A couple of weeks ago, Waterbrook sent me an email asking if I'd like a copy of Robert Benson's new book, The Echo Within. "Um, yeah!" I typed back as quickly as my fingers could move. Of course, they wanted me to review it in exchange, which I totally would have done anyway. (And I would've bought the book for myself anyway too, but shhh! don't tell them that!)
If you've read The Simple Wife for very long, if you've looked at my bookshop over on Amazon, or if you've read any of my books, Robert's name should be familiar to you. I like to quote him. A lot.
(Totally an aside here... I can write; I consider myself a writer. But Robert can WRITE. He's definitely in the poet class of writers. And someday, I'd like to write even a little bit as well as he does. I'm sure he may read this and blush, but it's very, very true.)
I'll just tell you to go buy every single one of his books, because I promise that you'll love every single one of his books. You'll underline and highlight and feel that yes in your heart as you read and scribble in the margins. You'll want to lend them to your friends but hesitate because you'll be desperate to get them back. And be sure to get a copy of The Night of the Child on CD for listening to on Christmas Eve too.
I'm blessed to know Robert in real life and wish he lived close enough to come for Sunday dinner and perhaps a walk down by the creek. And as I told him, I really did intend to read this book slowly, to savor it as it deserves. But I devoured it all too quickly as usual. Which simply means that I'm excited to go back for slow seconds. Because the books we love are meant to be read again and again.
Here's what this book has meant to me. It's made me stop and think about my dreams. Those kinds of dreams deep in my heart that I'm almost afraid to tell anyone about. Those "in my wildest dreams" kinds of dreams.
It's made me consider that those dreams were put in my heart by God, that different parts of my life are working together to bring those dreams to reality. That those dreams are part of not just who I am but why I am.
In the past week or two since I read the book, I'm seeing how those dreams are being fed by my experiences, by what I'm learning in seminary, by the things I love. I'm seeing that God doesn't waste anything--and that he's using all the bits and pieces to build into those dreams he dreamed in me.
"We dream a dream, and it does not easily come true, and we conclude that perhaps it was not what God meant for us after all. But I suspect far too many of us give up on our dreams far too soon."