Ahhh. Have you stopped this morning and taken a moment to just breath? At the prompting of my wise husband, I stood on our back porch and breathed in the not quite winter yet not quite spring air. Almost immediately, my thoughts quieted and I gained perspective. This morning, my dear friend Erin, who is a beautiful soul and quite likely the sweetest woman I know, has agreed to share this space to talk a little about her love of books and how she as been impacted. She is a beautiful soul and quite likely the sweetest woman I know. May I encourage you to take a moment to breath and then join us.
Marissa’s blog is one of my favorite places to come every day because I knew her as a college pal, and through this blog I get to know her as a creative writer, thinker, mother and inspirational person in so many ways. I am honored to share a little about my favorite book.
As a freshman in Bible college, I had the typical first year courses but the one that I loved the most was Philosophy. I still think of reading a translation of “The Republic”-Plato, being inspired by Augustine’s “City of God”, and reading the dense writings of many of the recognizable philosophers (Kierkegaard, being one of them!). But it wasn’t until I had a professor who had studied extensively about Kierkegaard that I discovered a hero. There are two books that I would like to talk about.
Works of Love: by Søren Kierkegaard.
This is the book, (hands down!) besides the Bible that has impacted me. I know I can never recreate the circumstances when I read it for the first time, but it was a book that I needed to read. I was going through a break up and struggling with knowing how you are supposed to carry on the “love” that remains when someone leaves you behind. I will also say that I am never going to “get” Søren, so I love his writing on a very base and beginner level, but what I do get has impacted me greatly. This book is dense….386 pages…and I read it over a semester in which I was lucky enough to have weekly discussion groups, a professor who expanded the meaning more than I could ever have done on my own, and the interpretations of brilliant classmates (many of whom have gone on to get their Masters and Doctorates in Philosophy or other such things). But I can honestly say this book read to me as a devotional and a personal reminder that I struggle with “self-love” and that there is a higher love of “neighbour-love” that will take a lifetime to meditate and consider but that God requires of me.
A brief description of this book would be that it dismisses the idea of love as a feeling or emotion and introduced to me the theme of the “works of love”-(chapters such as-Love does not seek its own, Love hides a multitude of sins, Love abides, etc..) aka Love in Action.
A side note: One of the very first things my professor told us about Soren’s personal life was his tragic love story with Regine Olsen. This side of him has always been interesting to me and I don’t want to give too much away, but his choice to deny himself of loving Regine was a theme that was in many of his other books. I read this book, Loving Soren by Caroline Coleman O’Neill, a few years ago and the author wrote a much more accessible book about his love story. I absolutely loved reading this book, and lent it out to a friend who never returned it! I actually loved it so much that I emailed the author and she even wrote me back a few times!
My name is Erin Bredin and I live in PEI. I am a sub teacher and pray every day that someday soon I’ll have my own elementary classroom. I have taught English as a second language for the past three years, and one of them was in Japan. I am happiest when I get to spend time with my favorite people, visit a beautiful beach, talk about books and life, and playing with kids. I do have a blog that I haven’t written on very faithfully because I don’t have much traffic on it yet….but feel free to read what I have already…. http://beautifulbooksandotherinspirations.blogspot.com/.
In January as I was making my books to read in 2012 list (I am hoping to share it soon), Works of Love was one of the books on my list to read partly because I knew that it was one that had greatly impacted Erin. So I wasn’t surprised when this was the book that she chose to write about. Have any of you read this book? Is there a book that has greatly impacted you or one that you are hoping to read? We would love to hear your thoughts.