The Key to Something

August 12, 2009 | My Jottings

I just read a book I loved called Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. It’s a series of topical essays by a very funny, candid Christian man whose political beliefs are not my own, but that doesn’t matter to me. I laughed out loud and cried a lot while reading this book, and one section moved me so profoundly I knew I wanted to share about it.

I was going to actually quote one paragraph from the book, and naturally give credit to Donald Miller, but when I emailed Thomas Nelson Publishers just to make sure I was doing it right, they promptly wrote back and said I couldn’t quote the paragraph at all. Even though it would have been a glowing blog post, I can’t quote it word for word. So that means I have to convey what the paragraph in the book said, using my own words to retell it, and, loquacious person that I am, it might not be as concise. But it’s worth the telling, I think.


Apparently a friend of Donald Miller’s, a man named Alan, decided to go around the country and interview the heads of big ministries, to find out why they were doing what they were doing, and what made their ministries so successful. This didn’t sound very interesting to the author of Blue Like Jazz until his friend started talking about the part where he sat down with Dr. Bill Bright, former head of Campus Crusade for Christ. Alan said that Dr. Bright met with him to answer questions, and always looked him in the eye when he responded. At the end of the interview, Alan concluded by asking him, “What does Jesus mean to you?” And he said that this large, powerful man who sat behind a large desk as the founding president of a huge and effective ministry, couldn’t answer at first. Dr. Bright’s eyes filled up with tears and he began to cry.

Donald Miller was deeply moved that someone would love Jesus so much, that just to hear the mention of His name would make him weep. He wondered if Dr. Bright was either a fruit nut or someone who knew Jesus so well that it was all he could do to keep it together when he thought of what Christ meant to him.

Donald Miller wrote that he would like to love Jesus like that too. He mused that knowing Jesus so intimately and loving Him so utterly might just be the key to something.

I can’t get this out of my mind.

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