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Published by Ellie_Windy, 2015-07-27 21:23:34

Cornerstone Magazine Spring 2014

Cornerstone Magazine Spring 2014

SPRING 2014 VOLUME III ISSUE I

CORNERSTONE
A CHRISTIAN JOURNAL OF LITERARY ARTS AT BROWN UNIVERSIT Y AND THE RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN

IN THIS EDITION:

ALL MY SINGLE LADIES (P. 7)
WHEN MY FAITH BECOMES MERELY RULES (P. 8)

ON GOD AND SUFFERING (P. 18)
HEART (P. 20)

1

STAFF

PRESIDENT

Elizabeth Jean-Marie

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Taylin Im

LAYOUT EDITOR

Cynthia Fong

BUSINESS MANAGER

Nia Campinha-Bacote

FICTION & POETRY EDITOR

Cia Mathew

NONFICTION EDITORS

Lawrence Ahn
Olugbenga Joseph
Russyan Mark Mabeza

ONLINE EDITOR

Anna Delamerced

CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

Nar Gulvartian

RECRUITING & MARKETING
DIRECTOR

Monica Perez

COPY EDITOR

Aleyna Mason

SUBMISSIONS & INQUIRIES

thebr[email protected]

ONLINE

browncornerstone.wordpress.com
facebook.com/cornerstonemagazine

2 Cover: Sujay Natson ‘16 Frozen Flow

CONTENT

ARTWORK NON-FICTION POETRY & FICTION
P4: THE EMPTY CATCH P4: LETTER FROM THE P9: SOLE OF MY SOUL
EDITOR
Justina Lee Anna Delamerced
Taylin Im
P6: BRIDAL REFLECTIONS P14: TILES
P7: ALL MY SINGLE
Emily Moenning LADIES Anna Delamerced

P8: FROZEN Nia Campinha-Bacote P15: LOST LETTERS

Sujay Natson P8: WHEN MY FAITH Olugbenga Joseph
BECOMES MERELY RULES
P9: STAINED-GLASS P20: HEART
CATHEDRAL WINDOW Cia Mathew
Isabella Bello Martinez
Samantha Seto P10: RE-MEETING GOD
P22: BROKEN
P11: ICY Mitch Akutsu
Placid Unegbu
Lauren Galvan P12: EGGSHELLS
P25: FEAR
P13: EYE OF THE FLOWER Clare Kim
Julia Elstrodt
Sujay Natson P18: ON GOD AND
SUFFERING P26: THOUGHTS FROM
P14: LIFE AMONG AN ANGEL
THE ROCKS Michael Robinson
& Monica Perez Cia Mathew
Sujay Natson
P28: SENIOR FAREWELL
P16: ELISE
Cia Mathew
Emily Moenning
P29: CONVERSATION
P17: SELAH CORNER

Emily Moenning Cornerstone Staff

P18: TRIPLE DIP P30: MINISTRY PROFILE
P31: PRAYER FOR BROWN
Justina Lee
Father Bodah
P21: TRANQUILITY
MISSION STATEMENT
Sujay Natson
Cornerstone Magazine seeks first and foremost to
P22: SOURCE celebrate the Christian Gospel by presenting its richness

Justina Lee and beauty to Brown and RISD students and faculty.
Open to those of all denominational persuasions, we
P24: TAYLOR provide a literary and artistic outlet for followers of Christ.
We publish works of art, prose and poetry that exhibit
Emily Moenning intelligent and creative approaches to current events,

P26: RISING history and Christianity in general.

Sujay Natson Lauren Galvan ‘16 Anchored Footprint 3

P28: DOOR

Sujay Natson

P29: THE WORD AMIDST
NATURE

Sujay Natson

P30: FOOTSTEPS IN
THE SNOW

Sujay Natson

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

THE ILLUSION OF BEING GOOD

Most of the people I know are genuine and good people. How do I know this? I know this because people like to talk about what they want,
what they hope to do, and why they do what they do. Simply put, we often like to talk about our intentions. Not only that, we want to be judged
by our good intentions. Don’t you ever wonder why it’s so difficult for us to apologize for our mistakes when we try so hard to do well, let alone
cause no harm? This is because when we mess up, we want our intentions to count for more than the results of our words and actions. Yet,
judging based on most people’s intentions, I can confidently say that most of the people I know have good in their hearts and mean well. After
all, how often do you hear someone say that they go to school so that they can one day make millions of dollars while exploiting third world
countries? Or that they want to become a doctor so that they can profit off the sick? Or become a politician so that they can someday run for
office and acquire power and wealth rather than listening to the concerns of the public? Or even that the only reason they do nice things for
others is so that others can return the favor?

There are many reasons why people don’t say these things, but the point is that for many, these sentiments don’t reflect their true intentions.
No, the people I know want to make money so that they can use it for good, become doctors so that they can heal the sick, become politicians
so that they can change this country for the better, and be kind to one another because it’s the right thing to do. Money, power, influence, and
even a good reputation are byproducts, secondary to good intents, as they should be, right? I’d like to make the distinction that intentions are
not the same as actions, consequences, or experiences. This means that just because you have the heart to do good, it doesn’t necessarily
mean you have actually accomplished good or that you get a free pass when you’ve mistakenly done more harm. We encounter these scenarios
every day, whether through advice or rules from parents, expressed concerns or discouragements from friends, or belittlements or warnings from
teachers or mentors. We’ve all been discouraged, unsupported, or even stopped from following through with our own plans or goals because
of the people around us and their intents to protect us, guide us, or teach us from their experiences. And it’s usually because they love us.

