Monday, February 20, 2017

An Honorable Man - Paul Vidich

  I recently finished Paul Vidich's An Honorable Man, a story about spies in the Cold War.  It was a quick read, and seemed to be written after the style of John LeCarre -- not a whole lot happens in the book, but it's about silent soldiers fighting a distant war that extracts great cost from actors who move around the stage unseen.
  Throughout the novel, there are opportunities for the characters to stop fighting, to slip away into an alternative future where their lives are not defined by an unceasing war that seems to be constantly testing loyalties.  There are pushes and pulls, and there is a sense of sorrow for what the actors have sacrificed.  Too many have died fighting for information, and so many others have paid a great cost.
  There are aspects of the book that strike me as parallels to faithful discipleship.  So often, discipleship waxes and wanes over small decisions, made day after day, that transform the loyalties of the heart one way or another.  It's not necessarily big actions that we can point to, but little things that, over time, build a life that points to Christ or to something else. 
  If we choose to follow Christ, there is a cost to be paid, and we have to sacrifice -- our time, our money, our energy.  Sometimes, we have to be willing to change relationships in our lives.  It isn't always easy for people around us -- but there is a far greater reward, even if it is not always recognized on this side of death.  Loyalty and honor are rewarded, but those rewards may not be easily counted by the community.  Building up a treasure in heaven looks very different than building up a treasure on earth, and many would consider it folly to choose the former over the latter.

  An Honorable Man is an interesting read, haunting in some ways because it makes you think about the small battles that are fought every day, and it makes me question how hard I'm willing to fight for something that I can't always grasp, that I struggle to define, that might not reward me in material ways when so many other things promise satisfaction, even though true satisfaction is found in Christ alone.

No comments: