Rachel gave me a book to read when I was with her - called Room. For the first time this fall, I think, I actually ate it eagerly and finished it with interest. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a different book to capture your imagination. It is about a woman who is kidnapped and kept in a shed, 12 X 12, for 7 years. The twists and turns will keep you reading. What could have been horridly dark is kept lighter by the 'voice' of the writing - her five year old son, conceived, obviously, in captivity. The woman's name is never given in the whole book because it is about her life lived through her son's eyes.
Now I am reading a book called Turn of Mind. The story is a murder mystery (my favorite genre) and the 'voice' is a woman with Alzheimer's. Again, the voice makes the story. I can become so immersed in prose well written that I actually begin to experience events, feelings and impulses. I just put this book down because I started feeling, well, a creeping sense of dementia. :-) One of the best lines is from a neighbor who says he is grateful every moment 'the bottom doesn't fall out.' Interesting thought, that.
I have enough experience with anxiety to know what it is to live expecting the bottom to fall out. Such thoughts are really not paranoia. There are plenty of rotting floors beneath our feet, plenty of rubble and weakness and decay under each step: the economy, government, fragile relationships, our children's concerns, health, death, incoming weather and even the line-up on TV.
Every year since 2000 Steve and I have prayerfully chosen a word to be a window on our year. Such a word isn't magical - or even spiritual, really. The idea is to create a simple frame of reflection through which the events of the year can be understood. I believe any word will do this, just as any act of silence can reveal truth. My word this year is Kingdom.
Jesus is constantly inviting us to notice the heavenly Kingdom coming alive in our world. He is calling us to see what is inside of things, not just what is so obvious on the outside. Last night we saw Les Mis at the theatre. As I watched the story unfold through the window of Kingdom I realized I was watching the inside of things, the gospel that brings Life.