6.08.2007

people worth reading.

Unlike people who write about boring subject matter such as getting a hair cut, Dennis and Margie Haack are two people that draw you in with their thoughts and writing. I really admire them. They started a ministry called Ransom Fellowship that helps Christians know how to engage their culture rather than the "run or attack" tactics usually employed by Christians. If you believe in Jesus and want to be a part of the world around you, you should expose yourself to this ministry. If you are seeking truth about God, but think many Christians have lost grasp of reality, you may be pleasantly surprised by the dialogue occurring here. For years, we have been receiving their publications called Critique and Notes from Toad Hall. They help shape the way I think.

Margie Haack writes the Notes from Toad Hall. She will make you feel like you know her and make you think. Her current issue starts with, "Spring was cancer season for friends. (You might want to cancel friendship with us.)" She then goes on to tell of a friend with a brain tumor, another friend with prostrate cancer, a child with an aggressive form of leukemia, and finally a friend who faces death everyday with an untreatable leukemia. She weaves a theme of blessing into her writing this issue, stimulated by a word jumble she found with "SELSB." (bless, if you're slow like me.) She forces you to think about life and death, it's finality and inevitability while bringing out the joys in life-- the blessings-- the way God, with authority can say, "I bless you, extravagantly, lavishly." She moves from how these heroes in her life bless her to how she would like to bless others, all because of the way God reaches out to her.
One person she would like to bless and honestly, the reason I began writing this post, is a woman she doesn't know but read a comment of hers on a blog. Margie quotes this first time mom's comment and I decided it was worth copying.
(angie, this is what i said i would copy for you...)

Sarah (another person worth reading) writes:

...i love my boy (only 10 months, and my ONLY ONE, mind you) and i am so thankful to be able, to be given the gift of being home with him... but oh, how i would just like to sit down in the tiny corner of the guest room and work on the unfinished painting there, or start reupholstering the chair or finish putting the paper leaves on the giant tree in my bedroom (that i quit working on exactly 10 months and 2 weeks ago)... i would just be happy to make dinner without a small whining crying baby scooting about clinging to my ankles trying to alternately eat dog food, find the only breakable dish in the one cabinet that is not kid-proofed, or lick the floor (that hasn't been mopped in months...). sigh. and this doesn't even touch on the 3 dozen movies unseen or the deeply disturbing doubts about the canon of Scripture or the inscrutable wisdom in God choosing to incarnate Himself-- or how could God take on human nature or die... i barely have time to pray each day let alone delve into these eating, cancerous questions... i have no idea how you keep your soulish parts breathing with five small children... And the funny, twisted thing is that i do want more children. i've been praying for more and yet i feel all crumbly and un-moored with only one. and as i type this with one hand, my boy wiggles off my lap, tries typing too, eats a thing of chap stick, pulls on computer cords, and then beams up at me with this jolly life-giving grin before breaking out into screams because i set him down three feet from me with a couple toys which he definitely has no use for. oh dear. life is ridiculous and unbearably beautiful in these tiny piercing cloying vignettes...
Margie writes about Sarah, "I want to tell her, my hand on her head, you'll be okay, God teaches us to breathe in places like this."
Life is all mixed up together with someone struggling with leukemia and someone struggling with the demands of children. God is willing to place His hands on our heads and say I bless you... beyond your circumstances, into the reality of ever after, and even in your circumstances, to bring joy and peace despite them. Brian was asking us in our community group the other night if we felt in those moments of "heat" that Jesus was there with us. How would that make us feel? Could we talk to him like he was there and already knew everything that was happening?
I want to... and I'm trying. And I hope this is helpful to you and that you quickly read all that Ransom Fellowship puts out!

6 comments:

Angie Davis said...

well, i really didn't expect you to find the time to email the article, much less post about it. but i am so glad you did. i'm sitting here catching my breath from a long night w/ c, frustrated about having to keep sticking his passy back in his mouth, and yet sad that he is in his swing and not in my lap. i feel that i could have written the article myself (though not as beautifully), and yet i am working through it all....thanks.

JMom said...

Such great writing! I am anxious to check it out. Thanks...

jess said...

God bless the haack's for their sharing of wisdom. i love this resource and need to do more reading from it. this is a crucial time for this as you know we are moving...please pray for us as we seek to engage lovingly and as we put roots down in our new community!

keri said...

i know you've told me about them before and i keep forgetting to look at their stuff. so thanks for this and i really look forward to hearing more!!

april barber said...

I have loved getting to know the Haack's....they are super involved in the Covenant community and with the ministry I work for (The Frances Schaeffer Institute at Covenant). Denis is actually working on his degree from CTS by access so I see him at least a couple of times a year. LOVE their writing....thanks for promoting them.

Corrin said...

If you want to follow the story about the baby with cancer she is a member of our church. Here is her blog.

http://ameliaallen.wordpress.com/

A friend of my husband's from highschool, Gene, recomended your husband's blog to us. I have enjoyed getting to know your family through the blog world.