Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

A Crazy, Holy Grace and The Remarkable Ordinary by Frederick Buechner November 1, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:48 pm
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When pain is real, why is God silent?

Frederick Buechner has grappled with the nature of pain, grief, and grace ever since his father committed suicide when Buechner was a young boy. He continued that search as a father when his daughter struggled with anorexia. In this essential collection of essays, including one never before published, Frederick Buechner finds that the God who might seem so silent is ever near. He writes about what it means to be a steward of our pain, and about this grace from God that seems arbitrary and yet draws us to his holiness and care. Finally he writes about the magic of memory and how it can close up the old wounds with the memories of past goodnesses and graces from God.

Here now are the best of Buechner’s writings on pain and loss, covering such topics as the power of hidden secrets, loss of a dearly beloved, letting go, resurrection from the ruins, peace, and listening for the quiet voice of God. And he reveals that pain and sorrow can be a treasure—an amazing grace.

Buechner says that loss will come to all of us, but he writes that we are not alone. Crazy and unreal as it may sometimes seem, God’s holy, healing grace is always present and available if we are still enough to receive it.

My thoughts:

Unfortunately, this book was not what I expected it to be. This really seemed more of a memoir and Frederick’s thoughts. And I honestly had trouble following his thoughts. There were times I wasn’t sure if what he was writing was something that actually happened or some kind vision? I normally really like non-fiction that uses a lot of story but this had a bit too much without much purpose for me. I never felt we got to the point. This was definitely not the book for me.

Visit Frederick here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own. 


Your remarkable life is happening right here, right now.

You may not be able to see it–your life may seem predictable and your work insignificant, until you look at your life as Frederick Buechner does.

Based on a series of mostly unpublished lectures, Frederick Buechner reveals how to stop, look, and listen to your life. He reflects on how both art and faith teach us how to pay attention to the remarkableness right in front of us, to watch for the greatness in the ordinary, to use our imaginations to see the greatness in others and to love them well.

As you learn to listen to your life and what God is doing in it, you will uncover the plot of your life’s story and the sacred opportunity to connect with the divine in each moment.

Pay attention, says Buechner. Listen to the call of a bird or the rush of the wind, to the people who flow in and out of your life. The ordinary points you to the extraordinary God who created and loves all of creation, including you. Pay attention to these things as if your life depends upon it. Because, of course, it does.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed how this book started out. Frederick reminds us to enjoy the moments, not coast through live. Pay attention to what is going on around you. In this book we hear a bit more about how Frederick got to where he is now and I enjoyed that background information.

However, I didn’t love this book. I think I have discovered the Frederick’s book just aren’t for me and not my style. I don’t resonate with his writing. But I know many other people probably do.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own. 


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