Random Notes From What I’m Reading

The story of my life is the story of my faith…

Archive for the ‘Ned Erickson’ Category

Beauty In Brokeness

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“Once there was a beautiful Chinese vase. It had pictures of little children and dragon tails and little firework explosions. It was a very expensive vase, and one day it fell – shattered into a thousand pieces. I was very sad because it was very beautiful. But when everything broke, the inside was revealed: there was a candle, a burning candle. I wondered how the candle got inside and how it had survived the fall. I watched it, wondering if there anything I could do, when a pair of hands appeared from outside the picture. I didn’t see a body, just a pair of strong hands. One by one they put the pieces back together. The glass cut his fingers, but he kept working on the vase. I never saw his face, only his hands. And when the vase was complete, it was more beautiful than before because the light shone through the cracks. Oh, it was beautiful.”

Ned Erickson in Falling Into Love

Written by Ryan

August 21, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Why Do Expectations Increase?

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A running joke I have with buddies is that we should never open up with a big gift with a new girl that we’re dating. No¬† matter how much we’re digging them, or how much we want to impress them, I’ve learned that we need to start small and build our way up.

Why? Because if you show up with a huge gift for one occasion and then show up with a small or medium gift for the next event (birthday, Valentines day, anniversary) you will undoubtabely find yourself in the doghouse. Something I learned an early age is that when dating someone you always need to be upping the ante.

I never understood why dating is like this, but now it all clicks after I was given yet another “ah hah” moment while reading Falling Into Love:

Why do expectations increase? Why can’t one perfect day of romance be enough? Del Amitri, one of my favourite songwriters, sings, “Life isn’t worth living without a little love, but a little love is never enough.” He couldn’t have sung or written it better. We all want more. We always want more. We are never loved enough.

Lia’s never satisfied. I’m never satisfied. You’re never satisfied. Our dog is never satisfied.

I have a theory about this. I may be way off, but here it is: each one of us have an infinte need for love. We will never receive enough love to quench the need inside. We will always hunger for me. Kind of depressing.

Ah! But here’s a thought: we were made this way on purpose. God created us this way for a reason – not because He is mean, but because he has an infinite supply of love. Only a heart big enough to hold an infinite supply is big enough to receive an infinite supply. He wants us to receive all of His love. So He made our Hearts big enought to fit Him – large enough to hold all of His love.

So the love I’m used to chasing after won’t be enough, even if I catch it. It won’t completely satisfy. I might satiate my appetitet for a day, even a year – it might satisfy me like a Snickers – but sooner or later I’ll be hungry again.

I am hungry all the time. I have love-hunger comparable to the appetite of a Tryanusaurus Rex.

But I believe one day all this will change. One day, down this road called, for a lack of a better word, Life, I’m going to sit down to a feast. This, by the way, is the description Jesus gives of heaven. And a voice will say, “Come. Eat. Be satisfied.” And I will soak in the spread, which will contain all of my favourite stuff. It’s going to be lovefood. and I’m going to pig out… forget the silverware. I’m going to eat like a viking. It’s going to be perfect.

Until then, I’ll suffer and starve through imperfect Valentine’s Days, and poor Lia will suffer and stave through Valentine’s Day disappointments. I guess we’ll just hunger together until we enter that corner cubicle penthouse in the sky and eat the food of Life – eat until we’re full, and never want again.

Written by Ryan

August 20, 2007 at 11:42 am

GI Joes and Love

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“We play with our hearts like we play with GI Joes and Barbie dolls. In our ignorance, we do not know the difference.”

Ned Erickson in Falling Into Love

Written by Ryan

August 18, 2007 at 11:39 am

Sniper

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Have you ever been reading through a book and had a “busted” moment? I had one this past week while reading through Ned Erickson’s book Falling Into Love and I feel like a huge schmuck.

Check out this excerpt and you’ll know what I mean:

I was a sniper.

The woman sitting next to a vacant seat on an airplane, the ringless lady testing apples in the produce department of the supermarket, the passion and purity girl praising the almighty and merciful Father on Sunday morning – they were all considered through my cross hairs.

This is embarrassing to admit, but I could be in a convenience store lifting a Yoo-hoo! from behind a fogging glass door down the row. In ten seconds I could (in my mind) pick her up, go on a series of dates, propose, get married, have 2.5 kids, become grandparents, join a retirement community and die.

Is this just something that guys do? Or, even worse, are Ned and I the only ones who do this?

Written by Ryan

August 17, 2007 at 11:31 am

Typical Conversations

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I think every guy that’s been in a long term relationship will get a good laugh out of this excerpt from Falling Into Love:

“Hey Leela, where do you want to eat tonight?”

“I don’t care. You decide.”

“I don’t care, either.”

“Well then, just pick a place.”

“Okay. Let’s go to Brother’s Barbeque.”

“Naw,” says Lia.

“How about El Taco?” I propose.

“Naw. I’m not in the mood for Mexican.”

“We could go to Pasquini’s Pizzeria.”

“I don’t really want Italian tonight.”

“Leela, I though you didn’t care.”

“I don’t, but you haven’t said Swing Thai yet.”

“If you wanted to go to Swing Thai, why didn’t you say so?”

Lia says, “Because I want you to want the same thing I want.”

I huff. “So basically, you want a mind reader for a husband.”

“No, I just want a husband who knows me.”

“All right, next time you tell me to pick, I’ll choose Swing Thai.”

“But next time I might not want to go there.”

“So how am I supposed to know where you want to go?” I ask.

“You’re just supposed to know. If you take the time to make sure we are on the same page, you will just know.”

I almost quip, “So what you’re saying is, the same page really means your page.”

But I’m hungry.

So instead I say, “Well, I actually wanted to go to Swing Thai in the first place. I was simply testing to make sure that I was right. Turns out, I was. Isn’t that crazy? We both wanted to eat Taiwanese food.”

“Liar,” she says. “And by the way, Thai food is from Thailand.”

“Let’s just eat,” I say, fooled again.

She smiles.

Leela grabs her purse, I grab the keys, and we drive two miles north to good old Swing Thai. And it doesn’t bother me at all that we’re not going tot Brother’s Barbeque and El Taco or Pasquinin’s, because between Leela and me, I was the one who really didn’t care where we ate.

Written by Ryan

August 16, 2007 at 12:28 am

Falling Into Love

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This week I picked up Ned Erickson’s book Falling Into Love and I have a confession to make – I’m really enjoying this book despite it’s brutal title. Usually I stay far away from books that have to deal with dating advice (I blame Josh Harris for this) or falling in love (do any guys enjoy these kinds of books?) but I’ve really enjoyed the stories Ned has used about dating Lia and as a writer he does a great job of painting visual images in my head.

One of my favourite parts from early in the book is when Ned wrote:

The only truth we have found is that we have tripped over and fallen into. And I guess that’s the point.

Love is what happens. It is not something you conjure or create. You cannot manufacture it. You cannot make it happen. It is like falling: it is out of control. You do not climb into love or fly into love or even walk into it. You fall into love: love bruises and bumps and breaks.

Falling is rather painful. You fall down stairs. You fall into the hands of robbers. You fall short. Acorns fall and hit your head. Vases fall and shatter on the floor. Hereos fall. Empires fall. Planes without motors fall. And even if the falling part doesn’t get you, the landing part will.

But love is different than stairs and empires and planes without motors. Love bruises and bumps, but it also holds. Love is like a pair of hands. They may break you into a thousand pieces, but they can also put your pieces back together.

What are some books that have pleasantly surprised you?

Written by Ryan

August 15, 2007 at 4:13 pm