I usually read about four books at a time. Which drives certain people I know caaarazy. But oh well. I do eventually finish them all. Anyway, last night I finished up two books that, when combined, could teach us all we need to know about our place in the world.
The first is Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World. Tracy Kidder’s account of Paul Farmer’s childhood all the way through recent years, when his unique way of curing TB in places like Haiti, Cuba, Russia and Peru had a revolutionary affect on how diseases are treated in areas where there is little financial support for medicines and hospitals. From the back of the book: “Farmer changes people’s minds through his dedication to the philosophy that ‘the only real nation is humanity.'” Kidder followed Farmer around the world and his way of describing both Farmer and the situations in which he is working are spot on and make for a fascinating read. Rated PG-13 for some language, I would recommend this to any of you with an interest in medicine or just all-around good biographies.
The second book is The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. From the back of the book: “Most of us believe in God’s grace – in theory. But somehow we can’t seem to apply it in our daily lives. We continue to see Him as a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheet.” Using many quotes from the Bible and from other Christian authors, Manning reminds us that we are nothing (ragamuffins), but through the Lord Jesus Christ, we have everything.
“I am a bow on your hands, Lord.
Draw me, lest I rot.
Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break.”
Put together, these books are a wake-up call to realize that we are nothing, but through God we are everything, and with that knowledge, why are we not fully giving ourselves to reach out to those who are hurting around us?