Thursday, December 15, 2011
This guy's words are crushing me. I am on page 28.
Much within me wants to put this book back on the shelf, return it to the library in my friend's house, simply shut it and forget. Yet, I find myself wanting to blog about it, to share the discovery.
At a time when many Americans are feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy and the crush of material holiday expectations, is there anything encouraging in blogging about this book?
"... my model in ministry is a guy who spent the majority of his ministry with twelve men. A guy who, when he left this earth, had only about 120 people who were actually sticking around and doing what he told them to do." —David Platt, Radical
Who are your twelve? Who will be the 120 people sticking around after you are gone? The lives you are touching with faith, hope and love?
Following after Christ, I am a young and impetuous apostle.
On Tuesday, seven women came together, bringing a full table of food - including 50 lbs of homemade lasagna - and baskets full of handmade gifts. In the lower level of a strip club, we hosted a Christmas celebration, shared a meal, shared our gifts. We talked and listened, laughed and prayed.
We are not trying to change the world, just our little corner, a handful of hearts and lives. Often it is our hearts and minds that need changing, an openness to accept gifts - like cucumbers from a friend's garden, or the $20 from the bouncer who simply wants to thank us in some way.
In the first 20 pages of his book, David Platt celebrates the simplicity of the dimly lit rooms, where people gather:
"... sitting either on the floor or on small stools, lined shoulder to shoulder, huddled together... The roof is low, and one light bulb dangles from the middle of the ceiling as a sole source of illumination.
No sound system.
No cushioned chairs.
No heated or air-conditioned building.
Nothing but the people of God and the Word of God.
And strangely, that's enough."
In the crush of material holiday expectations and the pinch of a sluggish economy, dimly lit rooms bring to mind the simplicity of the Nativity - a simplicity which begs us to stop the guilty madness and focus on touching a handful of lives.
Faith. Hope. Love.
Who are the people caring for you, talking and listening, laughing and praying?
Who are your twelve this Christmas?
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream