A Good and Perfect Gift came out in September. It hasn’t come close to best seller status, but it is trucking right along. I had a chance to talk with a book group about it (on the phone–we were technologically incompetent enough that we couldn’t figure out Iphone’s Face Time or Skype). I’ve had a series of recent interviews and local speaking opportunities–the next few months hold a series of events in New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, Toronto, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. (In fact, I was just asked to speak at the Q Conference in DC on April 10-11. I’ll only be talking for 9 minutes, but there are some far more interesting people who will also be there, so check out the details in case you’d like to come…)
And I’ve also had a few recent reviews. First there’s Peter Wehner, a speech writer for President Bush, who reviewed A Good and Perfect Gift in this week’s Weekly Standard. In a review called Purpose in Life, he writes:
For Amy Julia Becker, “What if?” quickly turned to “What now?” She was a 28-year-old woman who, immediately after the birth of her daughter Penelope, was told that her child had Down syndrome. At that moment, “the world began to break into pieces, as if I had been looking at a scene through a plate-glass window that suddenly cracked, jagged lines distorting my vision.”
The rest of this beautifully written, emotionally powerful narrative is about Becker and her husband, Peter, trying to put the pieces back together, to rethink almost every assumption they had, and to replace one vision of life with another.
For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know that the pieces have been put back together, and in so many ways, we see more clearly now. Our lives are still broken, but they are also oh so much more whole.
Shari Dragovich, in a post called “Unexpected Inspiration” writes in response to A Good and Perfect Gift:
I’m struck by how similar her honest grappling is to my own struggles with finding value outside achievement – in myself, my children, and all that surrounds me. Her anger at God is palpable. I’ve known it down to my bones. Days pass on the outside. Routines are established. The seasons fade, one to the other. Yet still there is this struggle – a holy reckoning that must find its completion. And then, one day you look at your child freely, without this world’s flaws, and you see what a good and perfect gift you’ve been given.
Ilona Hadinger writes:
As I read the book, this truth caught me: Penny’s ministry began the moment she was born. Her arrival began to stir the world around her, opening a spiritual journey for some while taking others deeper on an exfoliative path with the Creator God.
Isn’t that what each one of us is called to do, regardless of our location, intellect, academia, culture, language, or chromosome count?
Isn’t that also the type of growth each is expected to undergo, regardless of our position, calling, abilities, or maturity?
To not only be blessed, but be a blessing.
If you’ve had the chance to read A Good and Perfect Gift, I’d love to hear your thoughts too.