Quotes by "Donald Miller"
Writers don't make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don't work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck's book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man's stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.
I was talking to a homeless man at a laundromat recently, and he said when we reduce Christian spirituality to math, we defile the holy. I thought that was very beautiful and comforting. Because I have never been good at math. Many of our attempts to understand christian faith have only cheapened it. I can no more understand the totality of God than a pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. The little we do understand, that grain of sand our minds are capable of grasping, those ideas, such as “God is good”, “God feels”, “God knows all”, are enough to keep our hearts dwelling on his majesty and otherness forever. This past summer I made the point to catch sunsets...fire in the clouds. I never really wanted to make the trip...but once I got up there, I always loved it...all that beauty happens right above the heads of more than a million people who never notice it. Here is what I’ve started thinking. All the wonder of God happens right above our arithmetic and formula. The more I climb outside my pat answers, the more invigorating the view; the more my heart enters into worship. When we worship God, we worship a being our experience does not give us the tools to understand. If we could, God would not inspire awe.” —Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller
I thought somehow he would sense my disapproval and change his life in order to gain my favor. In short, I withheld love. I knew what I was doing was wrong. It was selfish. And what’s more, it would never work. By withholding love from my friend, he became defensive. He didn’t like me. He thought I was judgmental, snobbish, proud, and mean. Rather than being drawn to me, wanting to change, he was repulsed. I was guilty of using love like money, withholding to get somebody to be who I wanted them to be. I was making a mess of everything. And I was disobeying God...I had fallen miles short of God’s aim...I repented. I replaced economic metaphor with something different, a free gift metaphor, or a magnet metaphor. That is, instead of withholding love to change somebody, I poured it on, lavishly. I hoped that love would work like a magnet, pulling people from the myre, and toward healing. I knew this is the way God loved me. God never withheld love to teach me a lesson. Here is something simple about relationships [I discovered]: nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them... After I repented, things were different. But the difference wasn’t with my friend. The difference was with me. Before I had all this judgementalism and pride and loathing of other people. I hated it. And now I was set free. I was free to love. I didn’t have to discipline anybody, I didn’t have to judge anybody, I could treat everybody as though they were my best friend, as though they were rockstars or famous poets, as though they were amazing, and to me, they became amazing. Especially my new friend. I loved him. After I decided to let go of judging him, I discovered that he was very funny. I mean, really hilarious. And he was smart. Quite brilliant really. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. I felt as though I had lost an enemy, and gained a brother. And then he began to change. It didn’t matter to me whether he did or not, but he did. He began to get a little more serious about God...He was a great human being getting even better. I could feel God’s love for him. I loved the fact that it wasn’t my responsibility to change somebody, that it was God’s. That my part was just to communicate love.