“I believe that people will not merely endure: they will prevail. They are immortal, not because they alone among creatures have an inexhaustible voice, but because they have a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is their privilege to help people endure by lifting their hearts, by reminding them of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of their past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of humanity, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help people endure and prevail.”
– William Faulkner, Nobel Prize acceptance speech (gender-neutralized)
This helps me understand the Bible. It is a collection of hopes and fears, tragedies and triumphs, collected to help people endure and prevail, and it has succeeded remarkably in doing so. The authors and assemblers of the Bible weren’t looking for historical accuracy, they were looking for truths that would strengthen people, that would give us the courage to persevere.
God, give me more courage to love my neighbor, to see all people as my neighbor, to suffer their indignities and delight in their joys, to share their losses, to desire their health, to help them find good food and housing and learning, to open more doors for them and close more jails.