Friday, November 07, 2008

A View From Behind

Last night between dinner and the next thing on our "date agenda" David and I were hanging out at Barnes & Noble. William Paul Young, author of The Shack was there - he gave a brief talk and then did a book signing. We found two overstuffed comfy chairs behind the book signing station and just watched the line of people for over an hour. It was incredible.

Person after person walked up to the table, introduced themselves, asked for Mr. Young to sign their book (or books - because clearly lots of Christmas shopping was being taken care of) with whatever inscription they needed. And then, they all began to tell a brief story of why the book had resonated with them. Stories of pain, grief, forgiveness, blessing and gratitude. He stood up from the table, hugged every one's neck and made them feel like he was there for them alone. Amazing.

I guess the thing I walked away with was a reminder that everyone has a story. One can not tell from our well protected and well decorated exteriors what is really going on in the heart. And then here and there, people find a safe place to share the burden or the blessing. I pray that I can be a safe place.

14 comments:

jeleasure said...

Sounds like something I would have done. I'm sure it was rewarding in some way to feel you could identify with this person through his book and see how genuine he was with all of the visitors he had.

TCS said...

great guy.

Doodlebug Gail said...

I'm almost finished with this book - quite amazing and gave me loads to think about.

jeleasure said...

Hi Arlene,
Here is another blog for you to check out. His name is Yung Suk Kim -click here to visit.
I believe he is an educator. I have enjoyed some of his blogs in the past. Visit his profile and read the one about Paul's Theology.
And, I know you are not an avid blogger. However, if you are up to it, ask him to exchange hosting a link.
Thanks,
Jim

Arlene Kasselman said...

Jim I read Yung Suk Kim's blog - thank you it was a great read!

Jim Martin said...

Arlene-- Thanks for relaying your experience at Barnes and Noble. I am about three-fourths of the way through this book. What you relate about Young only heightens my impression of his authenticity.

jeleasure said...

I really enjoyed this blog and I think you will also.
Center of Pauline Theology - This one is different, Arlene.
Jim
BTW If you would like to link up with Yung Suke, add his link to your page and then visit his at Engaged diversity. This is the one you visited earlier. and add your blog as one of his blog's followers on the upper right side bar.
Jim

Jennifer KB said...

You are definitely one of my "safe places"! I LOVE YOU!!!

jeleasure said...

Hi Arlene,
I met a blogger who is willing to join our network. Her name is Patricia Hickman - click here to go to her blog

Patricia is out of town currently. But, she said when she returns, she will want to try some serious blogging.
Jim P.S. Did you read my current blog. I think I may be writing another one tomorrow.

jeleasure said...

Hi Arlene,
Here is a blog link for you to check out. This person is willing to exchange hosting a link.
The blog is by Kermit the thinking frog
Thanks for your comment. I posted a comment in reply.
Jim

jeleasure said...

Arlene,
I got your message concerning the links. I would exchange links with as many as you can. Then, say to them that you will be around but don't have much time to devote to reading and commenting. I think everyone will understand that.
Links help bring your blog ratings up. And besides, there are some interesting and exciting people in the blogoshere who have some great knowledge.
Knowledge is what I blog for. I use blogging as a way to study and share my studies.
I'm cooking up somehthing I will post this evening.
Jim

Cassie said...

Hi Arlene,
LOVE that book! Didn't know he was doing a signing or I would have been there! What a neat experience you had!

Love, Cassie

P.s. I tagged you

Gena said...

Lane read it and loved it. I haven't read it yet, but I want to, eventually I guess! Thanks for all of your sweet, sweet words! You can be my mom anytime!!!

Great Googly Moogly! said...

I have almost finished "The Shack". We're studying it in our Wednesday evening home studies led by our pastor. Having read so many negative reviews of the book, I wasn't sure why we would be using it for our evening studies. It seemed like there were more "worthy" books to be studying.

But now, having almost finished it, I can honestly say that it is a very good book. While there may be some "irreverent" sounding moments in the book, and also some ambiguity, it is a fiction book, so we should cut him some slack. :-)

I thought his ideas concerning true humanity were spot on and the way he understands the relationship within the Trinity and, therefore, between us and the Trinity I found to be very Biblical. Sometimes I think that people don't even read a book before they slam it!

Anyway, nice post. Before I read the book I probably wouldn't have even taken the time to go see him; now, however, I would stop by just to say "hello".

GGM

btw--I just responded to your comment at my place.