Wednesday, October 03, 2007

the bigger me answers a question

John Piper writes:

"When was the last time someone asked you about 'the reason for the hope that is in you'? That's what Peter said we should always be ready to give an answer for: 'Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you' (1 Peter 3:15). Why don't people ask us about our hope? The answer is probably that we look as if we hope in the same things they do. Our lives don't look as if they are on the Calvary road, stripped down for sacrificial love, serving others with the sweet assurance that we don't need to be rewarded in this life. Our reward is great in heaven (Matthew 5:12)! 'You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just' (Luke 14:14). If we believed this more deeply, others might see the worth of God and find Him in their gladness." (Don't Waste Your Life, pp.108-109)

This book has been digging in some areas of my soul marked "no trespassing". It has poked into some boxes stuffed under the attic eaves. It has rummaged around the cobwebbed chambers of my heart, much to my discomfort and dismay. The hand that picks up this book, the eyes that feast on the next chapter, the voice that reads select passages aloud to the kids, all betray me.
Well, not the bigger me, obviously. The bigger me seems to cave in to the loving invitation, cloaked in the comforting voice of the Helper, to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
Last night, my favorite family hosted four university students for dinner and hang-out time. Despite the disinclination of the "smaller me", I invited the freshman who sits beside me in Monday night's community chorus over for dinner. An invitation for one turned into an invitation for two. Two morphed into three, and three into four. I found out later that four could've easily turned into five. (Remember, this party-list is an add-on to the four that share our last name and the three that share our phone number and address. And bathrooms.) This sort of perpetual party seems to follow me around, me--the person who daydreams about quiet, classical music, and activities that require reflection and self-communication.
No matter. It was an evening full of home-cooked food, earnest talk, music, and friendliness. The topic of God came up in conversation like dumplings in a stew. (Sorry, food metaphors abound in my writing.) The four girls seemed reluctant to leave. Goodbye hugs were genuine and even bear-like.
"Can we come again sometime?" they entreated us as they lingered in the driveway under the sparkling autumn stars.
"Certainly," I assured them as I beat back my selfish smaller-self. "We would love to have you."
And I meant it. Because, after all, sometimes it takes a few conversations to voice that question. It might be worded in any number of ways, but I am on the lookout for it.
Between John Piper and the Apostle Peter, I'll be ready with an answer.


Blogger My own little world said...

Hi, Nancy... Keila here... where could I send you an e-mail?

10:06 AM  

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