Saturday, August 17, 2013

Grace in the Maybe by Katie Savage

Katie has written a variety of reflections on faith. She writes with humor and an honesty that is sometimes amazing (especially for a pastor's wife).
 
In the midst of comments about her life and culture, she has some penetrating zingers. In writing about consumerism, she notes that we trust in what is newest, what is next, what has yet to be invented. “...[W]e look for ways to avoid waiting on God.” (157) We don't need a pillar of smoke – we have GPS. We don't need daily manna –we have frozen dinners and coupons for fast food.
 
On being a “nice” Christian, she writes that it basically means, “Don't piss anyone off.” (186) Being nice is a facade, she writes, “a way to avoid rudeness and unpleasant encounters.” (194) She reminds us “that things of substance do not come easily – and niceness comes easily.” (194)
 
Many of her essays are on topics about which we are troubled, such as miracles and why some are healed and not others. She has an interesting critique of the shoebox ministry. (39-40) She has a serious reflection on the meaning of communions and koinonia. She writes about her childhood memories, activities with friends, events at church, retail therapy, and gardening.
 
And she has humor. About being a sub-par housekeeper she writes, “...and if a sheet is untucked in a forest with no one to see it, is it really untucked?” (113) On hairstyles in high school: “One girl decided that big bangs should be more than a theory, and everyone else went along with it.” (69) Who else could write about a chin hair with such honesty?
 
This is definitely a book for women. I mean, would a guy really want to read about a breast pump? And I think this book would be best received by the twenty or thirty something year old crowd. They're used to the language and honesty with which Katie writes. They would appreciate the last acknowledgment – to God. “Thank You for being so utterly worthy. You are pretty cool.” (221)

A Reading Group Guide is included at the end of the book.

Note: this book was previous published as Whirlybirds and Ordinary Times.
 
Katie Savage was born into Protestant Evangelical Christianity and has been writing about it ever since. After receiving her BA in Creative Writing and English Education at Point Loma Nazarene University (where she met her husband, Scott), she taught high school and junior high. She and Scott now live in Kansas City, where Scott is the associate pastor of Redemption Church. They have two children. This is her first book. You can find out more about her at the publisher's author page.
 
Howard Books (a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.), 256 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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