Most people think graphic designers don’t like to read. For the most part, it’s true. We like pictures—and lots of them. Most of the books I own are picture books. Most of them are children’s books with page after page of big beautiful art and very little text.
I guess that’s why folks were surprised when they found out I was reading “Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy”. It’s Eric Mataxas’ latest book. 542 pages of text, plus 49 more pages of notes and index. That’s a lot of words—even for avid readers.
There are a few pictures, great ones too, but if that’s still too much copy for you, flip to page 484. It’s worth the read. It’s a letter from Diedrich. Imprisoned and facing an uncertain future, he wrote the following:
“I discovered later, and am still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. . . . One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so called priestly type), a righteous man or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one. By ‘this-worldliness’ I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world—watching Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think, is faith, that is repentance, and that is how one becomes a man and a Christian. How can success make us arrogant or failure lead us astray when we share in God’s sufferings through a life of this kind? . . . May God in his mercy lead us through these times, but above all, may he lead us to himself”.
Commenting on this quote Mataxas writes, “...with the Christian life ...there is always the temptation to use the Christian faith as a means to escape life rather than as a means to live life more fully”.
Wow! Just scanning headline news makes me want to “escape life” nearly everyday. It’s no picture book out there! However, that’s not what the Lord has asked any of us to do. He wants us “living completely in this world”—the very place where faith and life connect. Shouldn’t we help others do the same? Especially kids? Perhaps through Big Apple Adventure, we can point kids to Jesus Christ, the only One who can truly help them live their lives completely in this world.
Many of the kids we meet in VBS are facing some really tough life situations. Let’s meet them there, live along side them, and “. . . May God in his mercy lead us through these times, but above all, may he lead us to himself”.
Do you have any stories you want to share about “living life completely in this world”? Where faith and life connect? Maybe some “front line” stories you’ve heard from the kids in your VBS? Share them here. We’d be glad to help you face them.