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N.D. Wilson quotes (showing 1-30 of 188)

“Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.”
N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire
“The world is rated R, and no one is checking IDs. Do not try to make it G by imagining the shadows away. Do not try to hide your children from the world forever, but do not try to pretend there is no danger. Train them. Give them sharp eyes and bellies full of laughter. Make them dangerous. Make them yeast, and when they’ve grown, they will pollute the shadows.”
N.D. Wilson, Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
“Do not resent your place in the story. Do not imagine yourself elsewhere. Do not close your eyes and picture a world without thorns, without shadows, without hawks. Change this world. Use your body like a tool meant to be used up, discarded, and replaced. Better every life you touch. We will reach the final chapter. When we have eyes that can stare into the sun, eyes that only squint for the Shenikah, then we will see laughing children pulling cobras by their tails, and hawks and rabbits playing tag.”
N.D. Wilson, Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
“Stealing ideas from contemporaries is rude and tasteless. Stealing from the long dead is considered literary and admirable. The same is true of grave-robbing. Loot your local cemetery and find yourself mired in social awkwardness. But unearth the tomb of an ancient king and you can feel free to pop off his toe rings. You'll probably end up on a book tour, or bagging an honorary degree or two.”
N.D. Wilson
“The moon was up, painting the world silver, making things look just a little more alive.”
N.D. Wilson, Leepike Ridge
“Do you dislike your role in the story, your place in the shadow? What complaints do you have that the hobbits could not have heaved at Tolkien? You have been born into a narrative, you have been given freedom. Act, and act well until you reach your final scene.”
N.D. Wilson
“You fainted,' Tom said.
Reg coughed.
No, I didn't,' he said. 'Women faint. People afraid of needles faint. Men black out.”
N.D. Wilson
“In this story, the sun moves. In this story, every night meets a dawn and burns away in the bright morning. In this story, Winter can never hold back the Spring... He is the best of all possible audiences, the only Audience to see every scene, the Author who became a Character and heaped every shadow on Himself. The Greeks were right. Live in fear of a grinding end and a dank hereafter. Unless you know a bigger God, or better yet, are related to Him by blood.”
N.D. Wilson, Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
“Imagine a poem written with such enormous three-dimensional words that we had to invent a smaller word to reference each of the big ones; that we had to rewrite the whole thing in shorthand, smashing it into two dimensions, just to talk about it. Or don’t imagine it. Look outside. Human language is our attempt at navigating God’s language; it is us running between the lines of His epic, climbing on the vowels and building houses out of the consonants.”
N.D. Wilson, Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
“Self-loathing and self-worship can easily be the same thing. You hate the small sack of fluids and resentments that you are, and you would go to any length, and betray anything and anyone, to preserve it.”
N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire
“Cowards live for the sake of living, but for heroes, life is a weapon, a thing to be spent, a gift to be given to the weak and the lost and the weary, even to the foolish and the cowardly.”
N.D. Wilson, Empire of Bones
“To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip enemies of their greatest weapon. Even if they break our bodies and drain our blood, we are unvanquished. Our goal was never to live; our goal is to love. It is the goal of all noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even your live itself.”
N.D. Wilson, Empire of Bones
“Lay your life down. Your heartbeats cannot be hoarded. Your reservoir of breaths is draining away. You have hands, blister them while you can. You have bones, make them strain-they can carry nothing in the grave. You have lungs, let them spill with laughter. With an average life expectancy of 78.2 years in the US (subtracting eight hours a day for sleep), I have around 250,00 conscious hours remaining to me in which I could be smiling or scowling, rejoicing in my life, in this race, in this story, or moaning and complaining about my troubles. I can be giving my fingers, my back, my mind, my words, my breaths, to my wife and my children and my neighbors, or I can grasp after the vapor and the vanity for myself, dragging my feet, afraid to die and therefore afraid to live. And, like Adam, I will still die in the end.”
N.D. Wilson, Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
“In the history of the world there have been lots of onces and lots of times, and every time has had a once upon it.

Most people will tell you that the once upon a time happened in a land far, far away, but it really depends on where you are. The once upon a time may have been just outside your back door. It may have been beneath your very feet. It might not have been in a land at all but deep in the sea's belly or bobbing around on its back.”
N.D. Wilson, Leepike Ridge
“Kansas is not easily impressed. It has seen houses fly and cattle soar. When funnel clouds walk through the wheat, big hail falls behind. As the biggest stones melt, turtles and mice and fish and even men can be seen frozen inside. And Kansas is not surprised.

