Thursday, May 23, 2013

Give Me Everything You Have

Give Me Everything You Have:  On Being Stalked, by James Lasdun

Like probably everybody else, I read Lasdun’s book out of a kind of morbid curiosity; although, having been similarly stalked some years ago myself, perhaps with a bit more empathy than some.  My primary curiosity was somewhat disappointed, as my real interest was in the mind of the stalker herself, so I would have liked to read more of her communications, and heard more about her machinations, rather than sweeping statements summarizing her actions, but my strongest reaction was to conclude that both of these people’s lives would have been vastly different, and immeasurably improved, had they been in right relationship to God.

For the stalker, she was clearly engaging in rampant idolatry, making Lasdun the focus and center of her life.  I was powerfully struck by the sense that, had she applied her obsessive zeal to the pursuit of God, rather than of a hapless writer, her story might be one of an astonishing modern saint, rather than of a pathetic “sick girl” who wasted years of her life trying to ruin somebody else’s.

But this is also true of Lasdun himself.  He describes how the stalker’s actions impaired and damaged every aspect of his life, both personal and professional; even how, over time, the stalker became the center and focus of his life.  Again, I couldn’t help feeling that, had Lasdun firmly centered his life on his relationship with his creator, her ability to wreak such havoc would have been greatly reduced.  While being in right relationship with God does not mean that nobody will attack you (indeed, it is clear that we should prepare ourselves for quite the opposite), or even that such an attack will not result in injury, having God as the center of our lives through the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ does mean that any such attack can never ruin you, and indeed, will through God’s grace work for your ultimate benefit.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).  All things. 

The book is therefore an instructive cautionary tale, urging each of us to examine carefully just Whom we ought to give “everything we have.”   

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