I've been reading Blue Like Jazz for the second time. I read it the first time a few years ago, and it almost seems like a brand new book to me now because of where I am in life that I hadn't been before. The things that I passed over pretty quickly the first time are really hitting hard, and I'm loving the book even more than I already did. I wanted to put some portion of the text on here, but I have marked down so many amazing passages that it was hard to narrow it down. So trust me, this is just one of the MANY amazing parts of the book..read it if you haven't, and read it again if you have!
"I suppose what I wanted back then is what every Christian wants, whether they understand themselves or not. What I wanted was God. I wanted tangible interaction. But even more than that, to be honest, I wanted to know who I was. I felt like a robot or an insect or a mysterious blob floating around the universe. I believed if I could contact God, He would be able to explain who and why I was. The days and weeks before a true commitment to Jesus can be terrible and lonely. I think I was feeling bitter about the human experience. I never asked to be human. Nobody came to the womb and explained the situation to me, asking for my permission to go into the world and live and breathe and eat and feel joy and pain. I started thinking about how odd it was to be human, how we are stuck inside this skin, forced to be attracted to the opposite sex, forced to eat food and use the rest room and then stuck to the earth by gravity.
I think maybe I was going crazy or something. I spend an entire week feeling bitter because I couldn't breathe underwater. I told God I wanted to be a fish. I also felt a little bitter about sleep. Why do we have to sleep? I wanted to be able to stay awake for as long as I wanted, but God had put me in this body that had to sleep. Life no longer seemed like an experience of freedom....[a bit later]
I see it now. I see that God was reaching out to Penny, and I see that the racism Laura and I talked about grows from the anarchy seed, the seed of the evil one. I could see Satan lashing out on the earth like a madman, setting tribes against each other in Rwanda, whispering in men's ears in the Congo so that they rape rather than defend their women. Satan is at work in the cults of the Third World, the economic chaos in Argentina, and the corporate-driven greed of American Corporate executives.
I lay there under the stars and thought of what a great responsibility it is to be human. I am a human because God made me. I experience suffering and temptation because mankind chose to follow Satan. God is reaching out to me to rescue me. I am learning to trust Him, learning to live by His precepts that I might be preserved." -Donald Miller, author