The book? A classic in Christian biography ... God's Smuggler, the tale of Brother Andrew and post WWII behind the Iron Curtain.
The following excerpt is Brother Andrew's assessment of a Kingdom couple (Abraham & wife) who had willingly and joyfully given up everything in communist Bulgaria, in the late 1950 or early 60's, for the sake of the glory and kingdom of Christ in a time when to be Christian was outright blasphemy against the "State."
It was 2 hours including the rest stops for us, before we rounded a rocky ledge, stepped behind a screen of wind-twisted pines, and were standing in front of the goatskin tent where Abraham lived. He looked more than ever the Biblical patriarch as he welcomed us to his home. In a moment his wife had stepped outside, as composed as though visitors were dropping into their mountain hide-away every day. She was as tiny as her husband was big, a slender erect little woman with skin like wrinkled parchment. Only their eyes were alike, blue, childlike, trusting. I looked at this woman who had once had a house replete with rugs, cupboards, linens - servants, probably, for they had been well-to-do - and though that I had never seen a face more content with what life had brought (pg164).This is why I was so struck by this particular paragraph, outside of the unimaginable consequence they were facing as Christians. Recently - yesterday - I signed papers for what is to become mine and Meredith's home. We are so excited, and so so grateful for all the provision that has preceded this moment so that we can afford a home in Virginia Beach. More than that, on our fairly modest budget (by relative standards) we are getting a lot of house - that is not bragging unless it be bragging on behalf of the Lord's grace toward us.
I guess what gets me, is that as Mere and I talked about what we want verse need in a house, our standards from the get go were fairly high. And here, these warriors from the past are showing me that even what we need, is not what we think. I am not saying that just because they lived in a goatskin tent, that Mere and I should, or anyone else for that matter ... because the point is not what we choose to live in or with, but how we submit and follow the Lord. I just know, based on what we both want in our home (which, the Lord provided more than our wants even), that it would be hard to lose the little we have and move into a goatskin tent on the side of mountain for the sake of the Lord's work. It just is a massive dose of perspective in a world with less and less true perspective.
Having said that, we have high high hopes that what has been provided for us - our incomes and home, talents and time - that we will honor the Lord greatly and that our home will shine as a house where all are welcome, where the hungry get fed, the weary find rest, and whatever else. And those are not just cliché phrases, I mean that. I desire to find the balance of opening our home to those in need, for the sake of the name of Christ. That is, we both want to be good stewards of what the Lord has provided.
So I ask myself, what I am willing to give up for the sake of the Lord? Will I follow Him wherever - EVERY WHERE - He might take our family? What about you?