I hesitate to blog about a book I’m only 29 pages into, except when I don’t. Holy cow and oh my stars. I can’t remember the last time a book started pounding on my soul like this from the minute I opened it.
A Certain Risk: Living Your Faith at the Edge by Paul Richardson. My mother-in-law gave me this book a few weeks ago, and it inadvertently got lost under a pile of who-knows-what crap on my desk. We’ve been cleaning/re-arranging for the past two days (shoot me now), and tonight I picked it up, read the back cover, and thought, “Hey, this looks really good. I think I’ll dive in after I get the girls in bed.”
(My MIL, btw, is in Kenya right now for a month. We dropped her off at the airport on Tuesday morning and will pick her up again halfway through November. God has given her a really cool ministry over there, and you can read more about it here.)
So, the girls are in bed (man, we spend a lot of time together), I fix myself a steaming mug of hot cinnamon spice tea, and crack open the book. And almost hyperventilate at the words God is pouring all over my head. I grab a pen. I can’t underline, asterisk, heart, margin-scribble fast enough.
Like I said, I’m only 29 pages in, but check out this small segment of stuff I marked all up. If you know our story from this past year at all, holy cow.
For starters, the author and his wife and three kiddos are missionaries in Indonesia. He starts off the book by telling you to “take a globe and locate…” Sigh.
“Does your soul cry out for a faith that sets you free to voyage into the depths of God’s dreams? Do you crave a faith that drenches you with hope and breaks open the floodgates of God’s movements through you?” (17)
The first few pages chronicle the horrific tsunami/earthquake that hit Indonesia in 2004, killing 283,000 people and leaving twice that many without homes, food, or clean water. And even though our “earthquake” this year is just a teensy blip on the Richter Scale compared to those who have suffered so, so deeply, some of what he wrote about them just hit home.
“In the great journey from birth to death, she and thousands like her were cruelly and viciously sidelined… Each was deeply treasured and eternally loved. Yet their world had roared, puncturing their souls and pressing the life out of them… each must discover the faith to rise up through his gripping inner paralysis and begin to forge a new future. A glimmer of hope must somehow emerge from the twisted, rotting mess of wreckage.” (23-24)
Our lives have felt wrecked much of the past few months (year).
“Is God’s Spirit alive in me? Does his Word empower me, forging a Spirit-filled response in others? Am I borne along by an activated faith that lifts me into God’s heart and propels me forward as a joyful responder to the world he loves?” (27)
Oh my word, I want that.
“Somehow, she gathered the raw materials of adversity and used them to create hope in the hearts around her.” (29)
Oh, Jesus, please let that be me. Please take my focus off myself and the fact that life isn’t going as planned. Please help me gather the raw materials of adversity and create hope in the hearts of others.
And now I need to get back to the book. Maybe you need to read it too? (Oh my stars! It’s only $5.20 on Amazon right now!! And this link is my Amazon Associates link, so I’ll get a small % of your purchase.)