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Meals, Messes, and Miracles; our theme for summer messages. You will find these all over in Beth Moore's book, All My Knotted-Up Life, sometimes all three on the same page. My first disclaimer is, I listened to this on audiobook. I'm a diehard printed book reader, but I'm trying to walk more, and have discovered audiobooks are a great companion. Beth's book was a treasure on audiobook as she reads the first part of her story in a childhood voice. I found that fascinating and read that she said she couldn't stop herself, as she felt she became that child in the writing and the reading. Is there a message in there for the rest of us? Don't bury what's under there but invite it into our present world. 

This whole book reminds me of Kintsugi: the Japanese tradition of finding beauty in broken, imperfect things by mending them with gold.  You can see some of the images here. When I look at them they seem more beautiful than before they were broken. 

Beth shares courageously about sexual abuse in her childhood. She also is funny, just downright funny with her stories. She shows the grace to laugh, and also to find joy in what's right in front of you in life. She also shares so openly and honestly about the pain of loss, poverty, abuse, mental illness, and prejudice. Her husband's bi-polar diagnosis and living with that is a stained glass window put together to show a prism of hope and life. 

One of the delightful joys was seeing how ecumenical Moore was and is. She loves the whole church, equally shares the fobbles and delights of many different expressions of faith. If you need a read that brings you hope, but not the candy coated expiration kind, the all the ugly out there yet eternally hope filled kind, this is a book for a read or listen this summer. I think Beth would jump right into our summer message series and be right at home.

Review by Sherri Harder

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