Friday, October 09, 2015

Greg Fromholz: broken

Broken: Restoring Trust Between the Sacred and the Secular by Greg Fromholz on Amazon.

fromholz broken book coverIn Broken, Greg Fromholz has more to say about the individual micro-level of being church than about the mid- to macro levels that would more closely consider local congregation / parish, then ecclesiastical judicatories, and ultimately the church catholic all over the world. That's relatable, since every one of us spends most of our days at the micro-level.

Greg Fromholz decided to stop "...taking God places and decide to participate in what God was already doing there when I arrived..." [page 11], because everything is and every person is coram Deo—before the face of God. [page 113]

"This book is a journey of trust." [page 54] "trust / relationship" [page 74]

Doing my part to restore "trust between the sacred & the secular" and to participate in what God already was doing there when I got there, I read the last half of Broken in the nearby 24-hour Subway® sandwich shop. Unlike Greg, I didn't grow up in a legalistic home and church setting, but like Greg and like everyone else, I need reminders of the sometimes curious, frequently surprising ways God stays with all creation all along The Way. I need reminders that God's self-reveals at least as much in the broken, the stranger, the other-than-us as in the well put-together (who's that? where are they?), the familiar, the almost exactly like us. Midwestern USA-born and raised Fromholz provides some autobiographical background along with reflections on his current living and ministry setting in Ireland; he also reads his own experiences into some scriptural narratives in a manner that models what we could do as individuals, in a bible study or other group setting.

Intriguing chapter titles each begin with "Trust and..." and continue to details that include Presence, Posture, Peace, Home. Trust. Now that's scary, and it's essential. Trust is what every one of the sixteen chapters in this book Broken is about. "Share your stories, your scars, and begin to trust again." [page 164]

God is active everywhere, already there before we arrived on the scene, yet as the sacraments remind us, rather than *always every single time* being instantly visible and easy to recognize, God often is paradoxically hidden in the strange one, the shattered situation, the scarily unfamiliar. We are the church. To others and to ourselves we can be strange, broken, and so unfamiliar we no longer recognize ourselves. We are the church and we are the only bible many people ever will read. No matter what else is going on, "I must ... continue this story on Me Street." [page 191]

Greg's writing is naturally easygoing and brings the reader along with the author wherever he goes. Remember "participant-observer?" Similar to a half dozen books I've read over the past year or so, Broken: restoring trust between the sacred & the secular could form a template for my own journaling, observations, obsessions, and reflections. This will be a good one to donate to the church library, and probably pick up to reread again later.

my Amazon review: Broken yet Trusting

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