Review and Rejoice

“You waited over an hour to tell me the good news?” Rush asked over the phone.

“Well, yes,” I admitted.

“You’re a mess.”

“I know.”

logo-transI’ve had to pinch myself awake from a self-protective stupor to celebrate the upcoming release of Talking Taboo. While it’s still a week or two away from the official pub date, it’s growing realer this week with the appearance of our official first review in Publishers Weekly. They even gave us a big old star:

In the fourth volume of the I Speak for Myself series, editors Lane and Okoro (Reluctant Pilgrim) have compiled a bold collection of personal essays from young Christian women. The writers are drawn from numerous denominations (including Baptist, Catholic, Mennonite, Presbyterian, and Unitarian Universalist, and some are even agnostic) and share an even wider range of experiences negotiating the intersection of faith, gender, and identity. All of them speak candidly about historically “taboo” topics such as domestic violence, religious doubt, homosexuality, masturbation, menstruation, and sexism in the church. Their beautifully honest stories disrupt a tradition of silence. Many of the essays shed light on how painful it can be to confront patriarchy within one’s own religious tradition. Although some may be frustrated by the lack of a cohesive structure or the editors’ decision to omit some type of conclusion, many readers will be inspired as these women reclaim their voice. This significant book offers a glimpse of the diverse lived realities of Christian women and encourages the church to accept the full humanity of women. (Oct.)

It might seem funny to have to remind oneself to celebrate. To put a date for dinner at Panciuto on the calendar. To cajole oneself to call her husband to tell him the good news.

But rejoicing in the Lord (and “the full humanity of women”) is a command in the Christian tradition that requires as much discipline as any of the others. With every flex of the muscle, we loose our joy into the world.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
– Mary Oliver

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