Elijah VanEpps | Albion, NY
As I close out my sophomore year of college, I find that the world is often not as pretty as it used to seem. With adulthood slowly (oh my God, so slowly) creeping up on me, I notice more thorns and less roses every day. It is for this reason that I am most thankful to have read your work. You have a way of telling the bad things in a way that makes them seem less bad and the good things that maybe makes them seem just about on par with the bad. As you’ve been told before, you’ve got a way of putting a bitter coating on something sweet. I envy your gallows humor and the way that you find something to laugh at in any given context. No matter what, there is a sense of lightheartedness in your observations that I would never expect from anybody but you. So thank you for showing me that, although life has a really bitter coating sometime, hopefully there’s always a sweet center for me to find. In closing, I’d just like to say that I very much admire the way that you, an agnostic, treated those who valued religion. You never made them out to be stupid or behind or evil. For that, I admire you very much. As you said in your Palm Sunday sermon, “Being merciful is the only good idea we have received so far.” I try to live by that sentiment every day of my life. Because, God dammit, you’ve got to be kind.