Counting blessings

julie perrinREVIEW BY HARRIET ZIEGLER

BOOK SET | SPINIFEX BLESSING | JULIE PERRIN

The title of this delightful set of three booklets by Julie Perrin is both tantalising and telling.

Tantalising because we might wonder, why spinifex? An Australian plant so common we often fail to see it. Yet once our eyes are opened to it, it is beautiful in its spiky gentleness.

Telling because each essay is about the blessing to be found in our everyday lives. In these Stories of Faith and Life, Julie opens our eyes to the faith, life and love to be found in the commonplace.

Most of the eight short essays in each volume were originally published in the Faith column of The Sunday Age newspaper. Although there are continuing threads amongst them, they need not be read in one sitting and are perfect for reading in fits and starts, as when travelling on train or tram.

Having been written for a broad audience, they deal with a broad range of subjects – the hurly-burly of daily life; song and story; birth and death; traffic accidents; even mobile phone etiquette. And whilst they appeared in the Faith column, they often admit Faith’s companion, Doubt.

In no way does Julie romanticise or simplify the complexities of life or faith. In writing about a guitarist/song-writer terribly injured in a terrorist attack in Peru, she says: “Some things don’t heal. There is a respectful knowing that doesn’t try to force healing or hope on people.”

There is no force in these stories – but a gentle invitation to see the hope that may be found in following the way of Jesus and the hope to be found in the goodness of humanity.

Every essay declares the presence of God, whether explicitly or implicitly. Closing line of the three volumes quotes theologian Graeme Garrett saying “the world is the solid speech of God”. In these essays, Julie shows the solid speech of God, the solid speech of love, in the extraordinary and ordinary world as she sees it.

Buy a set for yourself – and for the Christian and the curious alike on your Christmas gift list.

Published by Tellingwords. RRP: $15 for the set of 3 plus $3 postage and handling for postal orders.

Purchases can be made online at:
http://www.ctmresourcing.org.au/spinifex-blessing

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