I invited Claire DeBoer to share her reflections on Prototype as part of our #transitlounge book club. Claire and I are both contributors to SheLoves Magazine, which is how we first met. But I believe it was our time on African soil this summer that birthed our heart connection. Claire writes with a passion and for a living, she moves with everyday elegance and is her most lovely when sharing her own story. I’m honored to call her a henna sister – and to share her voice here today.
Who are you?
I love Jonathan Martin’s style. I love that the first words of Prototype are “Who are you?”
Who am I indeed?
I could run a mile. Because I don’t know the answer to the question. But when I read Jonathan’s words, I feel like I could be sitting across from him on my favorite couch at my local Wired Monk coffee house. Barefoot, toes curled underneath my calves.
That’s how comfortable I am.
But my comfort wanes when he starts talking about those childhood experiences that connected him to God; namely, when he was a boy riding his bicycle.
I didn’t have a boy on the bike or a girl on a trampoline experience— a time when I have felt fully alive or awake in the presence of God. In fact, I can’t remember a single experience when I’ve felt naturally connected to God. I ache to have that feeling of homecoming.
I shuffle in my seat, afraid the book may be “too good” for me.
But there’s something about Jonathan’s honesty, the richness of his experiences intertwined with his brokenness. The fact that he knows in the midst of not having it all figured out that he is fully embraced by God. There’s something about his vulnerability that keeps me reading.
And these words bring me to the edge of my seat:
“What if it were possible to be so truly and fully alive—so fully human—that no matter what happened, you would be able to live without fear?”
I’m holding my breath. So inviting. So provocative.
How can I be more like Jesus?
This sentence nearly had me on the floor:
“…what set Jesus apart was the deep understanding and trust He had that He was loved by God the Father.”
So simple, and yet so inexorably complex.
Because to believe such a statement is to give myself completely to the will of God. Yet in the capacity of human—a very broken human at that—to die to self seems like an impossibility.
Jesus did show us new way to be human. But as I read these simple words, I’m not sure how to translate them to my life.
I loved Jonathan’s thoughts on community. Things have happened in my church lately that have made me question and doubt it’s core identity. But Jonathan’s words on community helped me to see my naivety, that church is full of broken people, not perfect Christians.
I cannot expect perfection. I can choose to move forward in love and faith, knowing that my church and all churches are seated in the hands of God.
Claire is offering her response to the reading of Prototype by Jonathan Martin, the August selection for the #transitlounge book club. (Link up here!)
Claire De Boer is a Writer, Editor and Mentor from Vancouver, BC. Her passion is to help others find spiritual growth and self-development using writing as a therapeutic process. Claire teaches students of Creative Writing at Simon Fraser University and is also working on both a memoir and fiction novel. Follow her journey at www.clairejdeboer.com.