A recent example in which good intentions did not follow through was the #CancelColbert incident. On March 26, 2014, Colbert aired a segment
on Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s attempts to placate Native Americans by creating a foundation to help them, rather than actually
doing anything to change the name of his football team. To highlight the absurdity and the offense of this notion, Colbert attempted a satirical
piece in which he claimed he was willing to show the Asian community that he cared by introducing the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for
Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” While it is clear that Colbert’s intentions were to mock and satirize Dan Snyder’s (non-)efforts to make things
right with the Native Americans, Colbert’s joke actually did more harm to yet another marginalized group by making Asian people the punch line
of a joke, perpetuating racism and reducing an entity of people to damaging stereotypes. Suey Park, a writer and activist, was the first of many
to call Colbert out on his mistake and demand an apology. Many others, however, backlashed and even verbally attacked and threatened those
who started trending the hashtag #CancelColbert in defense of Colbert’s use of racial satire.

4 Justina Lee ‘15 The Empty Catch

While I have yet to hear of any sincere apologies on Colbert’s behalf, I want to use this example as an instance in which intentions and actions
don’t match up and instead result in more damage. We’ve all experienced this. We’re human and we all make mistakes, no matter how pure
or how right we want our hearts to be. This is especially prevalent in many Christian communities, in which many well-meaning and devoted
Christians embark on missions to do good, help people, and spread the Good News. Whether they are brief, unsustainable mission trips around
the world, or offending a close friend in an attempt to explain our beliefs, it’s no wonder that we ourselves as Christians are the number one
cause of turning people away from religion. We often mean well, but our words don’t always line up with our actions, just as our behaviors don’t
always live up to our beliefs. We contradict ourselves and sometimes, even send out the wrong message despite our eagerness to do God’s
work. If a mother is constantly comparing her child to other children, putting down or shaming by pointing out ways in which her own child is
falling short, her words and actions may ultimately damage her child’s self-esteem, self-worth, and perhaps even mental health. This doesn’t
necessarily mean that this mother is a horrible parent, because she has good intentions and wants her child to live up to his or her potential;
however, the damage caused by her actions outweighs the intent, no matter how much she loves her child. And yet, this is a part of human
nature–to always want better, to want what we can’t have, and to hurt others while under the impression of acting on love.

However, we as believers and followers of Christ have hope. This hope is founded on the fact that even though our intentions and our actions
here on earth may not be perfect, we have been offered grace, understanding, and love to make up for all the times we’ve failed to carry out
God’s will and for all the times we’ve hurt others and ourselves. And this can be dangerous sometimes, because with the knowledge that God
understands and sees our hearts, we can easily fall into a trap of thinking that our actions don’t matter as long as our intentions are sound.

However, I’d like to suggest that the idea of focusing on intent is simply a disguised notion in which we only focus on ourselves and not the
impact or influence we have on others. We must focus on our actions just as much as our intentions, for in focusing outward, we take the
attention off of ourselves, and only then can we be open to truly reflect God’s goodness to others. In Philippians 2:4, Paul says, “Let each of you
look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” I’m not discounting good intentions. I’m arguing that good intentions alone
are not enough. Instead, we must practice how to act both out of love and in love, because claiming actions based on love is not enough. Just
because Colbert claims not to be racist, it doesn’t mean his words and actions aren’t, and simply because a parent does everything for their child
on the basis of love, it doesn’t mean that every action demonstrates love. Our actions, as well as our intentions, must reflect love. And while we
will probably make mistakes along the way, it is still our responsibility to make amends for our mistakes and apologize sincerely when we realize
our faults. Only after we learn this can we better represent Christ and His unconditional love for us in a way that engages and encourages others.
We should all strive to shine God’s light out to our campus, to our churches, to our communities, and to this world.

