In the long-run, I intend to document stories here; however, in the short-term, while establishing a lifestyle of collecting great stories, I intend to put down several book recommendations. The books I’m mentioning are foundational books, interesting reads that have pressed me into Christ and into the mission of Christ to reach the lost and found in His love and grace.
A Severe Mercy is certainly one of these books. I mention it as a book worth our attention not just because I’m enjoying it in this season of my life but because it has been so highly recommended to me by people I care a great deal about of late. One brother in Christ and dear friend finished reading it prior to his recent engagement and has recommended it for every dating, engaged, or married couple. I’d recommend it to anyone at all really. It’s a rich read full of life and redeeming grace.
In particular, I’m learning more about human and divine love as I turn these pages. I’m sobered by how much I could grow in loving and expressing love for my bride, Carrie, and how much love for God I want to grow in as the years go by on this earth. My love for my God and for my wife are already a huge part of my thought and emotional life, but I am challenged by this read to increase these affections through intentional prayer and decision each day.
This emphasis will of course spill over into how I learn to love my son and any other children we have in the future.
I’d encourage my readers to read A Severe Mercy both for reading enjoyment as well as for deepened love for God and others. Read it to learn about Faith, Love, Grief, and Friendship, but more than learning, read it to soak in the grace and beauty of Christ in the midst of a genuinely lived and full life.
This is also a wonderful recommendation for non-believers you meet in authentic friendship. It’s a great read no matter if someone is a believer yet or not, and it is definitely a great introduction to C.S. Lewis and feeling like you are one of his friends and siblings in Christ, which we are actually! I’ve come to really enjoy Tim Keller as an author, feeling he is definitely one of my mentors present day, and his writing is constantly flavored by his affection for everything C.S. Lewis. As you read such wonderful reads, you feel you are gathering dear friends around you from history and around the world. As refreshing as this is, we must connect back in with our actual and very present neighbors and friends. We can share what we’re learning and growing in, but we must first draw one another out and enjoy authentic friendship ourselves, regardless of how much we feel we could share with others along the way. I should apply this truth myself! I need to get back home to my beautiful wife and adorable son and charming neighborhood.