I almost threw the book against the wall.
I just couldn’t do what it was suggesting.
I wanted to ignore the words on the page, put the book back on the shelf, pretend I’d never read it. But I couldn’t. The words had caught me. And I knew somehow I needed to act on them.
The book was Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and it included this quote from Frederick Buechner. It was Buechner’s words that had stopped me in my tracks.
“The love for equals is a human thing–of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing–the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing–to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints. And then there is the love for the enemy–love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.”
The words drew me in. Echoed in my head. They haunted me.
“This is God’s love. It conquers the world.”
I was going through a difficult trial. I had been deeply hurt and didn’t really know where to turn. I was angry, seethingly angry, and wasn’t sure what to do with all my emotion. I had begged God for deliverance, peace, grace. I didn’t want to be bitter. But here I was, in the midst of it all, feeling bitterness growing day by day. I didn’t know how to stop it.
I had picked up this book as a diversion. To take my mind off the situation before me. But it was doing just the opposite.
At first I wasn’t sure why the Buechner quote had arrested me. What was I supposed to do? Was I merely touched by its eloquence? Or was there something more?
So I prayed. I asked God for clarity. And He gave it.
It wasn’t what I expected. Or wanted. So I prayed again. And God gave me the same answer. Again.
I felt God was calling me to write a letter. That I didn’t want to write. For multiple reasons.
It seemed crazy to write anything to her. Someone whose actions had terribly wounded me. Who had turned my world upside down, and inside out, never to be righted again.
Not a letter. Not to her. Not ever. View full post »