survive on your own; you can grow strong on your own; you can prevail on your own; but you cannot become human on your own.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Strong #Grows #Humans

  • Like Adam, we have all lost Paradise; and yet we carry Paradise around inside of us in the form of a longing for, almost a memory of, a blessedness that is no more, or the dream of a blessedness that may someday be again.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Dream #Memories #Paradise

  • Remember Jesus of Nazareth, staggering on broken feet out of the tomb toward the Resurrection, bearing on his body the proud insignia of the defeat which is victory, the magnificent defeat of the human soul at the hands of God.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Jesus #Easter #Feet

  • Lust is the craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Men #Lust #Dying

  • Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are but, more often than not, God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Eye #Soul #Secret

  • By and large a good rule for finding out is this: the kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work a) that you need most to do and b) the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you've presumably met requirement a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you've missed requirement b).
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Writing #Needs #Done

  • if you don't have doubts you're either kidding yourself or asleep. Doubts are the ants-in-the-pants of faith. They keep it alive and moving.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Moving #Doubt #Alive

  • To remember the past is to see that we are here today by grace, that we have survived as a gift.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Past #Grace #Today

  • My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours… it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us more powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but also spiritually.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Mean #Long #Track

  • One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Spiritual #Religious #People

  • Joy is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes....
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Healing #Eye #Joy

  • And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Christmas #Jesus #Easter

  • For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Christmas #Home #Heart

  • To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness - especially in the wilderness - you shall love him.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Running #Sick #Broken

  • Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all. Amen, and come Lord Jesus.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Jesus #Believe #News

  • To journey for the sake of saving our own lives is little by little to cease to live in any sense that really matters, even to ourselves, because it is only by journeying for the world's sake - even when the world bores and sickens and scares you half to death - that little by little we start to come alive.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Journey #Scare #Half

  • Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing to guide us but a hand just beyond our grasp.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Hands #Guides

  • We are children, perhaps, at the very moment when we know that it is as children that God loves us - not because we have deserved his love and not in spite of our undeserving; not because we try and not because we recognize the futility of our trying; but simply because he has chosen to love us. We are children because he is our father; and all of our efforts, fruitful and fruitless, to do good, to speak truth, to understand, are the efforts of children who, for all their precocity, are children still in that before we loved him, he loved us, as children, through Jesus Christ our lord.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Jesus #Children #Father

  • Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness. A bleeding heart is of no help to anyone if it bleeds to death.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Heart #Mind #Pay

  • Everybody prays whether [you think] of it as praying or not. The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad. The ah-h-h-h! that sometimes floats up out of you as out of a Fourth of July crowd when the sky-rocket bursts over the water. The stammer of pain at somebody else s pain. The stammer of joy at somebody else's joy. Whatever words or sounds you use for sighing with over your own life. These are all prayers in their way.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Life #Beautiful #Prayer

  • In honesty you have to admit to a wise man that prayer is not for the wise, not for the prudent, not for the sophisticated. Instead it is for those who recognize that in face of their deepest needs, all their wisdom is quite helpless. It is for those who are willing to persist in doing something that is both childish and crucial.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Wise #Prayer #Honesty

  • Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Believe #Missing Him #Voice

  • To be wise is to be eternally curious.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Wise #Curious #Being Wise

  • A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Miracle #Plus #Thousand

  • Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Religious #Moving #Doubt

  • You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Relationship #Family #Smile

  • Of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless. It is the most powerful because it alone can conquer that final and most impregnable stronghold which is the human heart. It is the most powerless because it can do nothing except by consent.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Powerful #Heart #Love Is

  • Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Waiting #Movement #Hunches

  • Faith is the assurance that the best and holiest dream is true after all.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Dream #Assurance

  • Whatever you do with your life-whatever you end up achieving or not achieving-the great gift you have in you to give to the world is the gift of who you alone are; your way of seeing things, and saying things, and feeling about things, that is like nobody else’s. If so much as a single one of you were missing, there would be an empty place at the great feast of life that nobody else in all creation could fill.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Giving #Missing #Feelings

  • Here and there even in our world, and now and then, even in ourselves, we catch glimpeses of a New Creation, which, fleeting as those glipmses are apt to be, give us hope both for this life and for whatever life may await us later on.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Our World #Giving #Fleeting

  • Listen to your life. All moments are key moments.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Spiritual #Inspirational Life #Keys

  • Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Inspirational #Hurt #Source

  • ON HER DEATHBED, Gertrude Stein is said to have asked, 'What is the answer?' Then, after a long silence, 'What is the question?' Don't start looking in the Bible for the answers it gives. Start by listening for the questions it asks.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Long #Giving #Silence

  • Not to love is, psychically, spiritually, to die. To live for yourself alone, hoarding your life for your own sake, is in almost every sense that matters to reduce your life to a life hardly worth the living, and thus to lose it.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Love Is #Matter #Sake

  • A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, 'I can't prove a thing, but there's something about his eyes and his voice. There's something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross-the way he carries me.'
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Christian #Eye #Hands

  • People are disturbed not by things but by the view they take of them. They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Views #People #May

  • A Christian isn't necessarily any nicer than anybody else, just better informed.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Christian

  • You can never be sure whether you are discovering the truth or inventing it.
    -- Frederick Buechner

    #Discovering #Discovering The Truth