Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sacred Romance

What can I say about this book by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge? The highest praise I can give is that it encapsulates everything pertinent to a love relationship between an individual and God.

The first time I had the good fortune of reading this book, it took me back to the infrequent blissful times of my childhood, of dreaming in my backyard fort of writing stories (never guessing I was in the midst of my own mini-drama) and passionately serving God with all my heart. Back when I was ignorant of the harshness of life, and the barren wastelands and wildernesses that were yet before me, I reveled in knowing I belonged to the universe because I was in relationship with its Creator.

The following excerpts from Sacred Romance may not only stir up your curiosity about this this book--I'm hoping it will also whet your appetite to learn more of the One who has been romancing you your entire life:

  • Who am I, really? The answer to that question is found in the answer to another: What is God's heart toward me, or, how do I affect him? If God is the Pursuer, the Ageless Romancer, the Lover, then there has to be a Beloved, one who is the Pursued.
  • We are faced with a decision that grows with urgency each passing day: Will we leave our small stories behind and venture forth to follow our Beloved into the Sacred Romance? The choice to become a pilgrim of the heart can happen any day and we can begin our journey from any place. We are here, the time is now, and the Romance is always unfolding. As Chesterton said, "An adventure is, by its nature, a thing that comes to us. It is a thing that chooses us, not a thing that we choose." Lucy wasn't looking for Narnia when she found it on the other side of the wardrobe; in a way, it found her. Abraham wasn't wandering about looking for the one true God; he showed up with an extraordinary invitation. But having had their encounters, both could have chosen otherwise. Lucy could have shut the wardrobe door and never mentioned what had happened there. Abraham could have opted for life in Haran. The choice before us is a choice to enter in . . . So much of the journey forward involves a letting go of all that once brought us life. We turn away from the familiar abiding places of the heart, the false selves we have lived out, the strengths we have used to make a place for ourselves and all our false loves, and we venture forth in our hearts to trace the steps of the One who said, "Follow me." In a way, it means that we stop pretending: that life is better than it is, that we are happier than we are, that the false selves we present to the world are really us. We respond to the Haunting, the wooing, the longing for another life. Pilgrim begins his adventure toward redemption with a twofold turning: a turning away from attachment and a turning toward desire. He wanted life and so he stuck his fingers in his ears and ran like a madman in search of it. The freedom of heart needed to journey comes in the form of detachment.
  • The Sacred Romance is not something to be managed, but to be lived. We cannot remove the element of mystery from the road before us nor can we eliminate the dangers. But we can learn from pilgrims who have gone before something of the road conditions, the weather, the hazards, and the places of rest and refreshment.

Yes, for me this book is like a long drink of iced-cold water on a sweltering summer day. It appeals to my pilgrim heart, to the sense of not belonging in this world as well as what I've sensed since childhood: even in the midst of great abuse and sorrow, someone somewhere is romancing me.

5 comments :

  1. Wow that is a really beautiful excerpt from the book. I liked the references to not only the Bible, but also well-known stories of CS Lewis and John Bunyon.

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  2. I just discovered this in your other sidebar. I look forward to reading more.

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  3. Todd,

    I love CS Lewis and John Bunyan myself, which was one of the thing which drew me to this book.

    Marcy,

    I just got around to putting this link up in my sidebar. So glad you stopped by, hope to see more of you here!

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  4. Hi again, I just felt like telling you that I've noticed that you have a real gift with words. You write very eloquently and it is beautiful. I look forward to reading more.

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  5. Thank you so much, Todd.

    I began writing at the age of 7 (my first short story) and have been passionate about words ever since.

    It touches me when someone takes the time to leave an encouraging comment.

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Comments, anyone? I'd love to hear your point of view.