Just finished "Blue Like Jazz," by Donald Miller. Had I not started reading it at 3 a.m. this morning, I probably would have finished in one sitting. However, my body screamed for sleep even though my mind had other plans. In the end, my eyes cooperated with my body and my mind had to wait to finish reading it. Ok, so it was only a few hours, but it was so good I didn't want to put it down.
I have been at many of the places that Miller describes. Not the geographical locations, but the wanderings, distractions and sidetracks on his path to intimately knowing Jesus.
He asks questions that I have been wrestling with for sometime now. "What do I do with people that don't think, act or feel like I do?" "Am I really worthy to receive love, just like I am; not thinner, prettier, smarter, wittier, richer?" "Do I really need to be with other's, to be healthy?"
Of course there are other questions that resonated in my heart, yet because I am plot driven and read as quickly as I can, sometimes I forget powerful points. I borrowed this particular copy (thanks Karla), but I must have my own. I need to reread this one. Now that I know what happens, hopefully I will savor it like a Mint Java Chip Frappuccino.
I must say I was a bit jealous of Don and I openly confess it, and ask for forgiveness. (Somehow, I believe that if we ever meet before eternity, we will be pals, thus my reason for calling him by what his people call him.) He spoke of the church community that he is apart of. Imago-Dei. Wow! It totally sounds like a place that I too would feel "at home" (away from my real home, heaven) in.
What a novel idea, to give people who are artistic a place to share the talents that God has given them. I have lived a life fueled by creativity. I can't help that it flows out of me like my next breath. I have tried many artistic endeavors. I don't know that I am a master of any of them, but I do know that I don't want to live my life without any of them. (Well, ok, I have tried hard to get classical poetry, but for some reason, my eyes gloss over and my mind goes on a vacation. I so want to be one who understands and adores Emily Dickinson, Byron, Poe, etc. Just doesn't seem to work.) Yet, for years, for the most part, I have had to separate my creative side that is Jesus led, from church. What a shame!
Oh! To worship with other people who too are creative and artistic. I truly believe that creativity is a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. I also believe that it is worship when you use what God has gifted you with, for His kingdom, His glory. Far too long, in my experience, one part of the "Bride of Christ" has been told that they have secondary giftings. Yet, when I see Spirit-filled art, I worship. When I read Spirit-filled books, I worship. When Spirit-filled words and music echo in my ears and heart, I usually cry and most assuredly worship.
I praise God that Don had the courage to write what was in his soul. It's risky you know? When we take action for those deep things inside of us and share it with the world. Allowing others to see the true, flawed selves that we are. Yet, what better way to share with people who Jesus really is? Our brokenness and mistakes don't have to be in vain. In fact, it can be extremely freeing to share with others just how "un-together" I really am. It gives me pleasure to give glory to Jesus when I do something that is "together." Also, it allows people to know that this road to intimacy with Jesus is filled with questions, revelation about what is really in our heart, but also passion, wonder and mystery. The only time I get bored is when I am not really seeking after Him, but wanting anything but Him.
I can't think of a better way for me to spend the first day of 2006. Jesus and me snuggled up with an awesome book. What a joy! If you haven't read it, I encourage you too. You may not fully connect with Don, but I believe you will be truly blessed.