Friday, July 15, 2005
girl meets GOD: a memoir
by: Lauren F. Winner
I'm still not finished. I'm enjoying the process of soaking it in. This is a book that I'm really glad I bought rather than borrowed. I want to go back and reread parts, to remind myself sometimes of what's important, about the beauty of our Faith...of Jesus' loving pursuit.
In this memoir, Lauren Winner shares a year of her journey as a converted Jew-turned Christian. Her perspective is so different from my own, having lived by choice as a devout Orthodox Jew, following ancient Judaic traditions, festivals, rituals, customs...all to worship God..and then being drawn by Christ. She desperately longs to find for herself, and bring her reader to see as well, the connectedness, value, and meaning in the writings, prayers, and festivals of the Christian Church.
She writes..."People think Judaism and Christianity are radically different from one another, and that the difference is straightforward--one religion has a messiah who has come, and the other religion doesn't. But on Ascension Day, I am struck by the deep similarity that lies just underneath that difference. Both Jews and Christians live in a world that is not yet redeemed, and both of us await ultimate redemption. Some of us wait for a messiah to come once and forever; others of us wait for Him to come back. But we are both stuck living in a world where redemption is not complete, where we have redemptive work to do, where we cannot always see God as clearly as we would like, because He is up in Heaven. We are both waiting."
I love reading about her memories of the loving community she left behind to follow Christ. I sometimes envy the meals, and recipes, and ceremonies passed through generations of Judaism. But don't we usually long for things we don't have, and ignore what has been given to us? ...the richness and meaning of sacraments and festivals, the ones that have been celebrated for generations of Christ followers...Advent, Christmas, Lent, Communion, Easter, Pentecost ...
But most of life isn't full of ceremony and clear rites of passage. It's mostly mundane, difficult, and void of clarity. I feel her struggle to get past shallowness, distractions, and insecurities...to be aware of the eternal, to be Christ's body.
At least for today, I'm more aware of my prayerlessness. my self sufficiency. my narrow-minded and short-sighted perspective of life. my sin. my redemption. my perfect Saviour.
"This earthly life, even for churchgoers, is a mere shadow land,
but soon we will live resurrected in the bright glory of reality." ~lauren winner (inspired by c.s. lewis)
more of my thoughts on books I'm reading