Maybe you remember these lines.

“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things — trout as well as eternal salvation — come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.”

I love these lines. I love this book. I love the first page of this book as much as the first page of anything, I think.

And I love this film, which is radiant with love: Robert Redford’s love of Montana and Norman Maclean, and Norman Maclean’s love of the natural world and the master artist who imagined it all.

Redford’s adaptation of A River Runs Through It turned 20 years old last week. Today, it remains vivid and fresh and profound. It restores my soul. Last night, I watched this instead of watching the presidential debates. It rescued me from the divisiveness and hostility and dualism that poisons our political dialogue (especially online) even as it presents a vision of what we would do well to value in this American life. I slept well, dreaming of rivers and streams and fly fishing and Montana and light, and more light, and more light.

And when I woke up, the world seemed new, and so did God’s mercies.


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