Taylin Im

Editor-in-Chief 5

6 Emily Moenning ‘17 Bridal Reflections

ALL MY SINGLE LADIES NIA CAMPINHA-BACOTE

My name is Nia Campinha-Bacote, and when I grow up, I When we look at how Christ loved the Church, we see a love [1] John 16:33
want to submit to my husband. that has persisted even when His followers betrayed and reads, “I have told
persecuted Him, a love that culminated in the most selfless you all this so that
Hold up. Hold up. Before you all go writing a BDH article of acts—self-sacrifice. I want that in a husband. I want a
about some girl who wants to surrender all her rights to a man who will still love me when I mess up, who wants the you may have
man, let me clarify: I love the idea of submission, but only the best for me, who’s willing to die for me. If I have a husband peace in me. Here
way God intended it to be. who places Christ at the center of his life, then I will be more
than willing to look to him in times of trouble, to submit as we on earth you will
Enter one of the most controversial and misunderstood verses come together before God on our knees seeking wisdom and have many trials
of the Bible: “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the guidance. This is what God intended for submission to be. and sorrows. But
Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). What? How can this be? I’m not take heart, because
giving some man—whether he’s my husband or not—control Now before I finish, I don’t want you leaving this article I have overcome
of my life! These were just some of the many thoughts that ran thinking I’m a naïve Christian girl who thinks everything will be the world.” New
through my mind when I first encountered this verse, and I can Living Translation
imagine several other ladies out there have thought the same. “I WANT A MAN WHO WILL STILL LOVE ME
However, before we become fully enraged by this verse, it is WHEN I MESS UP, WHO WANTS THE BEST [2] Information
crucial we look at it in its original context, its original language. FOR ME, WHO’S WILLING TO DIE FOR ME.” on the Greek
translation of
If you do a Google search of the word “submit”, the first rainbows and butterflies if you believe in Jesus and follow the
definition to appear is “to accept or yield to a superior force or Bible. The Bible itself tells us we will face many difficulties-- submission was
to the authority or will of another person.” But the funny thing just look at John 16:33 [2]. That being said, I want to address gathered from the
is, the Bible wasn’t written in English; the Old Testament was the fact that we live in a world that is not perfect, in a world
originally written in Hebrew, and the New Testament (where that is full of selfishness, of pain, of hurt. I recognize that there following online
we find our verse) was written in Greek. are cultures and systems of thought in this world that utilize Bible study tool
Bible verses surrounding submission to allow for actions to website: http://
So, let’s go back and revisit what “submit” now means in go unquestioned. I want to assert that I do not agree with www.studylight.
this new context. In Greek, the word used for “submit” is the system of belief that wives, and women in general, are to org/lex/grk/gwview.
ὑποτάσσω, with a transliteration of hypotássō. Hypotássō is be silent and endure times of abuse or other forms of hurt.
a Greek military term that literally translates, “to arrange in a Moreover, I don’t believe the God of the Bible to agree with cgi?n=5293
military fashion under the command of a leader.” However, this either. In Colossians 3:19, He says husbands should love
outside of military usage, hypotássō means, “a voluntary their wives and never treat them harshly. It is clear that God is
attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and not asking us to turn a blind eye to the abuse, hurt, or shame
carrying a burden” [1]. That’s quite different from our Google we sometimes see.
translation, is it not? Nowhere in this Biblical translation do I
see ideas of inferiority or the necessity to relinquish one’s sense Though I know these unfortunate relationships exist, I’ve also
of agency into the hands of another. Rather, I see that God seen such successful and loving relationships. These are the
has intended for this act of submission to be voluntary, an act relationships and marriages founded upon God, and even
that requires both parties to be in agreement, to cooperate. though there still exists pain, mistakes and messiness, the
beauty lies in Christ as its center.
What is more, critics of this verse often use it in isolation,
failing to acknowledge the entirety of the passage. For So yes, when I grow up, I want to submit to my husband. The
example, look at what follows in verse 25: “Husbands love Lord knows I’m not going to be perfect, and I’ll most assuredly
your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself have my sassy moments, as I’m sure my husband will too.
up for her”, and it continues in verse 28 to say, “In this same Yet, I know Christ will be the glue in our times of brokenness
way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” and pain, and He will also be what fills our marriage with
I don’t know about you other ladies out there, but I’m totally love and laughter. Christ will be the role model for both my
down to have a voluntary attitude of giving in to a man who husband and me, and having such a perfect example of love
loves me as he loves himself, who will love me just as Christ is what gives me the faith to submit.
loved the Church.

7

WHEN MY FAITH BECOMES MERELY RULES

The most compelling part of Christianity, for me, is its CIA MATHEW
unwarranted grace. Meaning - there is nothing we can
do and nothing we cannot do to change how much God has been covered by grace? The Bible even reminds
loves us. Whether I had a one-night stand the night before us that “everything is permissible” under grace (1
church or whether I have practiced abstinence my whole Corinthians 10:23). The answer lies in the gripping
life - the God of the Bible loves me the same. If you see nature of the gospel. Once I understand that the God
Christianity as a list of do’s and don’ts, you’ve got it wrong. of the universe loved me enough to come down to
earth and live as an innocent man who was beaten
This is because, at the heart of Christianity, it doesn’t and murdered, I can’t live the same. Knowing what
matter what I do. Christianity isn’t about following a Jesus did for me leaves me different, transformed.
rulebook. It isn’t about not having sex, not drinking,
not lying, not gossiping, not stealing, not anything. God’s love and Jesus’s grace doesn’t make rational sense,
It’s not about me being a good girl; it doesn’t matter but it touches my inner being so powerfully that I want
how good I am or how bad I am. If my religion were to obey every command God gives me. Every “do” and
only about me following rules, my faith would be “don’t” listed in the Bible becomes a guideline I welcome.
imprisoning and stifling. I’d be guilt-ridden, constantly Why? Because I trust God. I trust that when He gives
feeling like I’m not good enough for God. me a command, everything from avoiding premarital sex
to being slow to anger, He is giving me a way to live the
The Bible states these truths – “If it is by grace, it is no most fulfilling life possible. After all, if I didn’t believe God
longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no was bigger and better than myself, I wouldn’t worship
longer be grace” (Romans 11:6). Grace means that God’s Him. And if I trust that God is a loving Father and good
love for us is not dependent on our actions. The Christian shepherd who only wants what is best for me, then I
message is that Jesus’s death covered every mistake, have no problem following His advice on how to live.
disobedient action, and sin we committed, allowing us to
be perfect and blameless in the presence of a holy God. So, is Christianity about following rules? No. Because even
if I failed to follow every rule, God still wants me to be in
So knowing what Jesus’s death did, why do Christians communion with Him. I follow the Bible’s rules because
bother to be good, especially if everything “bad” we do I fully trust God’s counsel, and all I want is to obey Him
after being so transformed by His love and grace.

