Book Club :: Out Of Sorts
Do you ever feel super peaceful about something you thought would rock your world?
What about super broken about something you thought would be no big deal?
I feel like I am always feeling both of those things.
I bought this book earlier this Summer, but our mail was stolen and it never arrived. I didn't really want to buy it again, so I didn't. I put a hold on it at the library and waited. It came at the end of August and I took it with me to Sisters when I went.
When I started reading, I almost just put it away and didn't finish it. It starts with her talking about "doing the sort" after someone dies - too on the nose for me in this season. But, be it fate or refusal to ever not finish a book, I kept reading. And let me tell you, every book I have read this Summer? Has changed my freaking life. They are making my soul whole.
When I was young, I read a lot - like, more than normal humans should. I made it a goal in High School to read every book on every book list I could find - in addition to my own picks off the library shelf. The only reason I passed Pre-AP Literature was because there was an option for "extra credit" doing book reports of books off the AP Literature. With the assumption that most kids would only do so much extra reading due to the heavy nature of the class's reading list, there was no cap. So I read the whole list. I remember doing the report on War and Peace and the teacher writing a note back to me that said "You can't just skate through school doing the extra credit." The same teacher told me I would never get into college if I didn't start actually putting in effort. Shows what she knew, I passed that class and stapled my college acceptance letters to her desk.
I was maybe unruly.
When I met Mark, he used to HATE when I would get into a book, because I would be 100% absent from life for 24-48 hours. But then we had kids. And my life was about them. I hardly ever read. And when I did, the book couldn't consume me - so I had a hard time consuming it, if that makes sense.
Books were my friends, my community growing up. I had friends, I was maybe even what you might consider "popular," but I wasn't at home with the people around me. I was at home in the midst of Tolkien and Wilder, Stoker and Blake, Montgomery and Angelou. I didn't just belong to the characters, it was the authors that really captivated me. They created worlds I could feel at home in, and therefore they were the ones to be trusted, they were my friends.
Several years ago, my kids were maybe just that little bit older that I was able to dive in again? I don't know. But I was able to find my community once more. And while I can't actually disappear into a book anymore (I have to make mac and cheese mid sentence), I am finally home again.
This book is that.
It is coming home again.
Out of Sorts
by Sarah Bessey
Like I mentioned, Sarah Bessey kicks off by discussing the death of her grandparents. Yikes, a little too appropriate for my season of life. But she discusses "the sort" - that thing you do when someone dies where you go through their things and sort them.
You laugh and cry and tell stories. You look at pictures and grocery lists, books and silverware, antiques and old clothes caked in sweat and dirt from a beautiful lifetime of wear. You sort through and decide what you should keep, what you should give away, what should you throw away with abandon, and what you will need to let go of.
These kinds of "sorts" can be painful, which Bessey pays respect to, but what is more painful is when you don't get to do a sort at all. When that privilege is taken from you - whether by estrangement or lack of post-death instruction or some other unforeseen thing.
And here is where it gets good.
The current model of the church is dying, maybe even dead, and we need to sort.
Bessey's book is full of seasons. Full of grace. Full of death and life and everything in-between - because there is an in-between. She talks about her own journeys and her own discoveries and gently helps her readers sort. What should be kept? What should be given away? What should be tossed? And what needs to be let go?
I cannot express how much this book is needed. How much this book should be in the hands of every believer in Jesus. How much this book should be deeply considered by leaders. It is so important.
It feels like so many books are important these days.
Perhaps it is because they do that good work they have always done, exposing things that need to be exposed and detailing truth through story. How precious, how valuable, how desperately needed.
Out of Sorts is prophetic, beautiful, full of hope, challenging - it is all things that good books are. Bessey's first book, Jesus Feminist, rocked the evangelical world. And I can only hope this book does that and so much more.
And in case you're curious - we bought another copy. And if this one gets swiped too? I'll buy again.
Of Mess & Moxie
by Jen Hatmaker