Henry York had seen things in Kansas, things he didn't think belonged in this world. Things that didn't. Kansas hadn't flinched.”
N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire
“Writer's block — so what? Write something bad. Just throw it in the trash can when you're done, you're always improving. That kind of writing is like doing a bunch of push-ups. Every individual push-up is not the important thing. On Tuesday you're going to think, "Is it really important that I do it today?" No, but the collective impact is. If you write every day, you will improve.”
N.D. Wilson
“When Job lifted his face to the Storm, when he asked and was answered, he learned that he was very small. He learned that his life was a story. He spoke with the Author, and learned that the genre had not been an accident. God tells stories that make Sunday school teachers sweat and mothers write their children permission slips excusing them from encountering reality.”
N.D. Wilson, Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
“Columbus was the first to come to the east. Vikings don't count, and neither do all the people who were standing on the beaches and waving when he got here.”
N.D. Wilson, Leepike Ridge
“That wasn't me. I'm not a morning person. There's another person inside of me that does all the morning things.”
N.D. Wilson, The Dragon's Tooth
tags: humor
“After a few mouthfuls of moon-flavored air, even the stubbornly drowsy can find themselves wide-eyed.. All the normal noises of life were gone, leaving behind the secretive sounds, the shy sounds, the whispers and conversations of moss disputing with grass over some soft piece of earth, or the hummingbird snoring.”
N.D. Wilson, Leepike Ridge
“Woman and children behind the lines!' he yelled, and all the girls jumped. Henry froze with his mouth open. 'Bang the drum slowly and ask not for whom the bell's ringing, for the answer's unfriendly!' He threw a fist in the air. 'Two years have my black ships sat before Troy, and today its gate shall open before the strength of my arm.' Dotty was laughing from the kitchen. Frank looked at his nephew. 'Henry, we play baseball tomorrow. Today we sack cities. Dots! Fetch me my tools! Down with the French! Once more into the breach, and fill the wall with our coward dead! Half a league! Half a league! Hey, batter, batter!'
Frank brought his fist down onto the table, spilling Anastasia's milk, and then he struck a pose with both arms above his head and his chin on his chest. The girls cheered and applauded. Aunt Dotty stepped back into the dining room carrying a red metal toolbox.”
N.D. Wilson, 100 Cupboards
“What is the world? What is it for?
It is an art. It is the best of all possible art, a finite picture of the infinite. Assess it like prose, like poetry, like architecture, sculpture, painting, dance, delta blues, opera, tragedy, comedy, romance, epic. Assess it like you would a Faberge egg, like a gunfight, like a musical, like a snowflake, like a death, a birth, a triumph, a love story, a tornado, a smile, a heartbreak, a sweater, a hunger pain, a desire, a fufillment, a desert, a waterfall, a song, a race, a frog, a play, a song, a marriage, a consummation, a thirst quenched.
Assess it like that. And when you're done, find an ant and have him assess the cathedrals of Europe.”
N.D. Wilson
“Life is a story. Why do we die? Because we live. Why do we live? Because our Maker opened His mouth and began to tell a story.”
N.D. Wilson, Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
“Give me priests. Give me men with feathers in their hair, or tall domed hats, female oracles in caves, servants of the python, smoking weed and reading palms. A gypsy fortuneteller with a foot-peddle ouija board and a gold fish bowl for a crystal ball knows more about the world than many of the great thinkers of the West. Mumbling priests swinging stink cans on their chains and even witch doctors conjuring up curses with a well-buried elephant tooth have a better sense of their places in the world. They know this universe is brimming with magic, with life and riddles and ironies. They know that the world might eat them, and no encyclopedia could stop it”
N.D. Wilson, Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
“Your life is your own, your glory is your glory, but you will lose it if you keep it for yourself. Grasp it for the sake of others...”
N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire
“Do not fear the shadowy places. You will never be the first one there. Another went ahead and down until He came out the other side.”
N.D. Wilson, Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
“...live hard and die grateful.”
N.D. Wilson, Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
“After three years down here, I've not learned too much. But one thing I do know is that our bellies aren't big enough for revenge. It turns sour and eats you up. We'll get out, but we'll get out for the sun, the moon, and mothers, not for small-souled enemies, though we'll deal with them when we get there.”
N.D. Wilson, Leepike Ridge
“Every year, Kansas watches the world die. Civilizations of wheat grow tall and green; they grow old and golden, and then men shaped from the same earth as the crop cut those lives down. And when the grain is threshed, and the dances and festivals have come and gone, then the fields are given over to fire, and the wheat stubble ascends into the Kansas sky, and the moon swells to bursting above a blackened earth.

The fields around Henry, Kansas, had given up their gold and were charred. Some had already been tilled under, waiting for the promised life of new seed. Waiting for winter, and for spring, and another black death.

The harvest had been good. Men, women, boys and girls had found work, and Henry Days had been all hot dogs and laughter, even without Frank Willis's old brown truck in the parade.

The truck was over on the edge of town, by a lonely barn decorated with new No Trespassing signs and a hole in the ground where the Willis house had been in the spring and the early summer. Late summer had now faded into fall, and the pale blue farm house was gone. Kansas would never forget it.”
N.D. Wilson, The Chestnut King
“Assumption Two: God only cares about spiritual things. To be honest, I don't even know what this means, but those elusive spiritual things have been helping Christians cop out of true holiness for centuries.

We are all like accountants with wizard-like abilities, funneling our choices and goals and actions through shell corporations and off-shore banks of unrighteousness. God only cares about spiritual things? His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom? Are you kidding me? God only cares how we emote at him?

That's part of it, sure, but I was pretty sure that He made physical animals and a physical man and gave him a physical job. I was pretty sure that He made a physical tree with physical fruit and told that physical man not to eat it or he would physically die. He physically ate it anyway and now we physically go into the physical ground, physically rot, and become physical plant and physical worm food.

And because of this incredibly physical problem, He made things even more clear when His own Son took on physical flesh to lead a physical life that lead to a physical cross where He physically absorbed our curse, was physically tortured, and bought you and bought me and bought this whole physical world with His physical blood. If He'd wanted a spiritual kingdom, He could have saved Himself a huge amount of trouble (to say nothing of making the Greek philosophers and medieval gnostics a lot happier), by just skipping Christmas and the Crucifixion.”
N.D. Wilson, Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent

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N.D. Wilson
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