Spirituality in six words

by Heidi Schlumpf

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As a fun exercise in the lesson of "writing short," I ask my journalism students to write a "Six-Word Memoir," summarizing their life and philosophy in just a half dozen words. I stole the idea from Smith Magazine, who stole it from Ernest Hemingway, who (allegedly) won a bar bet by writing the best life story in six words: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Now Killing the Buddha (a blog for "people made anxious by churches") has challenged people to write six-word spiritual memoirs. It's their response to PBS's call for spiritual memoirs in its "Faithbook" project connected to the documentary "God in America" (which unfortunately I haven't had a chance to watch yet).

But why write an essay, a paragraph or even a "monstrous 140-character Tweet," when you can do it in six words? It does force people to get creative. Here are some of my favorites:

* From knowing all to knowing nothing.
* Between Familial Tradition and Accidental Grace
* Wanted free pizza; got Jesus instead
* Don’t know. I’m not done yet.
* God’s face is in the poor.

It's inspiring to read others', but edifying to write your own. My first stab is: "Death always followed by new life."

How would you summarize your spiritual life in six words?:

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