(This is the next segment in a book I agreed to read and review, Beauty In The Wreckage: Finding Peace In The Age Of Outrage, by Brandon Andress, scheduled to be released October 9. If you haven’t seen my review of Chapter 1, you can find it HERE; find Chapter 2 HERE; Chapter 3 HERE; and Chapter 4 HERE. Watch for the rest of the chapter reviews today. Order your copy starting Oct. 9)
The Possibility of Joy
Immediately in Chapter 5 Brandon strikes the chords of hope for all of us in this wreckage. The imagery and analogy are inspired: an iceberg! I have never thought of an iceberg as an image of hope. I guess my thinking is still tainted by April 15, 1912. If you’re not a fan of trivia, that’s when the Titanic sank. I now see that I allow myself to be defined by the 10% seen, which is suffering, and not the 90% that lies beneath the surface, wherein lies much more. What is unseen is the hurt and the pain. But Brandon reminds there can be more beneath the surface than just the pain, if we open our eyes to Shalom.
Brandon carefully and thoroughly brings to light so much that wounds and creates the wreckage in our life. But he does not offer the empty promise that acknowledgement is the beginning of healing. He is very clear that it takes more than an admission of the pain. And he holds us accountable to how we respond to the pain–do we hold on to it and consider it final or do we release it to the One who has both the skill and power, wisdom and compassion, to restore the beauty of Shalom?
I also was blown over in this chapter by Brandon’s insight about transformation. He points out that somehow religion has asserted and taught that transformation cannot begin until the hurt is over. Brandon liberates us from this chain by reminding us that the transformation begins in the middle of our pain, not at the end of it. And as he does throughout this book, he let’s us see that 90% of his life that is like the iceberg. His insights, as I’ve stated before, are not born in a sterile library, but in the messiness of life as it happens to him….and to us!
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the Glory goes to HIM!