Sujay Natson ‘16 Frozen

8

As the first ray of dawn THE SOLE OF MY SOUL
Runs across the sky
I walk on three legs -

Daily I take up my cross.

Old,
Wrinkled hands worn by the weathering
Trials and hurricanes and storms life renders;
Sinking deep into the oceans
Gasping for breath
Arms yearning upward to the surface

My feet fail
But He does not.

Night looms ahead
Yet I am neither afraid
Nor regretful of my years on earth

For when I cried out to Him
He answered

Shackles of bondage
Of my own selfishness -
A slave of the desires of a world imprisoned -
Until freedom came in the form of the Son.

His image imprinted on
The sole of my soul.

What is this, this stirring in my feet
heart
so(u)le?

I no longer want to live for myself
To chase after the things of this world
Money, jobs, fame, validation -
Temporary are they.
Bidding the ephemeral farewell
I arrive at the doorstep of the eternal.

I no longer ask myself
Where will my feet take me
But ask Him
Where will You take me?
Where You go
I will

Come,
Follow me.
Come dwell in my house forever.

ANNA DELAMERCED The indigo veil lifts, revealing
A golden light of peace.

I rest my head on His shoulders.

He is carrying me home.

Samantha Seto ‘17 Stained-Glass Cathedral Window 9

RE-MEETING GOD

MITCH AKUTSU

God isn’t just a metaphor anymore. He isn’t just “energy” down to meet me? I don’t know, but I’m starting to suspect
or he isn’t “the universe.” Not anymore. While it may be the latter. Over the past few months it’s been great trying
impossible to understand him completely, he wants to be to meet a friend in a completely new light. Besides the
understood. If he really loved us, would he be satisfied if we cliché adjectives like refreshing, inspiring, and awesome,
perceived him in such a vague manner? I would say the experience has mostly been humbling.
Over the years, I’ve been spinning my own concepts and
Over the past few months, I’ve been spending a lot of expectations on God. Thoughts included: “If he exists he
time learning about Christianity. I grew up in a religious
household, but not a Christian one. After a period of I WAS LIMITING GOD THE SAME WAY I
staunch atheism, inspired by my AP science classes in high LIMIT COUNTLESS OTHER PEOPLE ON
school, I opened up to God a little. I became convinced A DAILY BASIS - WITH UNREASONABLE
that acts of humility and kindness were inherently “good” EXPECTATIONS AND FALSE STEREOTYPES.
and acts of exploitation and excessive pride were inherently
“bad.” And from there I became convinced that science has to fit this theology,” or “I have to spend this much time
could not explain everything away, so I relinquished “okay, praying to become closer to him,” or “there’s no way he can
there’s something more, there is something like a God.” interfere with the very laws of physics he created.” Well, I
But it was still so abstract. There was acknowledgement, think I was limiting God the same way I limit countless other
but no substantial relationship. I had only a slight idea of people on a daily basis - with unreasonable expectations
his nature- that he was beyond space and time. Now how and false stereotypes. To even consider that God really did
abstract can you get? In a way, it was like he was on a walk the earth as Jesus and continues to do so through
distant stage and I was in the audience applauding him. the Holy Spirit was a big step for me. That didn’t fit into my
I was applauding him for the beautiful universe he crafted previous conceptions of how I thought God should be. I’m
and the way he designed my life. And I was pretty satisfied beginning to sense that God may be too big to fit into any
with that. limited perception I had before. I mean, is there a maximum
capacity for love?
ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL, GOD
DOESN’T WANT TO BE ON STAGE Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to learn that a person
is more than you expected. Like when the “quiet” kid in
ALL THE TIME. HE WANTS TO COME class presents the most charismatic speech in English,
DOWN AND BE WITH THE AUDIENCE. my misconception shatters and there’s an opportunity to
understand that person for who he or she truly is. I’ll admit,
Have you ever met someone before, didn’t really get close at first, it was a little uncomfortable accepting that God
to them, but then met them again in a new context? And really does love me so much that he would actually want
the second time, for some reason, was completely different, to sit down and talk to me. Before, I was sitting in the back
as if you met the person all over again? After going to the of the audience. Now after coming down for me, he has
Brown Christian Fellowship fall retreat last semester, that is invited me to come up and dance with him, to be a part
exactly what has been happening between me and God. I of his show. It’s exciting. It’s exhilarating. Letting him walk
met God for a second time. right beside me, I’m getting to know him better, and he’s
completely changing my worldview.
The Christian concept of God is vastly different from what I
believed God to be before. According to the Gospel, God
doesn’t want to be on stage all the time. He wants to come
down and be with the audience. He doesn’t want to be
abstract and distant; he wants to literally walk with us in
the flesh. Was it me re-meeting God or was he coming

10

Lauren Galvan ‘16 Icy 11

EGGSHELLS

What is home? My parents immigrated to the of belonging here. I get spoiled at Brown—the safest
States from South Korea, I was born and raised of all spaces with friends who will love me despite my
in California, I go to university in Rhode Island, ugly laughter and weird combo dishes at the Ratty.
and I am now studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I However, outside of Brown and outside of multi-ethnic
think some of the “go-to” answers of what a home Los Angeles, I am forever a foreigner in the eyes of
might be are a physical address or a place to Americans and Irishmen alike. It’s weird because
call your own; wherever loved ones are; an inner I’m sort of stuck in a no man’s land. I’m neither fully
security or sense of belonging; or maybe home is Western nor Eastern, attached to but not able to fully
simply wherever you spend most of your days. identify with both. I don’t know if I’m ever really home.

