When pain is real, why is God silent?
Frederick Buechner has grappled with the nature of pain, grief, and grace ever since his father committed suicide when Buechner was a young boy. He continued that search as a father when his daughter struggled with anorexia. In this essential collection of essays, including one never before published, Frederick Buechner finds that the God who might seem so silent is ever near. He writes about what it means to be a steward of our pain, and about this grace from God that seems arbitrary and yet draws us to his holiness and care. Finally he writes about the magic of memory and how it can close up the old wounds with the memories of past goodnesses and graces from God.
Here now are the best of Buechner’s writings on pain and loss, covering such topics as the power of hidden secrets, loss of a dearly beloved, letting go, resurrection from the ruins, peace, and listening for the quiet voice of God. And he reveals that pain and sorrow can be a treasure—an amazing grace.
Buechner says that loss will come to all of us, but he writes that we are not alone. Crazy and unreal as it may sometimes seem, God’s holy, healing grace is always present and available if we are still enough to receive it.
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About the Author
Frederick Buechner is the author of more than thirty published books and has been an important source of inspiration and learning for many readers. A prolific writer, Buechner’s books have been translated into twenty-seven languages. He has been called a "major talent" by the New York Times, and "one of our most original storytellers" by USA Today. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Buechner has been awarded honorary degrees from institutions including Yale University and Virginia Theological Seminary.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Pain and God's Crazy, Holy Grace 13
1 The Gates of Pain 15
2 A Crazy, Holy Grace 33
Part 2 The Magic of Memory 53
3 A Room Called Remember 55
4 The Magic of Memory 67
5 The Struggle of Memory 85
6 The Hope of Memory 107
Part 3 Reflections on Secrets, Grace, and How God Speaks 119
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When pain is real, why is God silent? A Crazy, Holy Grace is a collection of essays on Buechner's meditations on pain and loss. Buechner covers such topics as, the power of hidden secrets, loss of a dearly beloved, letting go, resurrection from the ruins, peace, and listening for the quiet voice of God. He reveals that pain and sorrow can be a treasure—an amazing grace. Buechner says that loss will come to all of us, but he writes that we are not alone. Crazy and unreal as it may sometimes seem, God’s holy, healing grace is always present and available if we are still enough to receive it. In this essential collection of essays, including one never before published, Frederick Buechner finds that the God, whom might seem so silent, is ever near. He writes about what it means to be a steward of our pain; about this grace from God that seems arbitrary and yet draws us to his holiness and care. He writes about the magic of memory and how it can close up the old wounds with the memories of past goodness’s and graces from God. The reader gets the sense of having the privilege of reading the journal of a close friend as the author shares his journey through grief with complete transparency. This is a book you can read, put down, and pick back up without losing your place. However, it's also a book that may compel you to read it in "tiny bites" as you walk with Buechner down the road of sorrow. A very fine examination of pain and loss and how it may bring us to know ourselves and to God. Those of you who have Buechner's other works will not find much that is new, but it is a good compilation to reflect on one's pain and loss. It is an excellent book to do a group study as we all have dealt with pain and loss. This is a short easy to read book, a starting point for you to get honest about your own pain, your own memories, and your own pathway to healing. A Crazy Holy Grace flows in short anecdotal accounts of things that matter in his life. You can read it as a devotional, as a collection of stories, or as a collection of theological essays. And let’s be honest: we all struggle with pain. And further honesty means we have to admit that we all have those memories. But pain and memories don’t have to define us. In the midst of darkness, we can still find hope and healing thanks to that “crazy, holy, grace”. Buechner shows us that there is a path up, and remembering the past is often a good way to get started on that path. I received the eBook from Net Galley and Zondervan publishing for my review.
