Monday, January 16, 2006

Blue Like Monday Mornings...

Blue Like Jazz Chapter 1 -- Beginnings: God on a Dirt Road Walking Toward Me

Even before the first chapter begins, Miller was able to grab my thoughts in his Author Notes. It is there where he eludes to his thoughts on Jazz music, which helps to set the stage for the title of his book.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.

Wow. So true. It really is true that you can watch someone else lavish in the depths of appreciation for something and it can make you fall in love yourself! While I do not believe the person showing you their love has to be someone you know personally for this to work, as it was not for Miller, I do think the power is stronger when it is someone you have a connection with already.

Think about it. I’m sure we all have examples of this happening in our lives. I know I have. And while this is probably a poor example, one that just came to my mind because of its recent occurrence is how I have recently fallen in love with a couple songs because I saw how a friend of mine who was going through a hard time fell in love with them because of the lyrics and meaning they brought for her. One being a song I had never heard before because it has not been released on radio yet, but I just got the cd for Christmas—Starts with Goodbye by Carrie Underwood, and one that I’ve heard several times in the past, but had forgotten about and never really taken the time to listen to the words and appreciate the meaning—Look Away by Chicago.


It was then in the first chapter that I came across a point by Miller that I had never had cross my mind before, but I found it very interesting to think about.

Today I wonder why it is God refers to Himself as “Father” at all. This, to me, in light of the earthly representation of the role, seems a marketing mistake. Why would God want to call Himself Father when so many fathers abandon their children?

VERY interesting to me. Miller has quite a point. I think about it and I think, “Yes, so if God is all powerful and perfect in every way, why WOULD he choose an ‘earthly’ title for Himself?” When you tie a title like “Father” to Him, that seems to liken him to other “fathers,” such as the earthly fathers, which Miller is sure to point out how many fathers have fallen victim to sins such as abandonment and other sins.

But then I think, is this a way to bring God down to a human level of comprehension. A way to try to make man capable of understanding him. A way to sort of help to give an idea of the type of relationship God wants with man. But if that is the case, then for those who have experienced forms of abandonment or abuse or other tragedies from their earthly fathers, that is not showing a type of relationship I think God has in mind.

I don’t know…I just really liked that point and it made me think. If you have more to say on the topic, do share. I’m just pointing out some interesting parts, whether I know what I think on them or not.


I realized, late that night, that other people had feelings and fears and that my interactions with them actually meant something, that I could make them happy or sad in the way that I associated with them. Not only could I make them happy or sad, but I was responsible for the way I interacted with them. I suddenly felt responsible. I was supposed to make them happy. I was not supposed to make them sad. Like I said, it sounds simple, but when you really get it for the first time, it hits hard.

You have to relate to Miller there. Honestly, I can remember a specific time when that hit me for the first time, because it has probably been a few years back, but we are constantly being reminded of this.

I guarantee there are people in your life that you probably do not even realize that your actions are having such an influence on them. We are being watched and looked at constantly. What we say or do does have the power of making someone else happy or sad.

We are all capable of looking out for our self and living life so it is focused on us and behaving in manners that are pleasing to ourselves, but it takes a humble person to behave in a manner that is pleasing to our self and those with which we interact. We sometimes do need to be reminded that we can take responsibility for how we interact with others and realize that our actions can make or break someone’s day.


This was a different sort of guilt from anything I had previously experienced. It was a heavy guilt, not the sort of guilt that I could do anything about. It was a haunting feeling, the sort of sensation you get when you wonder whether you are two people, the other of which does things you can’t explain, bad and terrible things.

That’s hard. Guilt can be hard, but not just any guilt, that different sort of guilt that is heavy. This thought can go back to the above discussed point, where we can feel so guilty when we realize what hurt we have caused someone else because of our interactions.

Can you relate to that feeling of feeling like how you behaved was in a manner that you did not even think you were capable of? As if you do have another person that is a part of you. Sometimes we say things that at the time seem like the best thing to say, or seem fine to say, but it is later when we reevaluate it that we can be hit with the guilt. The feeling of who was I when I said that? Who was I when I did that?

I sometimes wonder if people who are sitting in punishment, whether it be in time-out, detention, or behind bars, if they ever wonder, who was I when got myself into this situation?

This somewhat ties to these thoughts, but it was recently that I heard on television someone make the comment that we are all capable of being murderers. Yes, murderers; those for which many believe to be the worst “type” of people out there.

We all are pretty much physically capable of murder. That would make us all potential murderers. We each have the potential to kill. Daily you are interacting with potential murderers. So it’s scary to think maybe we have another person within us that might act on that potential. Maybe that is what happened for some who find themselves asking, who was I?

[Note: All the above text in smaller italic print has been quoted directly from Donald Miller’s "Blue Like Jazz"]


Amanda said...

(These are just quick thoughts on your thoughts)
I was hoping you would bring up the "God as Father" concept. I say this becuase this whole imagery has been troubling to me ever since I was first introduced to this in the Bible. To me what is troubling about his imagery is that it is restrictive and to me it is incomplete. You can not use the imagery of God as the Father alone becuase then you leave out the Mother. But, even this is confining.

We forget that God does name Himself, He told Moses his name is "I Am." I Am is constent, it is being, there is no end, it keeps going. God is very philosphical. But, this stirs into issues that would take pages to write so I will quickly move on.

What worries me are people who have no concept that their actions and words affect others. People who do not have that perception can be frightening. But most of us do and to me that is a motivation to think before I act or speak. But it also a motivation to delve into who I am and who I want to be.

Guilt is very powerful. If you allow it to control you then you can become a puppet to other people's feelings and can lose yourself to to pleasing others. If you ignore it you can become monstorous and posionous to alot of people.

Again just quick thoughts, don't have much time or space at the moment to flesh them out.

FeedingYourMind said...

Good points.

As I too don't have much time at the moment, I will say this...

Yes, I love your point about, "Guilt is very powerful. If you allow it to control you then you can become a puppet to other people's feelings and can lose yourself to to pleasing others."

I didn't think of that when I was commenting on that point made by Miller, but you are definitely right. And the sad and scary part is that there ARE people out there that use the power of guilt to control people. That's so sad.

Jennifer said...

Sorry I haven't commented. I wanted to do this along with you, but my brother has my book. As soon as I get it back, I'll be on with you!