Last spring break I went on a missions trip to Atlanta It feels like eggshells. Always walking on eggshells.
with a team from my campus ministry group to If I make a wrong move, the ground beneath me
serve the city and connect with fellow Christians cracks and resounds uncomfortably, and people’s
there. One of the things that we did was visit a heads turn as they hear the echo of a foreigner’s
homeless shelter and have a chat with some of shame. The Sunday school teachers were right when
the people who were seeking refuge there. I had they said that Christians will never truly be at home
never realized before that a problem accompanying on earth. We can make ourselves comfortable in
homelessness was not having a personal mailbox. the meantime with significant others, trophies and
Even the most broken down houses and apartments achievements, or Netflix (my personal favorite). But
have mailboxes, so lacking property—and thus an no matter how many Upworthy articles we read,
address—is somewhat dehumanizing. It’s hard for it’s not hard to see that the world is broken. And so
people to reach you. There is a disconnection. are we. Humans are capricious creatures, largely
insensitive to the pride that blinds us. Strict reliance
Thankfully, I’m in one of the dorms here at Trinity on knowledge and self-sufficiency is dangerous as
College Dublin and I do have an address. Mail is memories betray us, logic escapes us, and morality
scarce but I’m grateful for whatever letters come my comes to us in a culturally determined package. The
way (even if they are from the bank). I really like Dublin: qualities we value as highly sensible and upright have
the people are magnanimously friendly, the numerous been passed down to us through cracked human
food markets keep my belly full, and the architecture vessels—parents, mentors, schools, governments,
exhales history. But I’m having trouble finding my sense Disney films (yes, even Frozen), and so on.

12

Luke 9:58 says, “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay I truly appreciate the family I have in this life, both in
his head” (ESV). At first it may seem cruel for Jesus California and on good ol’ College Hill, and the best
to ask us to live a whole life and then not get overly part about going abroad (at least for me) is coming
attached to anything. Death and loss are constant back to the ones I know and love. The funny thing
reminders of the transient properties of life, protecting is that it took a semester abroad to understand my
us from complacency—a terrible trap like a warm true state as a vagabond. More than anything, this
bed that’s just too perfect to leave but is ultimately news is heartening; I don’t have to settle for false
debilitating. As the beloved author C.S. Lewis put it: gods that will ultimately disappoint me and rob me
of peace. And every single day Jesus is there with
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this open arms, inviting the prodigal daughter with the
world can satisfy, the most probable explanation dirty, tear-stained face. In my deepest place I know
is that we were made for another world.” the only one that deserves my unconditional devotion
is Jesus. Because when we fail, when we have lost
It took a lot of dead ends for me to begin to grasp all hope, when the world rejects us and we can’t
the profundity and truth behind that statement. I find a place to rest our heads, when we’re tired
know that we are meant to enjoy ourselves in this of walking on eggshells, He will carry us home.
life, but there is a line between enjoyment and
making these things idols in the homes of our
hearts. I still struggle with that distinction, especially
as a college student “trying to find myself.”

CLARE KIM

Sujay Natson ‘16 Eye of the Flower 13

TILES

ANNA DELAMERCED

I am a tile.
A chipped one, at that.
And slightly scratched in many places
With the paint slowly fading
Away, tumbling out across the ground

Clinking, clattering
On cold concrete.

Many days the light shines
Brightly highlighting a

Transparent vulnerability.
Other days dirt muddies and meddles.

Sin taints
Temptations blind
Worldly desires fog up the glass.

But slowly and purposefully
I am being polished
Inside and out.

I am a tile
Part of an other-worldly design that transcends
Borders and boundaries and colors and shapes and sizes and

Imagination.

I am a tile
In God’s plan
His perfect design
And when that day comes
When my Maker will finalize the finishing touches
Every piece He chose will come together.

I am part of a mosaic
God’s artwork
Handmade

Letting His light shine
Brightly forevermore.

14 Sujay Natson ‘16 Life among the rocks

THE LOST LETTERS OLUGBENGA JOSEPH

Here lies a pair of letters reported to have been torn from a devil’s handbook. These writings were composed
by the crafty demon known as Screwtape, who makes his unforgettable debut in The Screwtape Letters by C.S.
Lewis. These letters, like the ones before them, shed light on the enigmatic essence of human nature, as well as
the fragility of the human heart. Among other things, these Lost Letters illustrate how Tempters, like Screwtape
and his nephew Wormwood, succeed in bending the will of man to that of their own.

Let the chaos commence.

