The walk worth taking

I'm glad that a friend recommended that I read And Walk in Love by Henrietta Buckmaster. Ms. Buckmaster wrote several novels and other books, and for a number of years edited The Christian Science Monitor's "Home Forum." I found a copy of her long-out-of-print 1956 novel through an online used book dealer. And Walk in Love takes its title from a line in St. Paul's letter to the early church at Ephesus, a city in ancient Asia Minor/modern Turkey. The story narrates Paul's life from before his conversion to Christianity to his last days in a Roman prison. Paul encouraged the Ephesian followers of "the Way" to be "followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us ..." (5:1, 2).

To a first-century A.D. Christian, the term walk—peripateo in the Greek—would have meant more than covering ground on foot. It also had to do with uncovering your inner landscape—with how you conduct your life and the choices you make; with whether you respond to the Spirit and do good things that benefit a community, or follow base instincts and do self-absorptive and ultimately self-defeating things.

Paul's life is like a good book that stirs the heart and moves us from wishing to doing. Like a first exposure to midday sunlight in the tropics, his example makes us squint in momentary blindness from the intensity, but eventually that light becomes a comfort, a friend in all its glaring honesty.

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Items of interest
Items of interest
June 13, 2005

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