Something that really resonated with me was (and I maybe paraphrasing a little but I'm pretty sure I'm pretty close)
"When we forget about what others can do for us we are able to truly appreciate them as the wonderful gifts they are."-Ted Dekker
That is SO how God loves us! Not for what we can do for Him; we can do NOTHING for Him, but just because we are us and we are precious. How beautiful if that was the Love we showed one another, seeking nothing, just pure.
The other thing that stood out was a direct quote from John 5:22
"the Father judges no one."And then Ted said "Did you know that?" You know what, I didn't! I have continuously breezed right over that. God the FATHER judges NO ONE! So why are we so hard on one another? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do the temporary things take such a priority?
So then we take a quick trip to the yogurt place a couple doors down to use the restroom. Those girls were SUPER nice! And chatted about Dekker, Duck Dynasty, and Veggie Tales with the couple in front of us. When we got close the staff wanted quick pics with Ted and I took the opportunity to ask for a pic with Kevin Kaiser (Ted's manager), because it's tradition and I'm really truly that much of a book nerd. He seemed pretty excited that someone wanted their picture with him and knew who he was. Then, as last time, he told us how his wife is from Green Bay (my sister was wearing a GB cap) and how his daughter is a huge cheese head! Go Pack Go! He also thought we were friends with the couple in front of us.
Then it was Ted time and he is my absolute favorite author. To have had this opportunity once was crazy enough, to have it twice is just beyond. I told him this (Outlaw) had become my favorite of his books. And his response was "Really? How old are you?" (Pretty random, but so needed as so from God!) I responded and it was clear that's not the best topic with me. He asked me if people think I'm younger than I am. And I responded that yes, it happens ALL the time. And he said "That bothers you?" "It does." And he said "Don't do that to yourself, you are making yourself suffer. God gave you a beautiful costume and you should embrace it." I could have cried, right to my heart and something that's been driving me nuts lately. He gave me a hug and told me again that I am beautiful and to embrace it.
Everything I had understood from this story and found beautiful I didn't take to heart, not until tonight when I was pierced with it. Why would I be so bothered by how God made me? Why was I finding it so difficult to separate not only my costume but what others perceived it as from who I really am? I could not be more grateful for those words Ted spoke to me tonight.
He also noticed that my little sister looks older than me and that's probably where it stems from. He told us and the people behind us about a Ted talks video he had watched that day about monkey's that relates to the sibling situation.
Outlaw, by Ted Dekker, is probably the book I've been most excited to read in some time! I am a huge Dekker fan and I knew that this book was based off of the jungles that he grew up in as a kid. That made it especially interesting wondering where the truth and imaginations began and ended as I read. I can tell you this is also my favorite book of his that I've read in some time. The writing style is SO completely different than anything else he's written. (In my opinion).
This is the story of Julian Carter. The lack of love that she faces as a child, as a wife, and her clawing at a hope in religion. When she has a son, Stephen, through a marriage of convenience she starts having a persisting dream about a jungle and a beautiful song. The dream does not leave her and when her husband dies she longs to chase it.
Being a missionary is not something that is not recommended for a single woman and a toddler, but she sets off on a journey of her own to see if her dream is something that is reasonable, if it is not just something in her head. She is lost at sea and taken slave by a savage tribe. She fights for her life, and against the "life" she has known to the one she is now forced to lead. The only way out of the jungle is in fact death, which many times is the foreseeable outcome.
You will be astounded by who in fact was born to change the world. The lines between worlds are both black and gray. You will question how you view the world, how you view yourself, and your costume. The novel has almost two tones, being the first half deals mostly with Julian and the second with Stephen. The stories are real, the are about us, no matter what world we are living it. It is all just one isn't it? Love will never look the same. I am Outlaw. Are you?
I had tears on the edge of my eyes the WHOLE time. There is SO much, SO much to learn from this story. The story itself is page-turning and raw.