I call it 'a dark night of my soul' when I am in dire need of God to answer my prayers. I am not talking about a bad day, a bad situation, a bad person...no....I'm talking about the things that attack your mind every waking moment, you have trouble sleeping, you find yourself BEGGING God to answer you and when or if He does, it's in a tiny way that just lets you know He's there, He's just not going to answer that particular prayer the way we need or ask Him to. And that hurts - deeply hurts. When you don't have a single human being in your life that can help and when He has always been your first go-to .... it just really hurts. Then...the bad thoughts start pouring into your mind and now you have THAT to deal with on top of your problem. I tell you, it's not a pleasant place to be....you are tormented with no reliefit seems. Thankfully, there's an author named Frederick Buechner, who has written this wonderful book called A Crazy Holy Grace. This book may not be my dark night relief, but it does remind me just how present God really is in my situation. Although the answers don't come and since I am the cause of my situation, instead of feeling complete shame and disgrace, I AM confident of His Holy Grace. When I'm not drowning as I feel I am now (very dark night of my soul), I have very good memories of how God was with me, how He made me smile, how once I told a lady it was like He was pursuing my heart and that was awesome. I know and can recount many incredible miracles He granted me in my lifetime and how I'm able to encourage others from my tales of those miracles. That's what Frederick Buechner has done in this book too. Mr Buechner has written this well-thought-out book of his story, essay style, of how no matter what's going on, he too, was confident of God's mercy, miracles and interventions - even if it was through memories of Gods' presence in his life. It was comforting to read this book, especially now, if only to remind me not to forget Gods' presence. Even when I am the cause of my problem - that's where grace comes in. Where humans have the nasty tendency to forgive/not forget, GOD, through His grace, forgives AND forgets. Mr Buechner had his own dark night of his soul when his father committed suicide. I don't know how I would or could handle that one, but I know my own actions have harmed my family. Different stories, same hard issue to deal with. His book is an amazing read. Well written and you feel like you've known him as a neighbor. I highly recommend this book to remind you too, you are not alone. Almost every single human being has some horror story to share, trust me, I know I do. But Frederick Buechner has written this book as a comfort, not as a compare notes on who's tragedy is worse. It's as if you can listen to his story and are comforted within your own story too. Please search for this book,A Crazy Holy Grace, to read while you sit off in your own little reading space - I promise it WILl bring you comfort in your own life's trials.
A Crazy Holy Grace I received this book from Handlebar for the purpose of review. This book was a challenge to get through. Many chapters were helpful as he dealt with memories, hurts and deep pain. He had a life that was to be shared through his writings. This read much like a memoir. While I felt connected to his thought process, sometimes I felt he was entirely too long and unnecessarily descriptive. The author is clearly in a place where he is grappling with real issues and that I appreciate. He does have a way of writing that allows for time to think and reflect. Life is full of change and happenings we never expect and Mr. Buechner does point back to our ultimate answers are in the person and power of Jesus Christ.
A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory by Frederick Buechner is a compilation of Essays that will help the reader get a better understanding of the purpose of memory and grief. Drawing from his own experiences of grief, death and suicide, the author helps the reader look at grief and memory in a whole new light. This complex book is something that requires time to digest and absorb. The surreal message is both human and spiritually obtained at the same time. Buechner puts into voice, a message that is relatable on a personal level but inspired by the Holy Spirit as well. What looks like a relatively simple exercise of remembering and pondering the past , is capable of bringing about lifelong growth simply by paying more attention to the everyday world that surrounds us. One does not need to travel to an exotic location or plan an expensive pilgrimage to the Holy Land to appreciate the inherent spirituality that exits all around you. In fact Buechner argues that even greater spiritual growth can be reached when you look within and around your immediate surrounding. This book is suitable for more experienced believers who wish to fine tune their faith as well as skeptics and agnostics who are seeking truth and meaning. The author brings light to topics that are normally hidden and seen as taboo. This book is a source of relief and comfort to all who take the time to read and reflect on its message. If you take the time to read this book and think about the message, not only will you make a connection but you too may find the healing you seek. This book was not what I expected, but I am glad I took the time to read it as it can be a life changer. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.