Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Faith and Fear 3

Good writers have an honest, authentic, living voice, and that is one thing that is about as clear as it gets with Karen Spears Zacharias in her new book Where’s Your Jesus Now? Her father was killed in Viet Nam. Here’s how she opens chp 8:
“I never considered myself a bigot, even though I despised Asian people” (105). She continues: “That all began to change after I met Xuan Nguyen at the Fishtrap Writers Gathering.”
So far as I can tell, Karen’s no pacifist and she gives hours and hours to help those who suffer as a result of the deaths of combatants. But she doesn’t spare words about what she thinks of what’s now going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or with how little the federal government supports widows of those who die in the military.
Her authentic voice — her questioning spirit — leads her to a chp about experiences with those who are gay and she wonders aloud why it is that conservative Christians have turned homosexuality into such an issue when, whether you take Leviticus or Romans 1, those texts are surrounded by sins that are quite easily ignored by the same kind of Christians. She poses no solutions; she wonders aloud.
Karen’s authentic voice is Southern and Southern funny. She’s got a bit of Lewis Grizzard in her somewhere and somehow. I like this little set of lines from a fine chp on forgiveness: “I don’t think that forgiving others means you have to bake a cake for your husband’s mistress. Not unless you make it with a strong laxative or substitute salt for sugar, but then that wouldn’t be an act of forgiveness anyway, would it?” (143).
Here’s one of my favorites: “It’s been a struggle to love myself. Even after I clean up good nobody calls me babe. My chin has mated with my neck and produced a wee-wobble. I had to give up wearing shorts and bathing suits for national security reasons. Trust me on that. I’m not sure what my real hair color is, or how to best describe my make and model. I have momentary lapses of my brain, bladder, and boobs. The latter are like London Bridge — they all fall down” (151).
Ah, Karen, we love you, no matter the make and model. You remind me at times of Anne Lamott.

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Ted M. Gossard

posted September 19, 2008 at 1:53 am

I especially like her point here on Romans 1. People jump on the homosexuality issue with both feet, but fail to see the other sins there listed that are so routinely dismissed, even among the fellowship of God’s people.

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John & Julie Frye

posted September 19, 2008 at 5:59 am

We met Karen recently when she came to Grand Rapids, MI. She has a sparkling personality and she knows her craft. Shs writes with a sharp edge and yet helps us endure the cut with humor and grace.

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posted September 19, 2008 at 6:49 am

She just sold another book.

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posted September 19, 2008 at 7:07 am

Again, I’m liking this author and book.
But this gives me pause: “I don?t think that forgiving others means you have to bake a cake for your husband?s mistress. Not unless you make it with a strong laxative or substitute salt for sugar, but then that wouldn?t be an act of forgiveness anyway, would it?”
What I’m thinking probably deserves more than I can say in a comment, but the guts of it is this: Forgiving others may not mean being giving to your wife’s mistress, but loving her might. Or, another way, where would we be if God was not tangibly kind to those that sinned against him, even while they were in the affair? “Love as I have” is the new command. Isn’t ‘love’ a central concept that Jesus went to great pains to redefine for us?

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Kathy Khang

posted September 19, 2008 at 7:35 am

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to kids singing “London Bridges” without laughing anymore!

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Angie Van De Merwe

posted September 19, 2008 at 8:34 am

I think I’ve “met” a real person!

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