So I was ecstatic to be a part of her launch team for her new book "Falling Free." I started reading awhile ago, but in the last few days, I've whizzed through her words letting her words sink straight into my heart. Even now, a few hours after finishing the book, I am feeling all the feels.
Anyone who knows me know that my passion is to be welcoming to all God's people; the downtrodden, the mentally ill, and so many others. So when I read the following quote in Shannan's book: "God is found in the homeless stranger, the hunger-cramped neighbor, the thirsty traveler, the shackled and forgotten,"
I was immediately sold. Because that is the truth, my friends, I too believe that God is often found in the unlikiest among us. So as Shannan reminds us: "[God] demands that I love my neighbor---my orphan neighbor, my starving neighbor, my imprisoned neighbor, my living-off-the-system neighbor--as much as I love myself."
But that is only the beginning of what touched my heart, the part of the book that melted me into a puddle of tears was all of Shannan's beautiful descriptions of community. I am a girl who loves community; who loves being surrounded by people from all over the world. There is something incredibly holy about sharing our stories with one another. For it is in community; the church, Wartburg Seminary, online communities and so many more where I have been shaped myself. I've learned that is worth the risk to be fully and completely who God created me to be.
These are some of my favorite quotes from the book about community. "To be in community is to be painfully aware of our unlovability but to offer ourselves anyway"
"If community is the heartbeat of the gospel, hospitality is the hand that opens the door and waves it in,"
This is best summed up in this quote: "Let's not let fear stop us from being the good news to a world desperate to be known by God's love." Yes let's do and be those kind of people; people who aren't afraid to be and show their true selves sharing God with all the world.
I am linking up with Anita and Carol and the Inspire Me Monday linkup, Holly and Testimony Tuesday, Kelly and the RaRa linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart,
and Kristin and Three Word Wednesday.