I can appreciate simple metaphors. I sometimes really enjoy little one-sentence summaries that boil down a complex idea into a quip. “Kill two birds with one stone” means “be resourceful” or “be effective” or something like that. “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” means “it’s not impossible but when you focus on money, etc it’s more difficult to keep the Kingdom in your sights.” To that end, I appreciated Jason Dukes book “Live Sent: You are a letter.”
One concept that this book helped elucidate (nice, huh?) a little bit more for me was the semantical relationship involved in letter writing (and, by extension, Christian living): what I understand of myself as a letter or what’s written inside me and how someone perceives me as a letter and (again, by extension) the author as a writer or how they interpret what’s they’re “reading.”
What I mean is, I can think that I have the manifesto of God written in me but, if the language (and life) that is used to express the letter do not reflect the intentions of the writer than my letter gets misread. Conversely, I could be a pretty terrible letter and that’s going to affect how people perceive me (as a Christian) and thus the God I claim to represent.
I appreciated that Jason didn’t spend too much time defining the language, font, style, and layout that our letter has to be written. He was more playful than that.
All that being said, I have to say that I think that this book was too long. The simplicity of this metaphor could have been accurately represented in fewer pages. I’m saying this not because I wanted to read less but because there was a significant amount of time spent being somewhat tangential. In some books, that sort of stream-of-consciousness is appropriate and makes the writer more familiar. It kind of detracted from the message for me.
As always, I’d still recommend reading this book. Jason seems very well grounded. His life, mission and message are appropriate and timely. Today, many people are getting “Dear John” letters from God because of who they are. Let’s be more “John you are dear to me” letters.
Christ’s peace and God’s shalom.