Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chris Shelton on Savvy

Marcus Borg is thoughtful and scholarly. Peter Rollins twists parabolic plots with skill and wisdom. Barbara Brown Taylor soothes, inspires, and stirs. But, every now and then (and surely I’m not alone in this), I want – I need – to read something that didn’t come from the Christianity shelves in the bookstore. Of course, as we all know, “bidden or unbidden, God is present” – and this is true even in Barnes and Noble or on Amazon – so sometimes Jesus shows up even when I’m not looking for him. Thanks be to God.

This month, my escape was into the land of Kansaska-Nebransas where the Beaumont family is anticipating a 13th birthday. Mibs is about to become a teenager – and in this curious clan, 13 comes with a special, often uncontrollable, always surprising gift – her savvy. The book itself is called Savvy, written by Ingrid Law – and you’ll find it in the Young Reader’s corner of the bookstore. Mibs’ brothers have savvies that cause windstorms and electrical shock. Her grandmother could collect radio waves in jars…and Mibs hopes her new-coming savvy will help her save her father, who’s just been in a terrible auto accident and is now in the hospital.

The plot is a delight – a heart-warming and goofy adventure that unfolds while riding (of all strange things) a pink Bible delivery bus. (Hmm…there’s a metaphor waiting to be found in here, what would Peter Rollins say?)

The whole book is a vision seed – and well worth the couple of delightful hours it would take to read. The invitation is to recognize your own savvy, and to live into it, with all its challenges, quirks and possibility.

From the book:

Momma said that lots and lots of ordinary folk have a savvy, but most simply don’t recognize it for what it is. “Some people know they feel different, Mibs,” Momma told me. “But most don’t know quite what makes them that way. One person might make strawberry jam so good that no one can get enough of it. Another might know just the right time to plant corn so that it’s juicy and sweet as sugar on the hottest day of summer…”

Maybe yours is preaching. Maybe you know just the words to say when someone is hurting. Maybe you help your Session make sense of the budget. Maybe you have a light people can see without opening their eyes. Paul said something about this, “there are varieties of gifts…” after all.

Shouldn’t we all live into our Savvy?

Harriet Sandmeier on The Orthodox Heretic

Audacious! Provocative! Compelling!

British author Peter Rollins captures our unsuspecting consciences with the first words in the introduction to his most recent publication, and propels us into spiritual introspection and often mind-blowing recognition as we proceed through his insistence that we pay attention to the unspeakable. Such was my experience with this small book of thirty-three modern-speak parables and their accompanying Rollins commentaries. Rollins, indeed, called out from these pages for me to “get real, sister!”

Rob Bell has written of these parables, “Everybody needs to hear these. And now you can.” You can read, hear, and absorb individually or within a group, but whatever you do, DO read, hear, and absorb! I predict that your experience will lead to a clearer, if far more challenging, walk in true Gospel shoes.

Prepare to be startled! Prepare to be accosted spiritually! Prepare to face Christ as Rollins presents Him in our face.