Over the course of the last year, certain writers have continually inspired me, informed me, helped me to see things differently and live with much more grace and mercy for those around me. I’ve been challenged and blessed by the writings of these fellow sinners-made-new, and if you talk to me enough you’ve probably heard me reference some of them.
Eugene Peterson. If you only know of him as the author of The Message, and if you are prejudiced against the ‘translation’ as I was, you need to read his other books and get to know him as a fellow Christ follower. When you understand his heart you will understand his interpretation of the Bible. I’ve been incredibly blessed to read from someone who has spent half a century and more following Christ. I also really appreciate his literary style combined with his real life experience and anecdotes. Thanks to a friend for the birthday gift that introduced me to this incredible author.
Marva Dawn. She’s a co-author with Peterson in one of their books, which is how I discovered her, and she completely shattered my ideas around certain controversial subjects in Christian circles simply by writing from her own place, with a genuine voice and incredibly grace. I consider myself fairly open minded anyways, so I was very ready to accept that there are reasons for different practices, but she gave the reasoning behind those practices. But don’t read her for that. Read her for her role in our society as a bridge between lay and pastoral, secular and sacred. I often find myself muddling around in exactly those gaps and I really needed to hear from someone like her.
Flower Patch Farmgirl. People have asked me about what “extending grace” really looks like. Well, read this blog, and make sure you spend some time in the comments, and I think you’ll begin to see what I mean. In an internet world in which comments sections are frequently nasty, troll-filled and just disagreeable, the community on her blog is completely the opposite. So many people trying to follow God and offering encouragement to others doing the same, and also I am completely in agreement with so much of what this blogger talks about (except salsa. I don’t really get what’s so great about salsa, sorry :( )
Over the years I’ve realized the incredible value of having trusted people around, and when I say trusted, I really mean people who’s opinions I can trust. That is surprisingly a lot harder to find than people who just won’t tell your secrets. I value all the individuals whose lives are involved with mine, but there were times when my hubby and these writers were all that kept me sane, because it can become really hard to remember what truth sounds like when we’re surrounded with lies. Thank you God for always keeping me held with words of truth and beauty.