MY DEAR WORMWOOD, It may surprise you that I describe Envy and Jealousy as [1] Galatians 5:22-
two distinct entities. And, yes, while we have succeeded in 23. Bible. New
I take it that you still haven’t the faintest idea of what you training humans to ignore the subtle—and yet significant—
are to be doing. This, however, is not a striking revelation difference between the two terms, the distinction still International Version
that I happened to acquire from Our Father Below. Rather, remains clear. In simplest terms, Envy exists when Person [2] Luke 22:42
the string of nonsensical narratives that I have received from B is embittered by what Person A has. A’s possession could [3] John 10:10
you recently has only confirmed my suspicions. be any number of things: extreme wealth, keen intelligence,
an agreeable face. The source of the Envy, however, is
In your last letter, for instance, you made mention of a entirely irrelevant to us. What we are concerned with,
certain pastor who seems to have won—or so you claim— my dear Wormwood, is how we can use B’s resentment
the affection of your patient’s beloved. As you describe in towards A’s possessions to carry out the purposes of Our
detail, the young, unmarried man is the scum of the earth. Father Below—to steal, to kill, and to destroy [3].
His character is tainted with all of the (forbidden) Fruits of
the Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, and Faithfulness– Jealousy, on the other hand, is a game with three players.
that are so often associated with the Enemy [1]. In fact, It occurs when B and A are enamored of each other, but
that vile creature is so far gone into the Enemy’s camp B feels threatened by the presence of a third party, C. To
that he has prostituted his own will for that of his Creator’s. name it, B is afraid of losing A’s “love” to C, and is thus
Instead of filling his prayers with selfish desires, his mantra
has become “Let not my will, but Yours be done” [2]. This GIVE HIM EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE
monster has spread the twisted rhetoric of the Enemy so THAT THE WOMAN’S INTEREST IN
frequently, and so fervently, that his church services have
attracted even the likes of your patient and his filthy female THE PASTOR IS MORE EROTIC THAN
companion. PLATONIC, MORE CARNAL THAN FILIAL.

What’s worse, still, is the Tempter that has been assigned “jealous” of C. So what distinguishes Envy from Jealousy?
to his care. As some of the brighter humans have determined, Envy is
merely the coveting of something that belongs to someone
I have done my research on this fellow, Wormwood, and else. Meanwhile, Jealousy is one’s fear of losing a rightful
have been terrified with my findings. Bellyall, the poor fool, possession (perceived or otherwise) to someone else. The
seems to be as inconsequential a Tempter as you are. In the distinction between Jealousy and Envy is important. They
same way that Bellyall has failed to pluck those seductive are not one and the same; rather, they are opposite sides
seeds (of love, faithfulness, peace et. al) from his patient of the same coin. Together, they combine to form the Twin
before they germinated into firm fruit, you, too, have failed Virtues.
to use this opportunity to capitalize on your own little
experiment. Know you nothing of the Twin Virtues that have This word—“virtue”—suggests that we can exploit these
led to the downfall of so many men? Or, were you simply devices for our own benefit. And we do, my dear nephew.
“on leave” from the Tempter’s Training College when the We do. Prior to the arrival of that girl, the only woman your
professors lectured on Envy and Jealousy? patient has had a long term relationship with was his mother.
This is not an issue to glance over. Use his insecurity about
In any case, allow me to refresh your memory.

15

his status with women, as well as the woman’s increased young pastor. In fact, use that opportunity to swell your
affection for the pastor to foster jealous thoughts in your patient’s Pride. Allow the spirit of “I’m as good as you” to
patient’s mind. Give him every reason to believe that the filter through his mind-thoughts along the lines of, “Even
woman’s interest in the pastor is more erotic than platonic, though he can preach from the pulpit for hours on end, he’s
more carnal than filial. Let him forget all the ways in which absolutely useless when it comes to handiwork” [4]. Let him
the woman has expressed–and indeed, still expresses–her think himself so far superior to the man on the altar that he
affection for him. Instead, have him focus on the frequency can’t bear to attend his insipid church services any longer.
with which the woman makes mention of the pastor in Or, should he feel inferior to the man, allow your patient to
conversation. In essence, do whatever is in your power to become so frustrated with his own flaws and shortcomings
infuse the Twin Virtues of Envy and Jealousy within your that he begins to treat his woman, the mother, and the
patient’s heart. other vermin in his life like the trash they are. Be sure that
he never realizes that everything—from his impressive sense
The rewards are numerous. Not only will the patient be of direction to his inability to carry a tune—is all part of the
jealous of the pastor whom he believes to have “stolen” the Enemy’s Divine Design.
love of the woman, he will also be envious of the pastor’s
newfound possession. The patient will undoubtedly begin With time, Wormwood, you will see just how capable
to make the very human mistake of comparing himself to Jealousy and Envy are of corrupting everything, and
the pastor. From here onwards, dear Wormwood, our work everyone, that the patient has ever enjoyed. From there,
becomes easy; our burden becomes light. Your man will no eternal damnation is his portion.
longer attend church services with the mindset of a faithful
servant, but rather, that of a spiteful spectator. Indeed, he And victory is ours.
will begin practicing the same craft that we demons have
[4] “Screwtape Proposes perfected: Fault-Finding. Don’t be surprised if you find him
a Toast” (pg. 203) from aligning his strengths and weaknesses with that of the
the Screwtape Letters. Your affectionate Uncle,

