Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Personal Life Update: Books, Letters, DVDs and Hands

One of my friends has a habit of sending me stuff. Sometimes I'm not sure if all her asking me for my opinion on things over text is more for her benefit or for mine, but mailing me books she's read can only be a one-way gift. Very kind of her, since whereas she has more resources at her disposal, I don't think either of us is necessarily in a position to spend lots of money buying all the books we want to read. She's nevertheless decided to start somewhere. Last fall, she sent me a book which did a great deal to help me understand the nature of political persecution far better than I had up until that point. Before then, I'd had trouble visualizing it, and could only think of it in terms of being a totally free society or a totally persecuted society, down to the micro level. The differences described between the various Eastern European communist countries of the 1950s and 60s (when the book takes place) were an eye opener. It was called God's Smuggler, and was the story of the founder of Open Doors USA.

More recently, she sent me a copy of a collection of Spurgeon sermons entitled Spurgeon's Calvinism, to show that he certainly affirmed those doctrines totally.

Speaking of Mbewe, it wasn't until I read a Wretched newsletter that had his name written that I realized it wasn't "Conrad and Beway." I had been continually confused whenever Todd Friel mentioned speakers at upcoming conferences and he seemed to be cryptically referring to what could be a Siamese Twin who happened to both be thelogians. Glad to have that cleared up.

I'm spending a lot of my spare time in the evenings before bed, when it's too hot to lay down on the sheets, writing letters. And recently I had the idea to, lest I swamp my friends with too much stationery, write the occasional letter to my wife, to practice thinking about her as a real person and not a fantasy.

I finally did it. I had recently bought 300 The Biggest Question's from Wretched and went to my town's fairgrounds for July 4th to hand some out. I took 200 with me in my pockets and a bag on my back, but I didn't pass out nearly that many. I did, however, get 44 into the hands of a wide assortment of people--it was far easier once I began targeting people sitting in groups on lawnchairs. I initially had the pre-start jitters, so I didn't hand any out in the first hour, despite walking around. When I finally stumbled upon the suggestion "you don't like free stuff, do you?", I was able to get comfortable approaching people in a conversational manner. I'm glad for the opportunity to, to be honest, practice giving out tracts. Like with exercise, it's hard to get up and go, but when you've done it, you feel satisfied--generally. And like with exercise, you get better and better at it with continual training. And no matter how awkward it feels or how lackluster you think your performance was, if you steeped yourself in prayer before and after, then you can be confident God will have worked through you to serve His ends no matter what--you can't save anybody. That takes the pressure off of you, and you can enjoy the experience of being obedient and exercising your faith. I'll be looking for other opportunities to do this, again. Maybe it will be easier if I bring another person with me the next time. Who knows? Now is my season to strike out, experiment and get used to witnessing so that I can hone whatever gifts God has given me relevant to this endeavor, to be more effective (insofar as any of it depends on me) in the future.

I had an appointment at a dermatology associate somethingorother, and the attractive, intelligent and kind physician's assistant confirmed my primary care doctor's suspicion that I've got a form of eczema on and between my fingers, one more than others. So now I'll be getting some prescription-strength topical steroids to deal with it, in addition to the 'intensive care repair Vaseline' I've been applying at night. I'll talk about this in another entry, surely. After all, this blog does exist to be a chronicle of my life's journey, sort of; the things that happen to me are as important as my detached thoughts about things, because both have a role in affecting how I develop as a person and in terms of my character, who I become.

And the summer continues!

~ Rak Chazak

No comments:

Post a Comment