The truth about having a broken arm is that it is not that bad. Your body naturally sleeps more, you get to elevate your arm all day and read books, and you get a bell to ring for assistance. I am learning left handed handwriting and my fine motor skills are generally on the rise. You can’t exercise or play music, but you can pull some terrible practical jokes on people when they bump into you.
Now for some spiritual thoughts:
Some days at church, different portions of songs can hit you in different ways even though you have heard them 100 times. This, many would agree, is the work of the holy spirit illuminating texts in light of your circumstances. When you have lived through a terrible experience and then find that someone else has lived it too, but gone the extra mile and written it into song, there is a connection you feel with the song that can only be described as charming. It will join the long lists of songs that help you self-identify, the list that winds through your youth and allows you the surprise courtesy of nostalgia when they arrive unexpected on the radio or in the hymnal. Thank God for moments like these.
“I would but cannot rest,
In God’s most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
And murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.”
“Thou didst give thyself for me
Now I give myself to thee.”
Apologies for this little theological rant. Skip it if you like:
What many in this country unfortunately see as responsibility to their savior, as a list of chores that must be assumed and a burden that must be hauled onto one’s shoulders because “it is my Christian duty,” I am beginning to see as delight. God wants nothing to do with the man who picks up his cross because of duty while his heart is wandering elsewhere. God primarily wants our hearts. His grace has freed us. He has given himself to us with the freedom to choose. Yes, we can accept his love at the altar and then turn and run back down the aisle. True love gives us the option to run, and without that option there would be no point in returning his love. God would be forcing a response. But with a more comprehensive knowledge of how terrible we are and how incomprehensible God’s love is, especially when we deserve none, we begin to grow a delight for the things we used to see as duty. Yes, we have the option to do nothing in response to our freedom; we can run in any direction we choose. But once the white funeral of our natural lives occurs, the foggy trail of sanctification begins to become light; an invitation begins to haunt us: Follow Me. It is not insistent, it is not demanding. It is simple, like the call of the ocean at the window. It calls to something much deeper than our brains and our hearts, and much like the ocean, in the end you will find that it may be the only call in the universe that is truly irresistible.
Now, for the books that have been occupying my time in December and January:
“Using icons from music, literature, film, and politics, David Dark hope to provide fodder for lively conversation about what it means to be Christian and American in this “weird moment” in which we live. The end result of this conversation, Dark hopes, will be a better understanding that “there is a reality more important, more lasting, and more infinite than the cultures to which we belong,” the reality of the kingdom of God. “
“The bestselling account of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot and four other missionaries at the hands of the Auca Indians in Ecuador.”
“The book walks a teacher, either novice or veteran, through the most effective ways to begin a school year and continue to become an effective teacher. This is the most basic book on how to teach. Every teacher and administrator needs to have a copy. “
“In a world where men and women are encouraged to reject traditional sex roles, Elisabeth Elliot candidly reminds men why the sexes are not equal and interchangeable. Written as personal advice to her nephew, The Mark of a Man reveals the glory and purpose of true masculinity. “
“Edna Pontellier, the heroine of The Awakening, shocked readers in 1899 and the scandal created by the book haunted Kate Chopin for the rest of her life.”