SCREWTAPE

Emily Moenning ‘17 Elise

16

Emily Moenning ‘17 Selah

MY DEAR WORMWOOD, The Divine Design is this. Mankind is one hundred percent [5] Genesis 2:7
the product of the Enemy (who else would concoct such [6] Genesis 1:27
You asked me to elaborate on the “Divine Design” principle a slobbering species?), but one hundred percent different [7] Genesis 1:26
that I mentioned in one of my previous letters. I want to from one another. Fortunate for us, Wormwood, is that they
first admonish you, however, for failing to retain any of the often forget this fact. What they fail to realize is that their Sources:
knowledge afforded you by the Tempter’s Training College. only commonality is that they are constantly influenced both Bible. New International
You have been taught a great deal, and yet you have learned by Enemy and by us. These self-aggrandizing animals have Version. Selected Verses
nothing. called this phenomenon “the Human Experience.”
from Genesis, John,
How human of you. My dear Wormwood, your goal as Tempter is to ensure that Luke, and Galatians.
your patient remains ignorant of this truth. Should he know “Envy vs. Jealousy”.
I will, however, honor your request. As I have mentioned of the uniqueness in which he was made, he would laugh at Diffen.com. 22 October
before, the Enemy has “formed man from the dust of the every attempt you made to tempt him with the Twin Virtues.
ground” [5]. Nevertheless, he has also created them “in How can you corrupt a man with Envy or Jealousy when 2013. http://www.
His own image” and “after His own likeness,” explaining he is truly grateful for what the Enemy has given Him? Our diffen.com/difference/
how these mutts manage to exist both as animals and as researchers have found no solutions. Neither have I.
spirits [6][7]. I can just imagine you shaking your head at this Envy_vs_Jealousy
conundrum. Well, Wormwood. Consider this: In their science As always, we have resorted to corruption. By manipulating Lewis, C. S. The
classes, the humans are taught that light exists both as a the minds of these monsters through morals and media, we
particle and as a wave. The poor fools have never stopped to have convinced these humans to spend their lives trying to Screwtape Letters: With
consider that the same could be said about them. achieve an unachievable goal: to become like each other. Screwtape Proposes a
We have taught them what is “good,” what is “legal,” what Toast. San Francisco:
YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT A GREAT DEAL, is “right,” and they have simply taken us at our word. It’s HarperSanFrancisco,
AND YET YOU HAVE LEARNED NOTHING. magnificent. We must continue to do so, lest they turn their 2001. Print.
eyes from one another, and turn them towards the Enemy.
It gets worse. Even though the Enemy has sprinkled a couple This is to be avoided at all costs.
billion copies of himself across Earth, no two of them are
exactly the same. Each and every one of the little brutes is These humans may exist in variety, but their souls taste the
endowed with specific gifts, talents, and abilities that neither same,
anyone one before them, nor anyone after them, will ever
possess. Physically, they exist in more heights, hues, and Your affectionate uncle,
hair colors than I care to mention, and their personalities are SCREWTAPE
equally distinct. They are, in a word, unique.

17

ON GOD AND

The thing that I love most about Brown is the
university’s emphasis on personal experience. Both
inside and outside of the classroom, we are allowed
to craft an undergraduate experience that is as unique
as the background we each come from. Stories of how
people within the Brown community have overcome
insurmountable obstacles constantly inspire us to live
up to our reputation as the “social good” Ivy. We pour
out our efforts into academic study and political activism
in order to combat the inequality that we witness in the
world. However, the focus on our individual prowess to
fight injustice in the world implies that God has been
and will continue to be absent in this process.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that we condemn
any person, system, or institution that stands in the
way of the pursuit of our utopian ideal. Therefore, we
often use God, Christianity, and religion as scapegoats
for our inability to overcome personal pain and hurt in
the world. We group all suffering under this abstract
idea that exists out there in the world. This is because
it is easier to pose this general “bad” in the world in
opposition to God than to engage with Him personally.

THE FOCUS ON OUR INDIVIDUAL
PROWESS TO FIGHT INJUSTICE IN

THE WORLD IMPLIES THAT GOD
HAS BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO

BE ABSENT IN THIS PROCESS.

We argue that we could never believe in, let alone
worship, a God who would allow suffering. Deep down,
we elect disbelief because we have racked up a résumé
of painful experiences that God must justify. Only by
softening our hearts and boldly confessing that we don’t
have a philosophical problem with God, but instead, a
personal problem with God, will we finally be able to
move forward beyond a seemingly unsolvable paradox.

18 Justina Lee ‘15 Triple Dip

D SUFFERING

MONICA PEREZ AND MICHAEL ROBINSON

By not addressing the paradox itself, we do nothing to
adequately prove the non-existence of God, but merely
criticize our perception of God’s character. Our main
issue is, “If I were God, I would have done it better.” We
abandon faith because we are tired of waiting, or we
no longer trust God to actually show up. It’s an angry
declaration that says, “People shouldn’t have to hurt like
this!” or, often times, “I shouldn’t have to hurt like this!”
Ultimately, we work to eradicate the pain in our lives,
and alienate God from the process. The real question
we should be asking is, “How would a good God allow
me to go through such pain and suffering?”

We see natural disasters, mass murders, disease,
mental illness, and hatred, but God can still be trusted.
And God is faithful. As we entrust ourselves to Him in
our pain and in our compassion for others, He reveals
His true goodness and justice in the midst of chaos.
Perhaps by God’s design, a suffering heart, if softened,
can more easily be enlarged and filled with love. God is
eager to share the strangeness of His joy with everyone.
But we have to enter the pain. When you and I are
deeply hurt, what we really need is not a justification
from God, but a revelation of God.

