A while back I read this by Albert Mohler: “In times past, readers kept books in which they recorded favorite items from their reading. These ‘commonplace books’ were sometimes later collected, offering a view into the mind and habits of the reader even as the thoughts of the original writers were shared.”
As he goes on to explain, Mohler is planning to use his own blog as a commonplace book of sorts, where he will post selections of interest from his own reading. I thought this was a great idea, and I am stealing it.
So here is my first excerpt for you. It is from a letter written by a Huguenot pastor, Andre Trocme, who led a resistance movement against the Nazis when they occupied France. I came across this quotation in the last chapter of Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath.
When he was a young boy, Trocme’s mother was killed in a car accident. As an adult, he wrote this letter to her:
If I have sinned so much, if I have been, since then, so solitary, if my soul has taken such a swirling and solitary movement, if I have doubted everything, if I have been a fatalist, and have been a pessimistic child who awaits death every day, and who almost seeks it out, if I have opened myself slowly and late to happiness, and if I am still a somber man, incapable of laughing whole-heartedly, it is because you left me that June 24th upon that road.
But if I have believed in eternal realities…if I have thrust myself toward them, it is also because I was alone, because you were no longer there to be my God, to fill my heart with your abundant and dominating life.