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The Things We Say provides 187 launching points for new understanding that readers can bring to bear on each day of their lives. The juxtaposition of common sayings and Bible verses sheds light on each as the author and reader take on the privileged role of mediating the discussion between two. The context of Quaker "queries and advices" adds depth, breadth and focus to each page. One learns from this book: more about Quakers, more about common sayings and more about the Bible.
Morison says he was inspired to research common quotations, slogans and aphorisms because of his work in prisons and jails. He explains that is where he “encounters despair, anger, resentment, fear and resignation on a daily basis” and adds that he is “led to do more listening than speaking.” Morison tells how the stories he hears often begin and continue with refrains like “I know I am still alive for a reason” or “I guess if you make your own bed, you have to lie in it.” He goes on to explain how such words can help people make their way through phenomenally disturbing circumstances, but adds, “the very same words are also uttered by confused people no longer trusting their words have any real worth or meaning.” These experiences led him to pay attention to all the places where people quote conventional wisdom in the form of short sayings. This work collects many of those sayings in a way that is amenable, provocative and inviting.
Morison, recently retired from correctional chaplaincy, has found that the faithful life means “touching pain with love” and he hopes that his reflections can invite readers to bring that privilege and joy closer to the center of their lives!