These two biblical books may be “loose cannons in the canon,” but Pauw makes a case for how they are as relevant now as ever. The sages of Israel demonstrated an openness to learning from the wisdom traditions of their neighbors, an example from which we can learn, given the religious pluralism that marks our time.
When my mother died early on a spring evening in 1993, the ladies of the garden club and the bridge club gathered around my family to stand sentinel over the old-fashioned ritual of paying calls on the bereaved.
I’ve only seen three dead bodies in my life. The first was when I was 12 years old and my grandfather died at age 69. It was the first time I ever saw my father cry. At the funeral home, my sister was brave enough to reach out and touch my grandfather’s hand as it rested on his torso. Back in our seats, I asked her what his skin felt like. “Plastic,” she said.
Max Villatoro, 41, came to this country in 1995 from his native Honduras. In 1999 he was arrested for drunk driving. He turned his life around, got married, had four children, and became a Mennonite pastor in Iowa City. Despite trying for years to get legal status, he was recently taken into custody and sent back to Honduras, separating him from his family and congregation. Villatoro’s lawyer, who has worked many similar cases, says he has never seen so many people petitioning for one of his clients. The advocacy didn’t stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement from going against President Obama’s commitment to deport “felons, not families” (KCRG.com, March 20).