There is a small bookshelf in the lobby of the Miracle Sports office. On the left side of the top shelf you will find a red, ceramic bowl. The bowl is in front of a book that gripped me like no other book has done before. They are connected. A bowl like the one on the book shelf was used to feed Oliver De Vinck and the book tells his story.
The Power of the Powerless: A Brother’s legacy of love was written in 1988 by Oliver’s brother, Christopher. One day I picked up the book and read the back cover; Ronald Reagan is quoted there, “We sometimes fall into the habit of thinking that the weakest among us, like your brother, Oliver, are a burden we must socially bear. But you show us that they can teach us the deepest lessons of love.” I was intrigued, but in a hurry so I put the book back behind the bowl and went about my day. I looked at that bowl, standing sentry in front of the book, every time I passed the book shelf and one day I picked the book up again.
I began reading the foreward, then the introduction, then the entire first chapter, but I had to put it down. I wanted to underline everything so I ordered a copy and immersed myself in the story. I struggle to find the words to describe how the book makes me feel, but I know that it makes me feel. We will be talking a lot about Oliver, and Christopher, and you, and me. Oliver’s story led me to Adam’s story because of Henri Nouwen.
Adam and Henri weren’t biological brothers, but they grew to become brothers just the same. Henri was a highly respected and accomplished theologian and professor. Adam was severly disabled. Henri lived in the world of Academia and thrived in lecture halls. Adam lived in the world of L’Arche and was totally dependant on others. When Henri decided to step away from the podium and into L’Arche his life was totally filpped upside down and Adam was the reason why. I found myself drawn into another story that made me feel. As I read Nouwen’s words I was stirred in the deepest parts of my soul. I’m not even sure what that means, but I know it’s true. Adam: God’s Beloved is as underlined as The Power of the Powerless. Every chapter, nearly every page, contains an idea that made me pause. I read, I thought, I underlined. Now I want to share Adam and Oliver with you.
We are going on a journey, you and I. Oliver and Adam will be our guides and, frankly, I have no idea where they will take us, but we’re going. I would like for you to pick up a copy of both of these books and read them. I’ll be using passages from the books as jumping off points for my blogs as we take this journey together and I’d love for you to have as much context as possible. Read The Power of the Powerless first, because Oliver will be our first guide.
Feel free to come along, even if you don’t have the books yet. You will be able to take the journey with us, but you need the books to take full advantage of the trip. Think of it like taking shore excursions on a cruise. Also, I am really hoping that you be an active participant in this journey by commenting along the way. Each post will offer a view and I’m eager to hear your thoughts on what you see.
Finally, I hope you will share this journey with others. Drag your spouse along, grab a friend and continue the journey over a coffee, take the trip with your child, or simply broadcast it to the facebook world. Trips are always better with a friend anyway.
In the book of Genesis, Abraham was told to go but he had no idea to where he was going. You are in a similar place. I cannot tell you where we are going, but I am inviting you to come. It’s killing me not to write more, but I’ll get to it in the next post.
Your first task is to let me know if your coming. I’m looking forward to your R.S.V.P.