Anastrophe (an-as’-tro-phee): Departure from normal word order for the sake of emphasis. Anastrophe is most often a synonym for hyperbaton, but is occasionally referred to as a more specific instance of hyperbaton: the changing of the position of only a single word.

He thought he was so funny. I asked him about his religious faith and he said “Well, that’s a deep subject.” He was one of those modern-day ministers seeming to take God lightly: on the walk of faith, for him, there was a place for tap dancing. When into his Bible he stuck his nose, his back turned, and he was beyond reach, he seemed like God himself.

Then, one day he fell down a flight stairs. Survived he did! But, while he lay at the bottom of the stairs in pain, waiting for the ambulance, half-conscious, he started muttering. “She was beautiful, an angel she was. Oh why God? Why did you take her from me? We were in love. We were going to be married. Why did it have to end that way? Why why why?” he sobbed and then he passed out.

I took a deep breath. I felt lighter. I was lifted and felt closer to God. I had read of agape in Paul’s letters and in Plato’s Phaedrus, but I thought it was an impossible hope. “Selfless” and “love” just seemed like oil and water. But, when Reverend Pillow mumbled out his pain and loss, a feeling rose up in me that emanated from a place between us, and a spontaneous uncalculated desire to assuage his pain, and his suffering to decrease. I decided then and there to hold this feeling, to embrace it like a child, and to live this feeling, to act this feeling as much as possible in every aspect of my life.

The suffering of a good man prompted me to find my spiritual compass. And now I realized why God sacrificed his own son on the cross. Rev. Pillow certainly wasn’t cruxified, but his suffering opened my heart.

Merry Christmas!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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