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The Lawlers “go outdoors”

By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Jul 14, 2009

 Here at the Lawlers’ we have just celebrated our daughter’s wedding and are preparing to celebrate another – our son’s – in a few short weeks.

It seems that after 30 years of marriage, we are beginning to see the fruition of this orchard of seven children we have planted – although in the planting we hardly knew how the rows would turn out, or when the harvest would be!

Each child finds his way in this world, sometimes quietly and with dreams unbeknownst to those around him – even those who love him more than life itself. But a wedding can bring those secret unfoldings out into the light in a way that merits stopping and pondering, and so I do, so I do.

A friend sent an article by Anthony Esolen that I’d like to recommend to your notice (along with everything else he writes). His is a plea for the dangerous life of faith, as opposed to the spurious safety that comes with the yoke of despotism. I think that more than ever we need to hear this message of how spiritual freedom relates to our freedom here on earth, even though freedom exposes us to an element of uncertainty. (As if tyranny doesn’t!)

When I got to a paragraph near the end, I realized how it fit so well with what we had just experienced, by God’s grace, right down to the procession, led by a bagpiper and children scampering along, that went from the church steps to the town green – a simple country wedding, thrown with few resources other than the love of friends and family – with larger implications for the world, we hope and pray.

Esolen writes:

Let them go outdoors, then. I see them in my imagination, celebrating in the public squares, when everyone about them has forgotten the difference between a celebration and a debauch. I hear them singing together, when everyone else has forgotten that there is anything to sing about. I see them cheerfully being themselves, men being men and women being women, with their gangs of children hollering about them, climbing trees and getting into everything, as they should. I hear them pray in solemn unison, while the world looks away abashed. Then they laugh with real mirth in their hearts, while the world looks askance in envy.

This “going outdoors” with our faith is the best antidote to tyranny the human soul can find. I hope that Christians everywhere will re-commit to this way of life! I can attest that it has its rewards, even here on earth! 

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