Thursday, April 2, 2009

Coffeegirl Book Club

A Severe Mercy - In Review

Over the past 12 weeks we’ve journeyed with Van and Davy through their young, pagan years marked by “inloveness”, into their days of considering and then encountering Christ, and then into the months of travailing the heart wrenching reality brought upon them. I have been challenged by many elements of Vanauken’s writing, frustrated at times with the exclusivity of his perspective, but primarily enriched by both the story as a whole and the detailed accounts of their journey that have been documents within the pages of A Severe Mercy.

Because we have been able to share our thoughts on the specifics of each chapter as we moved along, I am now most curious to hear how this book has impacted you. Did you learn anything about yourself, or your life perspectives? Were you surprised by anything that particularly caught your attention, or that annoyed you? If you were to recommend this book to someone else, what would you say about it?

Personally, now that I’ve stepped away from the details of the chapters, I’m left with an inspiration to live with much more intention in many aspects of my life. Jason and I have been talking about what our “Shining Barrier” should look like, when we could hold a “Navigator’s Council,” and identifying areas of “creeping separateness” that we want to address. I read this book a couple of years before I was married and was inspired in a totally different way than I am now; I am more appreciative of the practical applications than the somewhat elusive dreams that captured my heart the first time around.

I am inspired to pour myself out more fully in relationships with people around me. I loved the descriptions of the deep relationships that were established over long hours of conversation and fun with their friends in so many different settings. I feel inspired to delve into honest conversations like the ones shared between Van and Lewis' exchange of letters.

I am challenged to continue thinking deeply about my faith, considering the very real challenges and implications presented within the truths of Christianity. It is far too easy to forget the connection between reason and faith and simply live in a comfortable world of belief that the world around us may not understand.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book with you all, and am looking forward to a final round of comments before we bring this first season of the Coffeegirl Book Club to a close.

For those who are interested in another book club, it is currently under consideration - stay tuned for more information!

1 comment:

Kacie said...

Hey - I actually didn't read the book with you all because I found your blog just a few weeks ago, but I did read the book last year and loved it, though the "inloveness" frustrated me at the beginning because it was so extreme.

For me, what was most powerful to read was the description of moving from atheism to finding faith. When I read it I had just finished Bible college and was filled with anger at the church, fundamentalism, hypocrisy, etc. I was also living for the first time in an almost completely secular environment, and was struggling to see where God was at work. To read their story of God drawing them, and drawing them intellectually... completely took me apart. I read that section on the bus and cried the whole way through it - because it was a testimony to the living God drawing a soul to Himself.

The other thing I took away is just what you said - the creeping seperateness, and the description of a "falling in love" with another woman that was never romantic. Those warnings are great as a young married couple.


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