Not a surprise to my old bible study friends, I heart Donald Miller. I fell in love with his writing when I first read Blue Like Jazz, and since then I read his entire collection. I must also confess, that while visiting a friend in Portland, I even went to check out the church he attends and writes about in his books. Pa-the-tic…I know. Even worse…I even considered driving down to the freeway to cheer on his bike riding group as they rolled through Arizona a couple of years ago. Uggh. Why such behavior from someone approaching an age that should very well know how to act more dignified? I think it’s because his writing has the ability to connect with me where I stand. I love when you read a passage in a book and connect with something so much that you have to close your eyes while the words flow through you and resonate with your heart. I’ve had many ‘close your eyes’ moments in all of Donald’s books. With Blue, I was in a place where I was waiting to be perfect so I could reconnect with God. Donald’s musings on “religion” in contrast with everyday examples of Jesus’s love, allowed me to accept that maybe God wants to meet us where we are, imperfections and all.
I planned on sharing a top 10 Donald quotes post but frankly, he requires more space than that….just like with my simple pleasures in life, he too will be inserted into this space, in just the right time. In looking over the highlights of his work, however, there was a quote that didn’t stand out the first time around. I’ll share it now, because like before, Donald’s writing meets me where I stand (remember surrender and death to self?) ….and I remain thankful to those who tap into their gifts and use them to encourage others. 🙂
Donald writes this passage into a play about a couple that decides to commit to love:
“I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer. I will love you, as sure as He has loved me. I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God’s own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me. And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me.
I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding you love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again.
God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.”
Amen, Donald, Amen.