I started with it because it is the shortest of the three at a whopping 122 pages. I have been reading it almost everyday and I am only on page 101. Now generally I am a fast reader. I can quickly scan through pages and tell when I am getting reiteration or stuff I know etc and move on quickly. Yeah, not so much with this book. I read about 10 pages and then have to stop and actually process what I have read.
But I love this book. It's simply written but packed with an insight into the the Bible and Christian living that is astounding.
Part of it, I want to share because I think it speaks so much truth on what it means to live our lives daily as disciples of Christ:
1) The Ministry of Listening. We have to stop and truly listen to people. Not stop and try to think of a 12 step program to solve their problems. Not just quickly hear them so you can push onto the next deadline. Stop. Listen. Be there for the person who is honestly sharing what s on their heart.
2) The Ministry of Helpfulness - Bonhoeffer calls this active helpfulness. We seek to help in the most trying, lowliest ways and realize we are not above anything or any time when we find a fellow brother or sister (read as all people) in need. As Bonhoeffer puts it " We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God".
3) the Ministry of Bearing: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ" Galatians 6:2. Jesus bore all of our burdens onto Himself as He hung on the cross. We are in turn to help our neighbor do the same. I love this insight "The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. Wow. But I know this in my heart to be true. Those of my friends who are most dear are those of whom I have shared the deepest, worst, scariest things in life with. In sharing our burdens we are drawn together.
So this week, think about these things. Stop and Listen. Go out of your way to Be Interrupted so you may see God. Bear All Things with your brothers and sisters because that is when they become more than just another person.