I was lent this book by chance because the family I work for knows I’m a Christian. Rob Bell is also a Christian, at least I was told he was, so there was a connective link that led them to believe that I’d enjoy his book. Now, I’m not 100% clear on his theology or anything, but let me tell you, after reading Drops Like Stars, I want to learn more about him. So often, I’ve felt that people “in the church” or “believers” or whatever we are, tend to sugarcoat things. Responses of “good” or “fine” pop up in conversations that I wish were more honest, open, and transparent. When I ask how you’re doing, it’s because I genuinely want to know how you are. It’s not a knee-jerk pleasantry, and frankly it bums me out when I get a glossy response. It sort of feels like being shut out.
Why does it matter to me? Well, in my seasons of suffering, tremendous pain, anxiety, and heart-wrenching anguish, I had people pull me out of my pit of “finedom”, people who begged me to open up and alleviate the pressure of keeping everything in. Questions about how I was doing was doing, forced me to be honest wand connect with them. Friends and family tethered themselves to my sinking ship and towed me back to the other side. I wasn’t alone in it. They weren’t alone in their seasons. We were in it together. Isn’t that what life’s about?
Today, I’m so grateful not only for those few that forced me to talk and listened for hours when the flood gates opened and the rushing words couldn’t be contained, but also for the suffering itself. Yep, really! I’m grateful for my suffering, because it bound me to people in a real way. It forced me to overcome. It made me cherish precious moments and marvel at seemingly mundane, regular occurrences. It compelled me, as Rob Bell puts it, “to eliminate the unnecessary, the trivial, and the superficial.”
Drops Like Stars is beautifully designed and powerfully written.
“Imagine being at a public event like a movie or game or play or religious service and before it starts, someone says to the crowd, ‘Please stand if you’ve been affected by cancer.’ What would you feel? Compassion? Empathy? Solidarity? Connection? Love? A setting of strangers and yet you mention cancer – a specific suffering – and there’s instantly a bond.
If someone said, ‘Please stand…if you’ve been to Hawaii’ or ‘Please stand … if you’ve had to fire your interior decorator’ or ‘Please stand…if you drive a station wagon,’ it just wouldn’t have the same effect, would it?
But suffering, suffering unites.”
This guy gets it.