Saturday, April 30, 2011
The Greatest Book
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”
A great book should alter the reader in fundamental and eternal ways. It should canvass the recesses of the human heart, searching for seeds of apathy and inhumanity, then lift the seeds to the surface and rip them out. It should wound and heal, break and repair, melt and reform.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Profound and meaningful truths can never be swallowed with a spoonful of sugar. They burn our lips, set fire to our bellies, and erupt back out in violent, unexpected ways. Our bubbles are fragile. We wrap ourselves with thin, transparent layers of reality and convince ourselves we’re safe. We sit, bubble after bubble, worried we are going to pop and have to face the pain outside ourselves. A great book, like an oversized black boot, steps down on the sea of bubbles and crushes our weak shells. We are exposed.
As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with him anymore.
What we do with our exposure matters. A great book wounds and heals, breaks and repairs, melts and reforms. It cannot leave us to reassemble our humanity on our own, cannot leave us melted on the floor in despair. It must guide us to truth.
The greatest book has unhinged me with every reading, has also wrapped around me during the moments of my greatest sorrow. It defines humanity in the honest eyes of its creator. This is who you are. This is who you should be.
Father, you’re book is truth and life to me. You break me, unhinge me, melt me, and wound me. But if you didn’t I could never be healed and reformed.