"They [young preachers] learned to have a very high opinion of God and a very low opinion of His works -- although they could tell you that this world had been made by God Himself.
What they didn't see was that it was beautiful. Most of the young preachers knew Port William only as it theoretically was (lost) and as it theoretically might be (saved). And they wanted us all to do our part to spread this bad news to others who had not heard it.
Those world-condemning sermons were preached to people who, on Sunday mornings, would wear their prettiest clothes. The people who heard those sermons loved good crops, good gardens, good livestock; they loved flowers and the shade of trees, and laughter and music; some of them could make you a fair speech on the pleasure of a good drink of water or a patch of wild raspberries. While the wickedness of the flesh was preached from the pulpit, the young husbands and wives and the courting couples sat thigh to thigh, full of yearning and joy, and the old people thought of the beauty of children. And when church was over they would go home to Heavenly dinners of fried chicken and creamed new potatoes and hot biscuits and butter and cherry pie and sweet milk and buttermilk. The preacher and his family would always be invited to eat with somebody and, having just foresworn the joys of the flesh, would eat with unconsecrated relish.
The people didn't really want to be saints of self-deprivation and hatred of the world. They knew that the world would sooner or later deprive them of all it had given them, but still they liked it. What they came together for was to acknowledge, just by coming, their losses and failures and sorrows, their need for comfort, their faith always needing to be greater, their wish (in spite of all words and acts to the contrary) to love one another and to forgive and be forgiven, their need for one another's help and company and divine gifts, their hope (and experience) of love surpassing death, their gratitude."
--Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry