Book Reviews · Uncategorized

A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory by Frederick Buechner

When pain is real, why is God silent?

A Crazy, Holy Grace is a collection of essays on Buechner’s meditations on pain and loss. Buechner covers 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. 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.

In this essential collection of essays, including one never before published, Frederick Buechner finds that the God, whom might seem so silent, is ever near. He writes about what it means to be a steward of our pain; about this grace from God that seems arbitrary and yet draws us to his holiness and care. 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.

The reader gets the sense of having the privilege of reading the journal of a close friend as the author shares his journey through grief with complete transparency. This is a book you can read, put down, and pick back up without losing your place. However, it’s also a book that may compel you to read it in “tiny bites” as you walk with Buechner down the road of sorrow.

A very fine examination of pain and loss and how it may bring us to know ourselves and to God. Those of you who have Buechner’s other works will not find much that is new, but it is a good compilation to reflect on one’s pain and loss. It is an excellent book to do a group study as we all have dealt with pain and loss.

This is short easy to read and a starting point for you to get honest about your own pain, your own memories, and your own pathway to healing. A Crazy Holy Grace flows in short anecdotal accounts of things that matter in his life. You can read it as a devotional, as a collection of stories, or as a collection of theological essays. And let’s be honest: we all struggle with pain. And further honesty means we have to admit that we all have those memories. But pain and memories don’t have to define us. In the midst of darkness, we can still find hope and healing thanks to that “crazy, holy, grace”. Buechner shows us that there is a path up, and remembering the past is often a good way to get started on that path.

I received the eBook from Net Galley and Zondervan publishing for my review.

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