(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; Chapter 4 HERE; Chapter 5 HERE; and Chapter 6 HERE. Watch for the rest of the chapter reviews today. Order your copy starting Oct. 9)
Shalom As Transformation
One of the many consistent themes throughout this book has been Brandon’s raw honesty with his personal feelings and emotions. This chapter continues that theme. Personally, I will read what a person writes that comes from those feelings and emotions and set aside any book written in the sterile library environment. Nothing sterile here in this chapter but an honesty that we would all benefit from if we practiced in on ourselves. It is this raw honesty that assures the reader that the possibility, no, THE ASSURANCE THAT SHALOM will indeed happen to them–even if they can’t see how.
In this chapter Brandon invites the readers on a journey to transformation, NOT a quick-fix-for-whatever-ails-you. He doesn’t define the journey in number steps, such as 1-12. Instead he points us in the direction of where Shalom is more than a concept; and more that an occasional experience. He gives us the GPS markers that take us closer to what we, the wounded, need most of all: Shalom/Peace. He makes room and gives us the freedom to be the unique person created by God in this journey to transformation.
Brandon invites the reader to admit that we are all on some journey. And journey is moving either in the direction of death or in the direction of life, life that produces Shalom. He clearly points out what I perceive as the root of the fear and hate in our current culture which is, that we place our perceived worth in the hands of how many like or follow us. We have mistakenly made social media the same as our identity and worth as a person, and as Brandon points out, it only leads us to more wreckage.
He brings this truth home with a chapter subtitle: See Differently, Be Differently. He brings this point to light with his connection to Jesus’ parable of the Seeds and the Sower. I’ll leave it at that so that you can read his words without my words influencing how you see if Jesus’ parable fits what you are facing.
And there’s more, so much more I could say, but I need to refrain in order for each reader to hear the message that God has for them. This is one of the things that I find in this chapter which is so powerful–the guidance to experience, meditate, and think about where you are in your journey. However, I would encourage you to spend more than one reading on the section, Rethinking Repentance. He shatters the stereotypical image that many have about repentance and brings home the true meaning of Repentance, the kind of repentance that Jesus called forth from His listeners, and from us today.
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the Glory goes to HIM!