- During one of what seemed to be endless visits to the doctor, I asked him for the truth: "Is Kim going to die?" "I can't answer that question," he said. "She has a good chance, if her body starts responding to treatment." "If! If! That's all I've been hearing for 16 months. Kim has had these painful shots every two weeks since she was born. You can see how she screams and cries. And all you can tell me is, 'if'?" Understanding the stress and fear behind my outburst, the doctor did not take offense. "Her white blood cell count is the lowest it has ever been," he said gently, holding the lab report in his hand. "The gamma globulin shots have helped her to survive her bouts of illness, but her own body is not producing white blood cells in large enough quantities. I can't give you a miracle. Kim will either start producing enough white cells or she won't."
- ("A man named Paul O'Brien reflected on those who have experienced tremendous losses in life. He focused particularly on literary personalities and how they coped with loss. He talked about William Thackery, whose manuscript for a novel was inadvertently destroyed by a servant..." and other illustrations)
- ("Different cultures understand everyday events in divergent ways, which can sometimes lead to unanticipated problems. For example, one American Peace Corps volunteer was assigned to a small village in the Dominican Republic. On their first morning there, the volunteer went out for an early morning jog...")
- Jill Duffield, the editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, tells of a mission trip her husband went on to Guatemala roughly 17 years ago. Like the mission trip Delight and I went on to Kenya last January, it wasn’t about painting projects or Bible studies. Instead, the focus was on building relationships. Jill says the trip was transformative for her husband. Here’s how she describes it: “Despite the jet lag and travel weariness, he was eager to talk about all he’d seen. The country was beautiful, the people warm, the guide patient. Then he said something I didn’t expect. He said, ‘I had the best meal of my life there.’ ‘Really?’ I asked. ‘What was it?’ ‘A bowl of black beans and hardboiled egg.’ He was effusive about this meal.
- ("James Carroll, whose book about Christians' struggle about participation in anti-Semitism, among other prejudices, wrote 'there are four Gospels, not one...")
- ("On a similar note, I had a friend in high school named Mike. Mike was a fine musician. All he wanted to do was to go to college, get in a band and spend the rest of his life making music..." and other illustrations)
- ("In C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund betrays his friends Peter, Susan, and Lucy. In the land of Narnia, a traitor must pay the price of blood. If not, Narnia will perish in fire and water...")