Monday, August 08, 2011

A most un-useless place

The Waiting Place: Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays by Eileen Button

I received a review copy of this book on BookSneeze. The whole idea is that you need to write a review of the book before they will send you another. The problem is, no sooner had I received this book, than I realised there were two other books available that looked really interesting: Mark Horne's biography of Tolkien, and Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber. So, ironically, I found myself rushing through a book on waiting.

This is not a book to be rushed, however. It is mostly personal memoir, through which the author celebrates all that is ordinary and mundane. And, of course, waiting. There is great wisdom here, something that Kara and I need to remember as we wait for the birth of our first child at the end of October.

Button writes very well, and communicates this wisdom through story rather than through teaching the Bible. There is, however, plenty in the Bible about waiting, like in the Book of Deuteronomy, when a curse comes on the wicked: " In the morning you shall say, 'If only it were evening!' and at evening you shall say, 'If only it were morning!' because of the dread that your heart shall feel, and the sights that your eyes shall see." That's the ungodly view of time.

The title of the book comes from Dr. Seuss: "and grind on through miles across weirdish wild space / headed, I fear, toward a most useless place / The Waiting Place." But it's not useless. It has the capacity to shape us and bless us.

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