We all have that person, don’t we? We have that author or family member or pastor or whoever it is, that when they speak to you, you listen to every single word that’s said by them. You don’t always necessarily agree with every word that is being said, but you listen. Rob Bell has been that person in my life for years, and before you close this blog because “Rob Bell is a heretic,” this time you should take a moment to hear him out. Why? Because maybe you’re tired of being tired. Maybe you’re tired of being distracted. You’re tired of always being, there. And maybe you just want to be, here.
Unlike other books that Rob Bell gets a lot of flack for, this one is not some sort of essay filled with sermonettes and spiritual anecdotes. There are a few (I mean, he’s still well-rooted in his past as a devoted pastor), but the stories that he shares from the Bible are spoken in a way that anybody could hear them. Funny enough, almost every mention of Christianity or a story from the Bible is accompanied with a disclaimer or a brush of a broader worldview, as if he’s not trying to pigeon-hold himself to a particular religious party. Which is totally fine, because this isn’t a book on how to be like Christ, it’s a book on how to be, here.
To Rob Bell, and admittedly to me also, here means free from the ever-growing list of tasks and self-induced responsibilities. To be here also means you’re more than a mouse on a wheel, chasing after someone else’s dreams while you’re looked at and laughed at from beyond the glass. To be here is to take the most interest in what is of most interest to you and to those you care the most about.
Rob Bell’s chapter titles are weird, the quotes he adds to the mix seldom fit entirely, and the stories that he shares are a mix of pain and laughter and everything in between – but it all seems to fit perfectly with the points that he makes throughout. If you’re not uncomfortable, or constantly thinking on your toes, you’re doing this whole thing all wrong. There’s a place for rhythm and season, but there’s also a place for risk and love.
Read through a post from a couple of years ago that I wrote the first time that I read this book through, https://www.bravedaily.com/2016/05/29/rob-bell-on-how-to-be-here/
More on Rob Bell’s book, How to Be Here: