Inside Story

Words can provide rest, create change, and bring new life to our inner and outer worlds. Developing this special issue has given us a wonderful reminder of that. To editors, there's little more beautiful than a well-crafted sentence or an elegant turn of phrase that punctures our established ways of thinking.

Words can also be a wonderful gift-especially when they arrive unexpectedly. When we asked Haitian author Edwidge Danticat to contribute a short piece on her favorite books, she instead sent a lovely vignette in which her words bridge the distance between Haiti and the streets of Brooklyn. Her piece, like others here, marvelously enriches our understanding of the world.

The process of writing is mysterious, and we're often surprised by what can happen. When Carol, a participant in a writers workshop for homeless men and women, searched for the right words for her writing, she also found her voice. Who knows how her words will change the people around her-and us?

The breathless days of election 2004 are over and we've at last reached the quieter shores of Advent. As we anticipate the coming of God's Word, may the words here heal and stretch you, broaden your community, and enlarge your vision of the world. Breathe them in. Take them into your minds, hearts, and souls. Savor them. And rest. -The Editors

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