Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book Club Monday - 1 day late

Our book club met for the second time this fall on Monday at Somethin's Perkin'. We enjoyed hot soup and good conversation as we discussed the book Here if You Need Me, by Kate Braestrup. It is the true story, really a memoir, in which the author tells of her journey from grief to faith to happiness following the death of her husband. Left with four children, she decides to pursue her late husband's dream of becoming a minister. She eventually goes to work as a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service. She tells her story with humor and honesty, and shares many tales about her work, her family, and her search for hope after tragedy.

The group gave the book a rating of 3 out of 5. This surprised be a bit, as I really liked the book. They questioned the solidity of her faith, and found some of her descriptions to be a bit too graphic. I especially liked the stories about her children, and I admired her strength and her practical approach to living life without her husband. Her courage accompanied her through the Maine woods where she found faith to face the challenges of her job and her life.

One of the passages that I particularly liked was when a woman says to Kate,
"It's so cool that the warden service has a chaplain to keep us from freaking out."

To which Kate responds,
"I'm not really here to keep you from freaking out. I'm here to be with you while you freak out," or grieve or laugh or suffer or sing. It is a ministry of presence. It is showing up with a loving heart. And it is really, really cool.

Showing up with a loving heart. Really cool indeed.

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