Saturday, May 25, 2013


A cold breeze chilled the first day of Summer Break this morning, so, instead of motoring over to the park for a three mile walk around the soccer field, I stretched out in the recliner with a new book loaned to me by a friend. “Beyond Opinion” by Ravi Zacharias is subtitled “Living the Faith We Defend” and it took me only moments to realize I need to purchase one, myself, there being too much desire on my part to highlight segments, scribble notes, gather it together for future reference. A couple of lines, in particular thus far, speak to me. In quoting that verse about there being nothing new under the sun, he says that we forget something very important: The people to whom it is happening are new and the answers, however old, must never sound stale. “I have little doubt” he adds, “that the single greatest obstacle to the gospel has not been its ability to provide answers, but the failure on our part to live it out.” Then, as if that wasn’t enough to provoke my thoughts, a friend elsewhere quotes Rick Warren saying “In deep pain, people don’t need logic, advice, encouragement, or even Scripture. They just need you to show up and shut up.” Her own words then speak of a cynicism that arises within her when believers seems to “wrap up life’s small and big things with a bow named God”, it rolling “off their tongue with a flippancy that seems devoid of reality”; and yet, at the same time, she also takes into account a recognition of an “inner wisdom” witnessed in the shining faces of a few elderly women, a possession she, herself, would like to know… It is a problem, as I see it, within Christianity, partly due to the fact that “Christ in me” has not eliminated the “me in me”. This is a journey. We learn as we go. Some learn quicker than others. It is no less true, in my opinion, however, that the Church, at large, has greatly failed to teach those three words in its reality, either reducing the Holy Ghost to an un-discernible identity attached to the nuts and bolts of our faith, or else claiming His identity ours to usurp, His wisdom, power, and knowledge simply given for us to utilize as we see fit. Neither is the Gospel. He may well abide within us once we have experienced reconciliation; but there remains that need for us to know “contact”. Just because His “pilot light” now provides an inner source of all that He is, it doesn’t mean our own flame bends to join it at all times. We yet stumble. May we not forget that in reaching out to others…..


  1. I love those comments about nothing new under the sun, but that the people are new--I'm going to have to ponder on that one! I've always said, in my work, for instance, that even though I may have said the same thing to a hundred students on a given day, it is important to me to remember that each student is an individual and only hears me say it one time so I should be equally patient and kind with each and every one of them, no matter how many times I have to say it!

    When I read the Rick Warren quote, I thought it was spot on, and evidence that he was a member in that heartbroken club none of us wants to belong to--people who have very nearly had their hearts ripped out due to losing a child. There are other pains to which this quote would apply, but I imagine the thing that brought Rick Warren to this statement are the result of his recent loss. Sometimes we get the deepest insights in the midst of our greatest loss.

  2. Also, I love that quote so much that I am probably going to honor it in a "thang"!

  3. We go back to the Detention Center in the morning, Annie, and one thing, for sure, I've learned. Talk to fifty kids, talk to fifty anybody, and almost all will perceive what you say in different ways. Having "ears to hear" requires a connection. I think that might also apply with the Rick Warren quote. Only when we "connect" do words begin to matter.....

  4. A friend and I loan books to one another all the time. We've given each other permission to highlight and write comments in each others' books. It is a fun thing to get a book back and see what jumped out at them and what didn't.

    1. I always open that door to anyone who reads my loans, but didn't receive any such invitation with the loan of this one. Just an oversight on his part perhaps, the two of us often in conversation over books we read.