22+ quotes from Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

Quotes from Cold Sassy Tree

Olive Ann Burns ·  391 pages

Rating: (89.1K votes)


“Ask and it shall be given you,'" I began. "'Seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.' We have the same message in the Book of Saint John," I said, sounding for all the world like a preacher...."
Well, but how could I just stop there? Those words were worse than nothing if I didn't tell what they meant to Grandpa. Looking at the long rough box, I spoke timid, in a mumbled voice. Not preachified at all. "Grandpa didn't think Jesus meant, by that, that we should ast God for things, or for special favors. He said we could trust that in the nature of things, without astin', we'll get lots of blessin's and happy surprises and maybe a miracle or two. When Jesus said ast and you'll get it, He meant things of the spirit, not the flesh. Right now for instance, I could ast, 'Lord please raise Grandpa from the dead,' but it wouldn't happen. But I can say, 'Please, God, comfort me,' and I'll get heart's ease. Grandpa said Jesus meant us to ast for hope, forgiveness, and all that. Ast, 'Hep us not be scared, hep us not be greedy, give us courage to try." I was really carried away. "Ast any such and God will give it to you. But don't ast Him not to let fire burn, or say spare me from death. At least, uh, that's what Grandpa said.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Livin' is like pourin' water out of a tumbler into a dang Coca-Cola bottle. If'n you skeered you can't do it, you cain't. If'n you say to yourself, "By dang, I can do it!" then, by dang, you won't slosh a drop.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Jesus meant us to ast God to hep us stand the pain, not beg Him to take the pain away.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Hit ain't sacrilege. Miss Effie Belle says when she cain't think what to have for dinner, she asts God and right off He gives her an idea. To my thinkin', thet's sacrilege."
Miss Love really laughed. "There's not a woman in the world who hasn't prayed what to cook for dinner, Rucker!”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Ain’t the best prayin’ jest bein’ with God and talkin’ a while, like He’s a good friend, stead a-like he runs a store and you’ve come in a-hopin’ to git a bargain?”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“When Jesus said ast and you’ll get it, He meant things of the spirit, not the flesh. Grandpa said Jesus meant us to ast for hope, forgiveness, and all like that. Ast ‘Hep us not be scared, hep us not be greedy, give us courage to try…Ast any such and God will give it to you. But don’t ast Him not to let fire burn, or say spare me from death.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“If’n you’d a-got kilt, it’d mean you jest didn’t move fast enough, like a rabbit that gits caught by a hound dog. You think God favors the dog over the rabbit, son?” I”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Sometimes it’s like people are a million times more beautiful to you in your mind. It’s like you see them, that’s how they really are.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“and lots a-folks git well thet nobody ever thought to see out a-bed agin cept in a coffin. Still and all, common sense tells you this much: everwhat makes a wheel run over a track will make it run over a boy if’n he’s in the way. If’n you’d a-got kilt, it’d mean you jest didn’t move fast enough, like a rabbit that gits caught by a hound dog. You think God favors the dog over the rabbit, son?” I shook my head. “I don’t neither. When it comes to prayin’, we got it all over the other animals, but we ain’t no different when it comes to livin’ and dyin’. If’n you give God the credit when somebody don’t die, you go’n blame Him when they do die? Call it His will? Ever noticed we git well all the time and don’t die but once’t? Thet has to mean God always wants us to live if’n we can. Hit ain’t never His will for us to die—cept in the big sense. In the sense He was smart enough not to make life eternal on this here earth, with people”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Grandpa had made the Lord seem so real, I wouldn't of been surprised if he'd said good night to Him. But after a long pause he just said a-men.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Naw, you livin’ cause you had the good sense to fall down ’twixt them tracks.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“To mourn is to be eaten alive with homesickness for the person.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“What’s important is thet when the spirit a-Jesus Christ come down on them disciples later, they quit settin’ round a-moanin’ and a-tremblin’, and got to work. They warn’t scairt no more, and the words they spoke had fire in’m. Compared to a miracle like thet, Jesus rollin’ back a dang rock and flyin’ off to Heaven ain’t nothin’.” “What”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“I don’t know a soul who couldn’t see a fool jest by lookin’ in the glass. I been one myself, once’t or twice’t. So hesh up now. Cryin’ ain’t go’n do no good.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“My mother always said never expect church members to be perfect. Christians are still people.” “Well,”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Ain't the best prayin' jest bein' with God and talkin' a while, like He's a good friend, stead a-like he runs a store and you've come in a-hopin' to git a bargain?”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“who stunk like a polecat and had tow-colored hair so thick and tangled it looked like a cootie stable.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Then he put his arms around her and kissed her, right on the mouth! Kissed her like he was starved and she was something to eat. I”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Grandpa, you think I’m alive tonight cause it was God’s will?”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“well, and lots a-folks git well thet nobody ever thought to see out a-bed agin cept in a coffin. Still and all, common sense tells you this much: everwhat makes a wheel run over a track will make it run over a boy if’n he’s in the way. If’n you’d a-got kilt, it’d mean you jest didn’t move fast enough, like a rabbit that gits caught by a hound dog. You think God favors the dog over the rabbit, son?” I shook my head. “I don’t neither. When it comes to prayin’, we got it all over the other animals, but we ain’t no different when it comes to livin’ and dyin’. If’n you give God the credit when somebody don’t die, you go’n blame Him when they do die? Call it His will? Ever noticed we git well all the time and don’t die but once’t? Thet has to mean God always wants us to live if’n we can. Hit ain’t never His will for us to die—cept in the big sense. In the sense He was smart enough not to make life eternal on this here earth, with people and”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“bees and elephants and dogs piled up in squirmin’ mounds like Loma’s dang cats tryin’ to keep warm in the wintertime. Does all this make any sense, Will Tweedy?” “Yessir, Grandpa.” I wanted to go lay down. But I also wanted some more answers. “Grandpa, uh, why you think Jesus said ast the Lord for anything you want and you’ll get it? ‘Ast and it shall be given,’ the Bible says. But it ain’t so.” I felt blasphemous even to think it, much less say it out loud. Grandpa was silent a long time. “Maybe Jesus was talkin’ in His sleep, son, or folks heard Him wrong. Or maybe them disciples tryin’ to start a church thought everbody would join up if’n they said Jesus Christ would give the Garden a-Eden to anybody believed He was the son a-God and like thet.” Grandpa laughed. Gosh, I’d get a whipping if Papa knew what was going on with the Word in his kitchen. “All I know,” he added, “is thet folks pray for food and still go hungry, and”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


“Well'm, faith ain't no magic wand or money-back gar'ntee, either one. Hit's jest a way a'livin'. Hit means you don't worry th'ew the days. Hit means you go'on be holdin' on to God in good or bad times, and you accept whatever happens. Hit means you respect life like it is - like God made it- even when it ain't what you'd order from the wholesale house. Faith don't mean the Lord go'n make lions lay down with lambs jest cause you ast him to, or make fire not burn. Some folks, when they pray to git well and don't even git better, they say God let'm down. But I say that warn't even what Jesus was a-talkin' bout. When Jesus said ast and you'll git it, He was givin' a gar'ntee a-spiritual healin, not body healin'. He was sayin' thet if'n you git beat down - scairt to death you cain't do what you got to, or scairt you go'n die, ir scairt folks won't like you- why, all you got to do is put yore hand in God's and He'll lift you up.”
― Olive Ann Burns, quote from Cold Sassy Tree


About the author

Olive Ann Burns
Born place: in Banks County, Georgia, The United States
Born date July 17, 1924
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