"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Friday, November 19, 2010

An open book.

So I have been thinking about books and comparing them to my life. Yeah, yeah, I am weird like that. You know I absolutely love a good book-- fiction, non-fiction, inspirational, self-help... any good book. I love the smell of a new book and I love, love, love to go to a book store. As a book consumer I usually buy paperback books and not hard back for they are a little cheaper and are usually smaller and always easier to open and sit and read, but I love a good hard back book. Now my favorite book, big surprise here, is my hard cover Archaeological Study Bible. Now I have never been one to write in my books or fold pages down to mark the spot. I am particular about how I treat my books. I never leave a book left open or even worse open face down to mark my spot. This is terrible for the binding. I generally use a book marker or just remember the page number I stop on. You know if you were to look at my Bible (after removing all of my bookmarks) the pages are like new. Now the cover, has done its job well in protecting the inside. It is actually duct taped together, and I had to purchase a Bible cover to cover it up it looked so rough. I have allowed the hard cover to protect the vulnerable delicate pages.

What is the most important part of the book-- The cover or the story? Dumb question? Now it really doesn't matter a lot about the books on shelves, but what about the story of our lives? Do we protect our vulnerable pages by keeping a hard cover closed or do we leave our books open for others to write in and flip through and maybe even ear mark a page or two or more? You see if we keep our books closed, no one can read the story-- a great story written by God. No one can glean anything from our lives.

You know, I was told recently from an old high school friend, who is now a preacher, that when we love people we open ourselves up to be hurt by them. Some people may rip the pages to shreds tearing through the book in anger, disgust, jealousy, annoyance, over use... Some people my write on our pages and make notes in the columns. It can hurt a lot, but it does some marvelous things to the story. Even the pages torn out can be placed back in with some care. This may look atrocious, but what a story in itself, about how the page was ripped out and then replaced with such care. All of the notes and earmarks just show how our life is being used to help others and just might make our story stronger.

I don't think God wants His story of us closed up tight on a shelf of protection. I think He wants it to be read and enjoyed and torn apart and written in and earmarked. So next time someone hurts you deeply with an unkind word, a grudge, an insult, a little gossip... remember the pages are written by God and meant to be read by others and they are all critics. When you allow others access to the delicate pages of your life, you open yourself up to be vulnerable to ink, tears and folds. Don't be shocked or insulted. God will use your story-- His story of you, for His good purposes. It maybe painful at first, but the lessons learned all around are very much worth it.

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