When I was on the last leg of my flight from Uganda to Atlanta, I sat on a tiny plane next to two girls. Eventually, we started talking, I think because of my bracelet. I was wearing one that Maama Paula had made. We swapped Africa stories (and bracelets) and eventually got on the topic of books. Heather, asked if I had read Fan or Follower. I had been given the name of that book by my friend, Kristie, and had it on my list of books to buy while I was home. She pulled out her copy of the book that was in her purse and gave it to me. She had purchased it at a yard sale, and the sticker for $.25 was proudly displayed on the front. (It still is Heather!)
I read Follow Me a few months ago, and both books followed the same idea. What is a disciple? What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? But I prefer this one so much more. It speaks of biblical truths, but not in a pompous fashion. Is applicable. Stresses the importance of following Christ, daily, not just on Sundays and/or Easter. Before I read this book, I let my friend Jonathan, at my office, read it. He hasn’t stopped talking about it. It’s been fun to have someone I can discuss the book with – and talk through the questions it poses.
I love when Christian themed books show me another way to look at a story or verse. In one of the chapters it talks about the cross. And how it has become the symbol for Christians. We wear it turned sideways around our necks, tattoo it on our bodies and plaster it on our car windows, tshirts and as ornaments on our Christmas trees. But, the cross, is an instrument of torture and death. And this is the image that represents followers of Christ. The book reminds us that this symbol, the cross, is a symbol of suffering, of humiliation, and of death. And when decide to follow Christ, we decide, and choose, to take up our cross daily.
Fan or Follower asks us to examine our lives, and if we are truly a follower of Jesus. Or, if we like him on our terms. Or when it’s convenient for us. Or when we need him.
If someone were to ask you if you were a follower of Jesus, what would you say? And if the person asking the question were God, would your answer be the same?
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who considers them self a Christian. To anyone who has questions about God. And to the stranger you meet on the plane.
Got a book recommendation for me? Let me know!