Thanks Andrew for linking me up with your book review over at the Ooze. I agree that the book rambles, but Blue Like Jazz is a fun book to read. I found that instead of the message of self-less love being an essential mark of a Christian coming across as something heavy, as a discipline, it came across as a joy to strive for. Being a middle aged woman, it was hilarious to hear his stories as he relates to women. And the guys he lives with are characters I’d love to meet. It does make one a bit “Green With Envy”. I wish I could live in the kind of community he is a part of.
But there is no hope of living in Portland again – I did as a child. But I think I can try to incorporate some of his insights into my life. The chapter on “love” made a lot of sense and I have seen that kind of love work in my own life. God’s love for me is so great and unconditional. He has been teaching me too, over the past couple of years, that I need to love the people He has put in my life – love without expecting anything back. Just loving – no strings attached. Because God gave me these people to love. And maybe I am the only reflection of God they will see.
I have found a book that I am having trouble putting down. So I am up too late reading. I have seen it mentioned a few times and picked it up on the weekend when I was in Saskatoon. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller is an easy book to just keep on reading. But it is not light reading – not really. He says so much that is honest and real about living our lives in the light of having experienced the love of Jesus.
I liked what he said about noticing people around us that need to be loved. Loving them not in order to make them into Christians but just because they exist.
I find it hard to love a person who has neglected themselves so badly that they smell, have horribly rotten teeth and come with a lot of worn out luggage like addictions and poor self esteem. Yet, I guess these who are valued at almost nothing by themselves or our society are the very ones Jesus would spend time with. And I think I would like to hang around where Jesus is.
To be honest, sometimes it has happened to me – being able to help someone in real need. And it has been of more benefit to me than to them I think. But I really hate it when I know I have passed up an opportunity, succumbing to the pressures of people around me who want to see these people speeded on their way or the economic pressures that make me say to myself “No, I shouldn’t do that. We can’t afford it.” when God has never once failed to meet my needs.