To the Wonder: A Rumination on Love

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in 'To the Wonder,' a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The last Terrence Malick film I went to see was Tree of Life, in which the critically acclaimed director — and devout Christian — advised audiences to “experience [the film] like a walk in the countryside. You’ll probably be bored or have other things in mind, but perhaps you will be struck, suddenly, by a feeling, by an act, by a unique portrait of nature.” Needless to say, the film was long — extremely beautiful, but a wee bit slow.

So you can imagine the shock I felt when Malick’s latest film, To the Wonder, abruptly ended after almost two hours and I thought to myself, “Wait, it’s already over?”

To the Wonder is certainly different from its immediate predecessor in Malick’s catalogue — there aren’t any dinosaurs in his latest effort. But it does still manage to have both the look and feel of a Malick film (i.e., it intersperses a linear story with lots of fluid, beautiful cinematography shot during “magic hour” with voice overs asking deep questions), albeit one that doesn’t drift off into long montages of the creation of the universe with voiceovers almost lifted from the book of Job.

Art in Life

Photo:  IMAGEMORE Co, Ltd. / Getty Images

Photo: IMAGEMORE Co, Ltd. / Getty Images

We were walking up the beach, on the sand as the tide moved out toward the ocean. I was holding Zeke's hand, talking with him about sea things. "I didn't know jellyfish swam this close to the shore during the spring," he said in 5-year-old wonderment. "I bet that drift wood is as old as The Old Man and the Sea. I think a horseshoe crab's blood can be used to treat cancer."

"Look," I said.

"What is it, Dad?" he asked.

I picked up a shell out of the deep, hot sand and held it in my open hand.

Ladies: Need A Pick-Me-Up?

It's Thursday. I'm hitting the back of my closet and have second-day hair. Relate? Good, then this video is for you.

Take a few minutes to remember that our differences — whether it be crooked smiles, frizzy hair, or 6-foot-frame — to others look like character, enviable natural curls, or modelesque stature. You're beautiful. (Yes, you.) 

The clip is also full of good advice, but my personal favorite: "If it makes you feel awesome, wear it." (Do you think that means I can get away with yoga pants at work?)

'A World Journey' Documents the Richness and Beauty of People Around the Globe

In a new photo series called “A World Journey,” photographer Jim Stipe documents the people that have made an impact on his travels. Particularly in low income countries, Jim exposes the faces and lives that have meant something to him as he journeyed through foreign lands.

On the first slide of his new series, his statement reads:

“I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many countries around the world, sometimes for fun, other times for photo assignments, almost always in low-income countries. Time and again what strikes me most is the strength and dignity of people who often suffer great hardship. This small collection of photos gives you a glimpse of the amazing people I’ve met.”  

Take a minute to reflect on some remarkable, beautiful images of the world’s people.


40 Ideas for Keeping Lent Holy

(Lenten Rose photo by Lynn Whitt/Shutterstock.)

(Lenten Rose photo by Lynn Whitt/Shutterstock.)

40 Ideas for Keeping a Holy Lent from House for All Sinners and Saints, the Denver congregation Nadia serves.

Day 1: Pray for your enemies

Day 2: Walk, carpool, bike or bus it.

Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio

Day 4: Give $20 to a non-profit of your choosing


Day 5: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon

Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before

Tripp Hudgins' First Thoughts: The Beloved of God

"Aslan Speaks." Photo by Cathleen Falsani for Sojourners.

"Aslan Speaks." Photo by Cathleen Falsani for Sojourners.

"I have found great beauty in religion and religion has shown me great beauty in myself and in the world," Tripp says, as he reflects on the 11 years since he's had a drink. "I'm still not sure I know what being beloved means. Somehow we forget that we are beloved....Today is the 11th anniversary of the day I was told who I was. It's a good day."