Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Blogging the blues [part one]

Well, I have been a little blue for a couple of days, but that's not what I mean. To be really accurate about my moods, I guess I'd say I've been purple or orange or something with a little more aggression than blue. But that's not what I'm blogging about.

I'm about three years behind in this endeavor, but I'm finally reading Blue Like Jazz. Mr. Incredible reminds me that it's a collegey book (and I am sooo past that, right?) . . . but frankly I'm feeling like I might have skipped some of the developmental stages that the average Christian college student goes through, so I've got some things to catch up on.

First off, any non-fundamentalist who begins a book talking about the depravity of humankind is going to get my attention. That's just the way it is.*

The genius of Don's opening chapters--and indeed, his own experience of coming to faith--is that he identified a problem (human depravity, the broken state of things here on Earth), and it was working from this problem that he found a solution.

Some old Brethren in Christ people would probably be very pleasantly surprised by Don's talk about sin and depravity--the kinds of things, my boss mentioned recently, "that aren't preached anymore." Well, I don't know about that. The word "sin" is in little danger of going extinct at Dillsburg, but according to her this concept that we're fallen--that "what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing"--is falling out of favor with Evangelicals.

What really struck me as I read was that I've read so many people say they discovered God in nature--something I resonate with, as it's always been particularly easy for me to see Him in His creation--but I've never really heard anyone detail their natural discovery of coming to understand what sin and brokenness are by looking at the world around them. Don writes,

. . . I knew, because of my own feelings, there was something wrong with me, and I knew it wasn't only me. I knew it was everybody. It wasn't on the skin; it was on the soul. . . . It was as if we were broken, I thought, as if we were never supposed to feel these sticky emotions. It was as if we were cracked, couldn't love right, couldn't feel good things for very long without screwing it all up.

And if we don't realize this, what will God and His grace mean to us? If there is no question; no problem, there is no need for an answer; a solution.

*For all I know, Miller--no, I think I'll call him "Don" to match the casual tone of his book--might go on to completely undermine the foundation he's built in these opening chapters. But I'll just have to wait to find out.
**Edited for clarity 12.06.06 8:50 a.m.

1 comment:

brannabee said...

thanks, dulci,
you have actually piqued my interest in reading this book *gasp*

that doesn't happen very often.
i'm interested in hearing more.

love you, purple-ish friend. ;)