Saturday, February 10, 2018

Book Write-Up: Seeds, by Greg Belliveau

Greg Belliveau.  Seeds: Meditations on Grace in a World with Teeth.  CrossLink, 2017.  See here to buy the book.

The back cover of this book says that it is “In the vein of Donald Miller, Anne Lamott, Debbie Blue, Brennan Manning, and other contemporary narrative writers[.]”  Of those authors on that list, I have only read Donald Miller and Brennan Manning.  Based on that, I would say that this description captures the genre of the book quite well.  To that list, I would add Madeleine L’Engle’s non-fiction work and Rachel Held Evans’ books.

The book is slender, at 75 pages.  Perhaps it would have been more satisfying had it been longer.  At the same time, what it did have was quite inspiring.  The prose was eloquent.  The insights were thoughtful and honest.  The stories were moving.  The back cover says that the author was a Christy Award finalist, and that is no surprise to me.

Among the themes that are in this book are:

—-How many of us look to success as a way to mask our awareness of the suffering that is in the world, and that we fear will happen to us;

—-Recapturing our wonder at life and nature, whether things go our way or not;

—-The oddness of Jesus;

—-Grace;

—-The story of a man who was not the sharpest tool in the shed but had a faith that entailed praying for others; he died of cancer, but he influenced the author;

—-How many of us become callous in this world (this chapter was pretty convicting!);

—-How a person can lose everything, and that becomes the soil for a new birth, which impacts others in a positive way;

—-And how many of us, legitimately, are afraid of honest community.

A lot of these points may seem to be obvious or banal, but, trust me, the author explores them in a refreshing manner.  His insights capture the fears that many of us have, fears that are not baseless but are often rooted in our existence in a world of pain, suffering, loss, and death.  He points to God as a source of hope.  He uncovers our insecurities, which hamper our connection with people.  And his stories have a sense of innocence, as they convey a simple, yet profound, faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookCrash.  My review is honest.

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