On a Friday evening eager to unwind from work-life and get back to real-life, I was on time for the date with Piper. Before the start of the book club meet on John Piper’s, “Don’t waste your life”, it was whispered that we were waiting on Kristi’s cookies, she came in just as we started and boy the wait was worth it. I would say that even if the date with Piper wasn’t worth the date per se, it was worth the cookies. So finally, with the taste of the cookie lingering in the taste buds, the video started rolling.
That was the first time I saw John Piper and I instantly was struck by the tenderness, sensitivity and strength in his demeanor. As he spoke sometimes in a quivering voice, as though in search for words but actually, I think, in a trembling cognition of the sublime Truths being uttered, he was ravishingly compelling. I just couldn’t help sitting upright in the cozy corner of the couch being riveted to his exposition of Truth.
I cannot forget the way he expounded on Lewis’ idea of ‘quiddity’ or the ‘thisness of life’ not just because of the profundity of the idea being conveyed but because of the way his whole being was involved in the exposition. It is permanently ingrained in my memory how when he expounded on the ‘thisness’, he held up the bony back of his hands, all ten fingers spread out between him and the camera and said, “the thisness Lewis spoke of helped me appreciate the realness of life”.
Later he, rightly calls Lewis as the ‘romantic rationalist’. I would like to call Piper the ‘romantic realist’. The first time I ever came to know of Piper was about three years ago when, in a book store, I read a captivating title of a book, “Desiring God”, and thought to myself, ‘Oh, boy, who is that guy who has written a book titled so’ and there was the author John Piper. Then I thought to myself that I had to know more about this guy. My first guess was that this guy ought to have been a monk like Antony Bloom or Thomas Merton or Henri Neuman to be so ‘romantic’ about God but then I did not know that he was a guy living a ‘real’ life as anyone else.
I had to wait three years to have my first date with Piper. Though it was an e-date, I have been so impressed with him that I can’t wait to have my second date with him at the Book club at St. John the Divine Church’s Single Fusion club.