Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Several things have happened since my last entry. Graduation, students and staff saying goodbye and spreading across the world, moving out of my apartment, parents visiting, and moving my future dorm from one building to another. Yes, a lot has been going on, but the last few days have been much slower.

I'm dogsitting for a puppy who likes to chew and do rotten things when I'm not around. So instead of running around and searching for things to do, I've stayed in the last few nights to keep Jersey company and out of trouble. I've read some excellent books. For Men Only by the Feldhahns, a companion book to For Women Only. I've read the latter a few times, so it was a treat to read the flipside. I strongly recommend couples reading this book when preparing for marriage.

I also read Life Together by Bonhoeffer about living in Christian community. I am putting together some notes and thoughts about this book still and will probably read it again before I share about it. But also, another great and sound book.

Today I finished Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot and started Dan Kimball's The Emerging Church. It is Elliot's book on which I wish to comment. There are 15 main points I gleaned from her writing, but I think to include them all would be doing a disservice to the entirety of the book. So I'll just share a few highlights and recommend you to read it.

Tonight I shared with a female friend how I was challenged, how I was challenged on behalf of the men in my life, and what to do with loneliness and the seemingly far-fetched idea while on staff here of "being in love."

Elliot wrote these words that challenged my attitude and paradigm toward my motives, "the majority will sacrifice anything- security, honor, self-respect, the welfare of the people they love, obedience to God- to passion. They will even tell themselves that they are obeying God (or at least that He doesn't mind) and congratulate themselves for being so free, so released, so courageous, so honest, and 'up front.'"

And then, this challenged me for the men in my life (although it also applies to women). "We have to learn to trust in little things, even in what may seem like silly things if we are ever going to be privileged to suffer in the big things. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted also in great."

After I shared this with my friend, her response to the idea of a man being trustworthy for a little thing was comical to her. She bit back, "Men?! Actually doing what they say they will? That's just how they are." It hurt to hear her say that because she believes it. She has obviously not had men in her life to prove her wrong, and that is sad.

On loneliness, Elliot wrote, "If the yearnings went away, what would we have to offer up to the Lord?" Interesting thought. It is in the lonely times that I tend to draw near. And he strengthens me. "Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down." I know it's trite to say "one day at a time," but really, when I offer my loneliness to God one day at a time, it is not as daunting. He carries me. And after a while prompts me to look back and realize how far we've gone just one day at a time.

And finally, on being in love: "'Being in love' first moved them [any couple] to promise fidelity: this quieter love [love the commitment, not the feeling] enables them to keep their promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it."

Good book. I'm thoroughly challenged to stop congratulating myself on being "so free" and thus, doing what I know I shouldn't, to be faithful in doing little things so that I'm trustworthy in big things, to offer my loneliness to Christ and live purely one day at a time, and finally to not be in love with the idea of being in love.

1 comment:

Luke and Steph said...

Sarah, have I said lately how much I appreciate you watching Jersey? =) Sounds like she's a trouble maker while you are away. I'm loving the books you are reading. Passion and Purity is one of my favorites and I'm glad you picked it up! I think it's timeless. Great gleaning from it too! Love you friend.