A few months ago my husband brought her book, Kisses from Katie, home (thanks to Catalyst) and I felt like God had placed it into my hands. I was finishing up Bonhoeffer at the time so I put it on the shelf (I was determined to finish Bonhoeffer).
I read some books to learn and grow and some books to challenge my faith. I knew Katie’s book would be the latter. A couple weeks ago I finally decided to start it. I pulled it off the shelf and carried it with me all week long. In and out of the car it went for a week each day intending to open it, but never got the chance.
Last Sunday at South Bay Church, Stacie spoke a message on surrender based on the life and story of Esther from the Bible. I felt the Lord speaking directly to me, and all I could think of was Katie’s book. I knew I would be wrecked; I didn’t know how much.
The introduction had me in tears.
Each night after I read it, I wrestled with my own life. Every morning all I could think of was what she was waking up to. I shared with Filipe parts of it and when he realized the extent of her story, he too was overcome with amazement. He read a portion of it and was instantly in tears. We’ve prayed for her multiple nights together.
I finished the book last night, and while I’m still processing it all, my first gut reaction is this (right or not this was how I feel). I think many people in America interpret the Gospel in a figurative way while Christians like Katie interpret it in a literal way.
Here is one small example:
I sometimes got caught up in “I deserve this” moments; I still do. I have moments when I compare myself to others and trick myself into believing that I am doing pretty well. There are still moments when I believe I should be able to relax and do nothing some afternoons, instead of taking care of one more sick person. There are moments when I think that because I have worked hard all day, I deserve to be able to sit down and eat my food instead of answering the door for one more person who needs help.
The truth is that these thoughts are not at all scriptural. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that I deserve a reward here on earth. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do work at it with all your heart.” It does not end in “and after this hard work you deserve a long hot bath and some ‘me time’.” It does end with, “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
Oh how are lives could be if we would embrace Scripture at face value rather than reduce it down to how it fits into our comfort-driven culture.
Watch this video, read the book, and be touched, be challenged, but most of all be Jesus to those around you today no matter where you are in the world.