I took too long to fall in love with you, beauty so ancient and so new. I took too long to fall in love with you! But there you were, inside, and I was outsideâ€”and there I searched for you, and into those shapely things you made, my misshapen self went sliding. You were with me, but I wasnâ€™t with you. Those things, which wouldnâ€™t exist unless they existed in you, held me back, far from you. You called and shouted and shattered my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you put my blindness to flight. You smelled sweet, and I drew breath, and now I pant for you. I tasted you, and now Iâ€™m starving and parched; you touched me, and I burst into flame with a desire for your peace.Â â€” Augustine,Â Confessions
Inspired by lengthy conversations atÂ Urbana Student Missions ConferenceÂ (12 / 27 – 31) regarding resources on / practices in faithful witness and my family returning with a suitcase full of books, I am launching Read . . . Quote . . . Reflect.
The format of this series will be a quote (see above), a short response (the text you’re currently reading), and a recommendation regarding next steps (continue reading). I pray that these posts will encourage:
- reflection as we seek to rest in God (our true love),
- faithful witness as followers of Christ, and
- prayerful consideration of the resources available to us as we missionally engage our vocational context.
Please feel free to share in the comment section a quote / reflection / challenge from a book that you areÂ reading (individually and / or as part of the book discussion). If you desire to write a post for the Emerging Scholars Network on a book that you are currently exploring, please drop ESN a line. Thank-you!
To God be the glory!
 St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430). Confessions. Book 1, Chapter 1. Translated and edited by Albert C. Outler. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press  (Library of Christian Classics, v. 7).Â Accessed 1/3/2019.Â Note: As you may remember, Augustine‘s ConfessionsÂ won ESNâ€™s Best Christian Book of All TimeÂ (2013).
Â From Sarah Rudenâ€™s translation of Augustine’sÂ ConfessionsÂ (Book Ten, ChapterÂ 27, pp. 312-13). Quoted byÂ Trevin Wax inÂ Augustine the Lover: Sarah Rudenâ€™s New Translation of â€œConfessionsâ€Â (The Gospel Coalition, 8/1/2017). Accessed 1/3/2019. Note: The Penguin Random House hardback and ebook are available. The paperback will be released in March 2018.
 Stay tuned for quotes from missional InterVarsity Press publications which my family brought home from theÂ Urbana Student Missions Conference.
Bonus: Gungor‘s Late Have I Loved You
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!