She who? She Jen Hatmaker, that’s who.
I’m not a cryer. Sure, I cry at weddings and sometimes when a certain song plays. I cry when I look at pictures of my girls from the first few minutes of their lives, and I cry while watching reruns of Family Ties, but typically, I’m not a cryer, especially about things I read in books.
However, Jen Hatmaker made me cry.
A group of about 35 (wowzers!) of us are joining together for an online book club, and we are reading Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. Last week, I talked about the excess in my closet. I made a vlog with my friend, discussed hosting a clothing swap, and the post was light and fun.
This week, I’m talking about Month Three in the book. The topic: possessions. Not so light, not so fun. Let me catch you up.
On Easter Sunday, the author, Jen, found herself challenged in church.
That day, the person speaking to the church had just met with a local homeless community, and he asked the homeless if they had any needs. The people replied they needed shoes. Wearing hand-me-downs was fine, but since the homeless walk a lot, not only do they have back and feet problems, but they have a need for good shoes.
The speaker then asked the congregation if they would consider taking off their shoes and socks and leaving them on the altar for the homeless.
Here’s the part where I get worked up:
In the book, when Jen writes about leaving her brand, new Christmas boots on the altar of that tiny church on Easter, I cried. Not because oh, wow, leaving your shoes on the altar is such a touching symbol and a tender gesture, but I cried because even after my family and I have been engaging in a full blown war on the accumulation of stuff and our selfish attitudes, one fact remains: I would not leave my new Christmas boots.
Wouldn’t do it.
I want to say I would leave my new boots, and of course, you would probably leave your boots because you aren’t attached to your possessions and shallow. But me, I’d already be thinking of another pair of boots, an older pair of boots, a crappy cast-off pair of boots, that I could just zip on over and leave at the church the next day.
I’m sorry poor homeless girl with back problems.
My reaction to Jen’s story, and the fact that I love my stuff more than I love the homeless makes me cry, and it's not an Alex P. Keaton type of cry. It's more of a heartsick kind of cry.
One of my favorite lines from the above song is "Being caught in all you wish for and all you seem to be". Isn't that where we all live? Caught between who He created us to be, who we are, and what we seem to be.
Get the Kleenex, people.
Want to hear what impacted other book clubbers in this week's reading? Go take a peek:
What possessions do you grip tightly? Have you ever given something away you weren't ready to part with or that you truly loved? Are there any silly or serious things that always move you to tears? Let's hear it, friends.
Month 3: Courtney
Months 3 and 4: Amy Y.
Months 3 and 4: Jess