I’m finishing Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter and this paragraph stuck out to me:
I remembered a story John once told me about the time he stayed at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. The hotel has a glass-enclosed atrium that’s reminiscent of the Amazon rain forest, with walkways through cascading waterfalls, winding “rivers” with boat rides, tropical plants spilling out of window boxes. “I was crossing this bridge & I saw these fabulous rock pools with these jets of water springing up, ” he explained. “And I thought to myself, Just once in my life I wish I could have a suite in this part of the hotel! And then, all of a sudden, God spoke to me really powerfully. ‘But this isn’t real,’ He said. And I remembered taking a step back and looking at this shadow of the rain forest as the Lord kept speaking. ‘You live in a bowl; you live in a glass bubble. And there’s hundreds of millions of you in this glass bubble, there’s nations of you in this glass bubble, and you write songs for each other, you write books for each other, you send your kids to school together, you go to church together, you worship Me together. And you think that’s the whole world. But if you press your face to the glass, you see another world, and it’s called hopelessness, the abandoned, the diseased, those who have no clean water, those who have no education, the sick, the dying. I sit with them as they die, and if you want to embrace Me, you have to embrace them.'”
And this quote from the very end of the book:
I think our tendency is to believe that God is inviting someone else into the ministry of reconciliation, tapping someone a little more gifted or holy than us for the work, sending the person to the jungle who feels particularly poised for a riverboat trip down the longest river in the world; someone who things maggots in the pineapple are tasty. But the reality is that God has called every one of His children to the poor, the outcast, those on the fringes of society, the spiritually hungry. Hardly ever do we feel ready, comfortable with the task, confident in our goodness, or have any idea where the river might run, but — such a sobering wonder — He has called us still.