Tim Keller states in one of his books: “To be loved but not
known is comforting but superficial. To be known and
not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and
loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we
need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense,
humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies
us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” We need to
see the greatness of God and recover perspective on
life. Things become distorted when we are suffering,
and it takes an understanding of something bigger than
ourselves to realign life’s dimensions again.

19

HEART ISABELLA BELLO MARTINEZ

I’ll pray for you. would have happened if they – ”
“Worse than a bloody emergency heart transplant?!” Jude
Not what he wanted to hear. Not now, when what he
wanted to do was drink and swear and throw things around was done. “Get out of my house, Gabe!”
the room until all his frustration was broken glass on the floor. “No, man.” Gabe gritted his teeth. His own stubbornness

“I’ll pray for you.” showed through as he said firmly, “I’m not leaving you alone
in this house tonight. Not when you’ve been – ”
No! What did that mean? And Gabe – his best friend – said
it with so much sincerity. The words in stark contrast to the “Out!” Jude dropped the can to the floor, spilling beer over
beer can in his hand and the harsh glare of the fluorescent the cold, white tiles of the kitchen. He shoved Gabe hard in
lights of the kitchen. the chest, pushing him towards the door. “OUT!”

“What?” Jude had spluttered at his friend’s remark. “What
the hell did you just say?” Gabe placed his own beer on the counter – some part of
Jude’s mind registered that it was unopened – and walked
Gabe bit his lip but to his credit, didn’t backtrack. “I’ll pray out of the kitchen. Jude stood there, breathing hard, eyes
for you, man. And your family – especially your mom. I know clenched tightly against the tears, hands balled into fists from
it’s been hard with her in the hospital and – ” frustration. He heard his best friend leave the house, the rattle
of Gabe’s old bike as he picked it up from against the porch
“She needs a damn heart transplant in forty-eight hours and the creak of gears shifting as he rode away on the streets
or she’ll die. My. Mom. Could. Die!” Jude clenched his fist still lightly powdered with snow.
tighter with each word; nails cutting into one palm like an
echo of the pain in his heart. He was vaguely aware of the Jude didn’t move for a long time. He stood there in the
cold metal of the beer can cutting into the flesh of his other empty kitchen with tears streaming down his face. His hands
hand; the cruel, harsh light reflecting off the medical forms on were clenched so tightly that blood was dripping down his
the table; the ticking the old clock in the living room that he hands to mix with the beer still on the ground. Jude stood
had helped his mom reset only a few weeks ago. there crying. Alone.

“I know,” Gabe said, “That’s why…” Gabe swallowed hard He’d never felt so alone. He didn’t want to be alone. He
and changed his mind. “I don’t want to fight with you, Jude. needed to not be alone.
Not tonight. You need a mate. I – ”
“God,” he thought, “If you exist. If you care. Help.”
“No,” Jude interrupted. “Keep going. Try to convince me!
I dare you.”
Jude wiped the beer off the ground with shaky hands and
Gabe watched him steadily, breathing hard. Jude got an old towel. He heard sirens far away on the street as if he
angrier. were listening to a memory, as if hearing a sound from a past
life…a sound from two weeks ago when his mom collapsed.
“Why pray?” Jude almost spat at him. “Why?! If God cared, Gabe and Jude had just returned from hockey practice when
my mom wouldn’t need an emergency heart transplant. In they heard her fall to the same lifeless tiles of the kitchen floor
a town in the middle of nowhere, when a damn snow storm he was now mopping. Gabe had called 911 while Jude held
has stopped all traffic coming into the city – maybe for weeks! his mother in his arms.
Weeks she doesn’t have! I mean – ” Jude was crying now.
Sobbing. Tears and beer sloshed to the floor in a rain of anger “God, why? Why her? Is it because I’ve been a bad son?
and pain. “I mean, what did she do to deserve this!? What Did I stress her to death? Or is this some weird payback for
standards is this all holy God of yours setting? Huh!?” Jude not believing in you for so long – for not going with Gabe
glared at Gabe. “Say something!” every time he asked me if I wanted to return to church until
he finally stopped asking? No. I can’t believe that…Gabe’s
Gabe bit his lip and looked away. Jude had known him long God is merciful. Let the children come to me and banishing
enough to know he hated bringing up, that his friend was sad demons and all that. But if she survives, I’ll go to church. I
that Jude was reacting this way. “Remember when you used will. I promise.”
to go to church with me when we were little? You sang even
louder than I did. You believed more than I ever did.” “No,” Jude muttered. He threw the soaking wet paper
towels into the trash. “It’s just like a bunch of fairy tales told to
Jude snorted. “Silly rituals. I believed the way a kid believes kids! So that they won’t fear the dark…It’s so we can believe
in fairy tales.” that someone cares.”

“God hasn’t abandoned you. Mom says – ” But how he wanted to believe that someone cared. That
Jude made a noise in the back of his throat – something someone was constantly looking out for him and the people
between disgust and pain. Feigned, teenage-angst, disgust he loved…
that his friend was a momma’s boy at eighteen; and deep,
ragged pain that he hadn’t talked to his own mother in days. The white lamp hanging above the kitchen table began
Gabe winced but continued, “ She says that everyone who to flicker and Jude jumped. He glared at it and reached for
dies early is being protected by God. That something worse Gabe’s unopened beer. He snapped the cap off just as the

20


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