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Invitations from God: Accepting God's Offer to Rest, Weep, Forgive, Wait, Remember and More

This covers proves that sometimes, contrary to what your teacher said, you can judge a book by its cover. This one looks so three dimensional that I kept touching the wax seal just to check that it was indeed still a smooth two dimensional cover. Alas, it never changed, nor did I tire of checking. As the cover would indicate, Invitations from God: Accepting God’s Offer to Rest, Weep, Forgive, Wait, Remember and More  by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun explores some of the invitations we receive in life — both those wanted and unwanted.

As one who has more natural bent toward leading than following, this passage was appropriately challenging:

My experience with following indicates that it can be even more difficult than leading. Following requires humility, risk, attention, awareness and guts. It means serving someone else’s agenda and following her or his cues. Following requires that I let go of my own way and trail the leader. But everything in me resists trailing behind someone else, especially when I think I can make my own way or lead just as well. Following for any length of time tests both character and steadfastness.

Do I hear an Amen? Or am I the only one who sees herself reflected in these words? Calhoun is honest about why we might not want some of these invitations, yet the benefits if we will accept them.  The idea of God inviting me into areas such as rest, waiting, admitting I am wrong, or practicing the presence of people is comforting. He’s inviting. Will I accept? Will you?

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  1. Erin January 31, 2012 at 2:09 am - Reply

    Amen! We all experience times when we need to lead, and times when we need to follow. It’s easy to forget that whatever role we are in here on earth, we are following God. One big challenge is when we are expected to follow a person who is not following God. But as the Senator’s wife in Uncle Tom’s Cabin puts it, “It’s always safest, all round, to do as he bids us.”

    • Amy January 31, 2012 at 6:57 am - Reply

      Ah yes! I hadn’t thought too much about this distinction, but now that I read your words, I agree: there is a difference between those following God and those who aren’t. And I love the shout out to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Thanks for your insights, Erin! Amy

  2. John Mefford January 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    The cover (to me) is more evocative of some lines from Song of Songs (8:6-7) though more deeply felt: Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

    And that’s different although the Bible does often speak of the relationship as between parent and child yet this implies another relationship, one that appears more open, not like the master-slave relationship, but like a marriage where there is some give-and-take bound by the trust and love inherent in the union.

    …And that might be reading too much into the cover. I haven’t read the book. As a guy, I can’t really imagine myself doing so. But, like “chick flicks” I could imagine myself experiencing it through my wife. We’ve had a good laugh or two of recognition watching the relationship issues that form the basis of these movies.

    • Amy February 1, 2012 at 7:14 am - Reply

      John, thnaks for your thoughts, We need more men commenting here! While there are certainly things for men to gain from this book, I can see how the cover would be more of a “chick” cover. I think what drew me to it was that it looks so three dimensional and I had to keep checking that it was still flat! I still don’t know how the cover designer made it so realistic looking. I’ll need to look at it again with the lens of Song of Songs in mind. Thanks :)! Amy

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