Saturday, September 20, 2014

Slowing Down the World

 Reading is my way of slowing down the world.  The pages wait for me to turn them.   

 How do you condense the tears of a ninety year old? How do you allow strangers the peek into your most horrendous heartaches? Somehow this book was tender and miraculous without being weepy.  A mother waits her entire life to see her first-born daughter, adopted at infancy.  Only God could write such an ending.

The poor of Mozambique have seen the richness of Jesus.  Heidi and Rolland Baker are an amazing missionary couple that believe with all their hearts that Jesus is always enough.   They live out the sufficiency of Christ in a radical faith and away from the physical bounty of the first world.  I have a deep respect that they are not victims of impoverished spirits.  They are abundantly joyful where they are stripped of everything to rely on, except Christ. 

N.D. Wilson has an intellectually stimulating, but refreshingly light writing style.  You may find this book a bit scattered, unless you are already a dreamer and see the world with wonder-lit eyes.  However, the book's crazy whirl encourages you to look at the world with curiosity, ask questions again, and savor mix-ups and messes.  All the pieces (even the ones I wish weren't) are the telling of Christ's unique story in my life.  Wilson writes in confidence that Jesus puts all things right in the end.  People who live like this can never be bored.
G.K. Chesterton could have written the forward to this book with his succinct quote, "The world will never starve for want of wonders but only for want of wonder."
Why did I read this?  Ben and I love John Piper.  Sadly, his son seems to currently struggle to be his father's son.  This is a melancholy rambling book that really came to no conclusions and offers little resolution.  I could understand it quite well without being a pastor's kid, because what Barnabas observed is more universal than the ministry (even though he might not know it).  All young adults go through a growing up stage that is painful.  They question their spiritual identity, the expectations set on them, and the values of their parents.  Everyone wants to be valued for themselves rather than who their dynamic relatives are or what their kinfolk think.  Paradoxically, it is often the young adult with the most to be thankful for which struggle the most to have grateful hearts.  In another decade lived, Barnabas probably would have found a better topic to write on.  His heart bleeds with wanting to be understood, but it seems he hasn't quite come to the place of beauty and security where he is fully known and loved in Christ and where the wound of human disappointment is healed. 

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