I just got through my second reading of Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, and I cannot believe how much it socked me in my gut. His stories seemed like he was ripping me off, and even said something I talked with a friend about the other week. It's not a magical book that makes you super Jesus by any means, but it definitely is a wonderful memoir that changes your perspective a bit on what a life with Christ really is about.
A few parts that really hit home was the way he expressed how to actually show love.
One story he says he was at a lecture, and the man speaking asked the audience to give metaphors for love. The audience shouted out things like "to value someone", and "love is priceless". The man then pointed out that what they called out was all financial terms. We look at loving people with the intent to get something back. It all pointed back to what unconditional love really meant.
Something that my life has taken change with since the move over here is just that, seeing how pathetic I've treated all of my relationships. Everyone has a story to tell and I wish to be like an NPR interviewer. No matter who is being interviewed, the guest is always treated with the highest respect and even adoration. From interviewing a scientist who just had a huge breakthrough with a cure or invention, to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, they're all treated like they're equal. You can tell from listening to Fresh Air, like I did so many mornings, that the interviewer and guest seems like they've known each other and are good friends, asking questions about the guest just to get to know them better. Sure, she (the interviewer) is getting paid to be like that, but that's beside the point.
I am not better than anyone and yet every day I consciously judge people that make stupid decisions or smell bad. Why is it ingrained in to our heads growing up in church to make sure we keep up with our goody Christian check lists, but spit on and gossip about the ones that fail it? I even got pointed out about doing that this morning by my good friend. When will I realize that grace is grace and that God is bigger than us doing something stupid? I thank God every day for loving me, even though I may be a fogged up reflection most of the time, I thank Him for showing me my hypocrisy.
I really want to encourage whoever is reading this to do just that, even if you find someone annoying, that really is your own fault because its you disliking the person before you even know them. Cherish every person you meet and listen to their story, don't give advice, just listen.
I have met some amazing people out here and whether or not they accept God's love is up to them. I am not a Jesus salesman, and I never want to be, but I do believe He's put them in my life for a reason. I don't know what that reason is yet, but I know they've made a definite impact in my life being my friends.