ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, November 18   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Media
Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

This is a fascinating world

Graceful writing is for the courageous few.
CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 12 MAY 2018 17:00 h GMT+1

I’m reading a book that makes me giggle, tear up, or draw smiley faces at seemingly every other page: Gilead, by Marylinne Robinson.



A Pulitzer Prize winner, it is a long letter written by an elderly father to his six-year old son, to be read when he grows up.



It is a novel that conveys grace, simplicity, holiness. It is at once so modest, yet so moving. Take, for instance, this passage:



I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle… You’re a nice-looking boy, a bit slight, well scrubbed and mannered. All that is fine, but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.[1]


A novel fueled by domestic memories and a saintly narrator – that is so difficult to achieve as a writer. Evil sells, as I’ve written before. Throw in some murders, violence and greed: there’s an easy novel. 



But how refreshing is to read a novel that mentions war – the narrator’s grandfather loses one of his eyes during the American Civil War – to have him say as his first words to his son, “I am confident that I will find great blessing in it.” Graceful writing is for the courageous few.



Or take this other example. The narrator is an elderly reverend who includes reminiscences also about his ministry career.



When people come to speak to me, whatever they say, I am struck by a kind of incandescence in them, the ‘I’ whose predicate can be ‘love’ or ‘fear’ or ‘want,’ and whose object can be ‘someone’ or ‘nothing’ and it won’t really matter, because the loveliness is just in that presence, shaped around ‘I’ like a flame on a wick… To see this aspect of life is a privilege of the ministry which is seldom mentioned.[2]


As a pastor myself, I’ve often let myself be distracted by the beauty of the people that come to see me. There’s the guy who lost his girlfriend and can’t see a ray of light in the sky; the person who is just starting to discover God and in a moment of passion says, “Man, Jesus is…” and then comes a word not fit for print.



Some time ago a couple came to ask if I could marry them. I suggested some steps to first put their situation right with God and before the law–but they went ahead anyway and got married on Facebook. Isn’t that adorable? I’m still laughing at that one.



You see a group of people so sweet in their singularity, and I feel such a gladness to be in their presence, that sometimes I say a quick prayer just to thank God for being alive.



This is an interesting planet”, writes the narrator in Gilead. “It deserves all the attention you can give it.”[3]



Yup, it surely does.



[1] Marylinne Robinson, Gilead (New York: Picador, 2004), 52-53.



[2] Ibid., 44-45.



[3] Ibid., 28.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - This is a fascinating world
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

 
The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.