Skip to main content

No Small Change




No Small Change by Charles E. Johns

This collection of is a series of short pieces designed to bring  an awareness of God’s grace to its readers.  The writings include pieces that go along with the church calendar events including Advent, Easter, Lent, Pentecost and Ordinary Time.  Drawn from his experience, God’s Word, and his time as a pastor, Charles gets at the heart of what it means to live out a life of grace in the muddied waters of brokenness.  Whether it is racism, repentance, hell or the homeless, Charles sets his gaze upon bringing wisdom and sensitivity to the situation. 

One of my favorite pieces in the book was his piece called Repentance.  After reflecting on his boyhood, growing up in a family without a sense of racism in it, he also recalls the popular mythology he grew up around about people with color: their athletic ability, work ethic, musical ability and intelligence (98).  Yet, as he reminds us, Charles writes, “But racism is an equal opportunity infection that does not pass over good people for their goodness and settle only upon the evil for their sins.  In ways I did not even understand I was infected.  I still live with symptoms of that infection.  When I have personal experience with people of color,….I respond in ways that I do not believe” (99).  The uncanny thing is that you can’t shake the race issue even if you try, and Charles indicates that racism is frequently subtle having a thousand disguises.  Yet, as Charles points out also, working this side of heaven will always involve repenting of our sins to God for the smallest and biggest of things that we get caught up in.

I think many of these pieces of writing are very pointed to remind us as Christians where our hope lies, how we fall short and how journeying on the Christian life is a process of dying so that we might live.  Rather than see this book as a series of daily devotionals, the book looks at larger themes that the church faces.  The only drawback in the book is an infrequent usage of Scripture throughout the book. 

I hope these pieces encourage and help those desiring to walk with Christ.


Thanks to Book Crash and CrossLink Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…