Thoreau went to the woods to suck the marrow out of life; here, I hope to drain every drop from the books I read, rather than tossing them aside and saying vaguely, “Oh yes, I read that once,” when they come up in conversation.
I’m a Christ-follower, a wife, a mother, a wannabe novelist (with a complete manuscript, no less!), and—of course—a reader. Stick around, poke around, speak up, and enjoy…and definitely recommend your favorites, because my mile-long to-be-read list could always be longer!
Classic Monday: Fishie, chapter 7!
Classic Mondays are posts about whatever classic work of literature I happen to be reading at the time. I shoot for reading five chapters a week (one per weekday), then share what I have read here. Mostly, this is for my own benefit as a “reading log” of sorts,but those who need a little help through these sometimes-intimidating books or want to know more about them before diving in may find these posts useful. But be warned: full disclosure and lots of spoilers ahead!
Well, I really didn’t expect to be able to write today: my family was supposed to be in-state to visit a culinary school my little brother is interested in (oh to have a chef in the family–I can hardly wait!), and we were going to join them in that city for a little hotel getaway.
And then they got snowed in. And our getaway went Poof. So long. Sayonara. No pool time, along-with-the-hubster time, no visit-with-mom time, no dinner out, no free continental breakfast.
Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.
So, chapter seven of The Big Fisherman is all I got through this week, but it was pretty good.
The beginning follows Fara on a visit to the home of David, the Sadducee who suspects who she is. Alone in the garden, she confesses everything to him–even her plans to kill Antipas the Tetrach, her father. David advises against it, stating that it is impossible…unless she were to work at the palace. Later, we find out that she has taken a position there at David’s urging (so it’s obvious he’s not a huge fan of Antipas–though the book shows that nobody is). Hannah worries about Fara because the palace is such a morally compromised place, and that is all we see of Fara for now.
Simon has once again gone in search of the Carpenter (that is, Jesus), and his heart seems to be changing: when he sees the crippled and lame who are searching for Jesus, Simon hopes that He is the real deal because he pities them. And doesn’t every follower of Christ know this feeling? The deep-down heart change that can’t be explained until Jesus grabs hold?
While Simon is trying to find Jesus, he has a brush with a prince: Joseph of Arimathea. The author portrays him as young and arrogant, angry at Simon when he alludes to the fact that the Carpenter pities the rich. Joseph and his men follow the crowd, too, to listen.
The way the author describes Jesus’ preaching is reason alone to read this book. If you haven’t already gotten the hint from my previous posts, you must read this book. Anyway…as the sermon draws to a close, a woman asks Simon to help get her blind daughter to Jesus to be healed. The crowd is too thick, so Simon takes the girl in his arms and pushes through. He sees Jesus face-to-face for the first time and the author’s description gave me chills:
“And now–now–at last–he stood face to face with the strange man of Nazareth, close enough to have touched him….He looked down into a pair of tranquil, steady, earnestly inquiring eyes. They held him fast; they brightened with a friendly smile, almost as if two long-time companions were meeting after a separation….
It was such a gentle gesture that it seemed like a caress when Jesus laid his hand lightly upon the little girl’s eyes….At the touch of Jesus’ hand, she relaxed and drew a babyish sigh of relief and reassurance. Simon’s eyes suddenly swam blindingly as Jesus’ forearm rested on his own. It was a strange sensation. he knew now what it was that had suddenly soothed the child and freed her of her fears.
Jesus was praying. He had closed his eyes, and was praying in a soft voice barely above a whisper. His prayer was made to his “Father,” and it was as if they two were closeted together in some secret place. In a tone of intimate companionship and confidence he asked his Father to give this little one her sight, for it was through no fault of hers that she could not see. Then–and there was a note of sadness and longing in his voice–he prayed that all men everywhere, groping in the shadows, might be led into the bright sunshine of his Father’s love….
Simon thought he couldn’t bear it–when it happened. He gasped involuntarily and stifled a sob. The incredible thing had happened! It was impossible–but it had actually happened! Jesus had gently moved his hand from the child’s eyes and…she had slowly raised her wondering eyes to his–and smiled. Then, turning her head, she gazed bewilderedly into Simon’s face; and, seeing his tears, her own little eyes overflowed.
As I said before, you must read this book. And even the haughty Joseph of Arimathea was amazed by the things he saw. As the story gets better and better, you can bet I’ll have more chapters to report on next Monday!