Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Perfect Mess

I love me a good Bible study; one that makes me think more deeply about my relationship with God or look at it in a new way. The book, A Perfect Mess by Lisa Harper, I'm reviewing today made me do that several times, but two questions in it made me smile and consider how much God loves me.

Question #1: If you could be any character in the Bible for one day, who would you pick and why? This query really made me think. I have several favorite characters: Abigail, Jael, Deborah, David, Thomas, and more, which one would I want to be? I think I would choose Mary, mother of Jesus. She saw so much: the angel Gabriel, Jesus' miracles, his death, resurrection, and ascension. She felt Jesus move within her womb, kicking her ribs, doing somersaults, getting the hiccups. Then to watch him grow from infancy to childhood to manhood, knowing all along what he was meant for and searching for the signs. She was with him as he learned his father, Joseph's trade, carpentry and then mourn his loss. She watched him learn his true Father's will and then live it out daily. She pushed him into performing his first miracle, turning water into wine at Cana, proud of the man he had become and wanting the world to see what she did. I've never felt a real connection to Mary, although as a fellow teenage mom I should, but this exercise helped me to see her in a new light and made me look at Jesus' life as she must have seen it, making his perfect mix of divine and human even more profound.

Question #2: How would you describe your dance with God? Is it a foxtrot or a jive or a smooth waltz? This question made me laugh just a bit as I thought about it. Being completely honest, sometimes I try to lead when dancing with God, and our dance looks clumsy and uncoordinated. Even worse, sometimes I try to dance a solo. But when I'm trusting in Him and living in Him, we make a beautiful waltz. Smooth, graceful, Him holding me close, as we glide around the dance floor of life. This doesn't happen nearly as often as it should, and putting it into words like this certainly makes me want to live it every day.

How would you answer these questions? Are you dancing with God or trying to do it alone? Whose footsteps would you like to walk in? Leave an answer in the comments, and I'll pick one to win a copy of this book!

A Perfect Mess by Lisa Harper is a refreshing look at the Psalms. Harper chooses 13 Psalms that are fairly representative of the different types: laments, praise, royal, etc and covers them in twelve chapters that can easily be read in one sitting. After the chapter are a few insightful questions that will truly encourage readers to make the Psalms personal. I've read other studies of the Psalms, but this one has to be my favorite. Harper is deeply and passionately in love with God and her joy radiates on every page. Her enthusiasm for the study of the Bible and love for God is catchy and readers can't help but want the kind of relationship she has with the Father. Her anecdotes are deeply personal and perfectly suited to each chapter. This is the rare Bible study that will leave the reader smiling and their heart overflowing with love for God.

Thank you to Random House for providing me with a copy of this book for review.


OF-RN said...

If I could be anyone in the Bible I would either chose Mary, mother of Jesus, or Elizabeth, mother of John. I just lost my baby 2 weeks ago so to be pregnant with a healthy child would be ideal. But aside from that, they are women with incredible faith and they were able to accept things in life as gifts from God, no matter what and they were able to keep their faith stong. I feel today that we lose that. I would love to have their incredible strength.