Monday, May 18, 2009
Transfer of Faith
It took me over three weeks to read The Poisonwood Bible. Rarely does it take me that long to read anything and if I'm reading a book of little importance that I know I will struggle with due to writing style or just plain dislike I will typically return it. Thankfully I got over the "I must finish this book because I started it" guilt about a year ago but this one kept tugging at me. Although I loathed the thought of my evening reading time being consumed by a book that seemed to never end I crawled my way though it. And in hindsight I'm a better person for it. Not for finishing what I started, I've set enough of those examples in my life and continue to do so, but for listening to the little words. When a novel is over 500 pages it is natural to exit the narrative with the big picture and forget the small parts that pushed a button when you read them or that flipped a switch as you felt a pang of recognition.
You can search the Internet and find all kind of summaries and character descriptions while avoiding the actual reading of The Poisonwood Bible. But what you would miss is the meat of the book. The parts that make you pause and leave you wishing you could sneeze such thoughts out of your mind. You would escape the embarrassment of living in a nation of plenty and forgo the desire to know what "want" really is. I may have empty pockets but at least I have pockets and it is my burden to fill them.
"But Antole said suddenly, "Don't expect God's protection
in places beyond God's dominion. It will only make you feel
punished. I'm warning you. When things go badly, you will
"What are you telling me?"
"I am telling you what I'm telling you. Don't try to make life
a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and
everything coming out equal. When you are good, bad things
can still happen. And if you are bad, you can still be lucky."