A Healing Book
One of the ironies of God calling me to serve as a pastor is that I do not love reading the sorts of books pastors are supposed to read. I call them ‘thinking books.’ I listen to John Piper preach to pastors about the importance of reading deep theological, soul-satisfying, God-glorifying books and I feel an odd mixture of both inspiration and guilt. I know those books are good for me, but what I naturally love to read is stories.
Whether biographies, fantasies, historical fiction, period dramas or the narratives of Scripture, a story naturally captures my attention. Give me a good story and I can hardly put it down. Give me a weighty ‘thinking book’ and I will labor through it, chapter by chapter.
Nevertheless, I do read ‘thinking books’ and I actually enjoy them, assuming they are good. In fact, John Piper’s Desiring God was one of the most life-changing books I have read in my life. And of course, I have read many others over the years.
Today I want to commend a book I recently received as a conference freebie: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, by Dane Ortlund. It is not a huge book; just over 200 pages divided into 23 chapters. But after only a few chapters, I became tremendously impressed by its medicinal quality for my soul. Mr. Ortlund was skillfully applying Scripture-based healing balm for areas of my heart that greatly needed attention. A few chapters more and I decided I needed a supply of these to give to others.
I would love to buy a copy for everyone in the church, but I can’t quite afford that. However, the book has inspired my plan for this year’s Christmas sermon series and I plan to commend it in our December worship gatherings. I am writing about it now in case there are some Life Groups that may wish to purchase a copy of the book to supplement their study material. I pray it may supply medicine for your soul as it has for mine.