Thursday, July 03, 2008

Book Review: Take This Bread

First a confession. When I read about this book, I was put off by some of the reviews and had decided not to read it, even though it was a RevGalBookPals selection a short time ago. Then a friend at church who is in my BSD book study this summer enthusiastically recommended it to our group. So I thought there was a reason this book kept coming across my radar screen and I ought to take a hint and give it a try, despite my reservations.

I'm glad I did.

Sara Miles is a very gifted writer. She also has a spiritual sensitivity that I envy because I sure don't have it.

One of the reasons I avoided reading the book earlier was because, frankly, I am weary of reading spiritual memoirs that spend as much time bashing Republicans and the Bush administration as on religious experience. You know what I mean--the kind where True Christianity and the Liberal/Progressive/Democratic party are equated. Anne Lamott is the poster girl for this genre.

And, by the way, I don't read conservative/evangelical books that make the same mistake in the other direction, either. If I want to read about politics and national/international policy, I will choose a political book. Although Sara Miles and I are "miles" apart in many ways (couldn't resist the pun!), she is no Anne Lamott. But I was not so put off by our differences that I could not appreciate what she had to say.

Take This Bread
is, as advertised, a truly remarkable story of conversion. You can see how God worked in the author's life, weaving together seemingly disparate threads that brought her to faith: her grandparent's legacy; her experiences as a journalist and political activist; and her skill in cooking and restaurant management.

My BSD friend in recommending the book pointed out the fact that the author didn't know any Christians before she walked into that church and had her conversion experience.

What does that say about us? How many of us know people who are not Christian and if we do, are they aware of our faith? It was a stark reminder of how we all tend to stay in our comfort zones--Christians with like-minded Christians, atheists with each other, Republicans with Republicans and Democrats with Democrats--and that Christ calls us to leave those comfort zones so the Holy Spirit can go to work.

I recommend this book, if you haven't read it already. Take it, read it and then pass it around.


cheesehead said...

Welcome to the TTB fan club. I'm glad we kept the door propped open for you. :)

{I think if you were to read Anne's third book, "Grace (Eventually)" you would find it much less political than "Plan B"--and much better--but that's my bias.}

Becky Ardell Downs said...

I've been passing this one around too. Any more talk of making San Francisco the next landing for the RGBP road trip?

Songbird said...

Looks like not, Becky, due to the expense of housing there.
QG, glad you read it and liked it! I did, too, challenging on all sorts of levels.

Mary Beth said...

Grace, I'm glad you liked it! It meant a lot to me.

Anne Lamott...I was so worried about her after Plan B. Being that angry just gives you a stomach ache. She is calming down as Cheese says...finding some equanimity on the subject.


Anonymous said...

I'm only part way through this book...Though I stand on the opposite side from the author regarding our so-called 'hot-button' issues I do very much respect her passion for prayer and her reverence and respect for the sacrament of communion as these resonate deeply with me. I love the line from the book, '...prayer was like having this intense profound longing that you just had to be with.' Amen!


Anonymous said...

Loved this book. For what it's worth Sara Miles travels around and is willing to visit churches/cities to speak. Would love to hear her sometime.

St. Casserole said...

Grace, I've enjoyed the books you suggest. I'll get this one, too.