Saturday, September 17, 2011

I wish you could have been in our book discussion group yesterday

Our book is in; the title is the same as this blog, with the subtitle being, “From Woundedness to Wellness.” We will also use this blog as the web page by inserting a link where it can be ordered. My wife and I are co-authors.

The structure of the book is biographical, with the commentary on the letters of Paul appearing at the time when they would be written. To my surprise, as I thought through the sequencing from the perspective of the post-traumatic process, the traditional understanding of them was supported. Matthew is now arguably the first Gospel and Galatians the first letter. Not a surprise, the perspective of process made more and more sense, although we had no intention of being theological as we were writing. As to style, I suspect that our enjoyment of my reading to Annelie as she cooks may well have had an effect.

Yesterday, our Friday morning discussion group at church was especially interesting for me. I wish you could have been there. They had decided to read the book for our fall meetings. I didn’t want that; I had read different sections of the manuscript to them to try out ideas at various times in those ten or so drafts and some were pretty awful. The Apostle’s phrase of “fear and trembling” seemed more and more applicable. Yesterday, however, our best reader started in on it; it sounded beautiful. I couldn’t believe it. There was a flub here and there, “sitting” for setting,” about my working in prisons at various times; a couple of sentences should have been picked up in the editing and re-written – that sort of thing, but it really went well. I was so relieved.

It is an interesting group. It has been going now for thirty nine years; one of the original members is still participating and was there yesterday. We have been in it for almost thirty, in two different periods. It has been a remarkable experience. As individuals, almost all of them were quite conservative when they were younger – may they forgive me by implying we are all much older! The transition is exactly what a lot of personal development theory suggests, from a perspective of “my kind” to “mankind.” The small group experience has certainly shaped my thinking.

When President Carter left the White House, he and his wife wrote a book together. The husband’s comment, post-publishing, was they almost got a divorce! We understand. All is very understandable now, but they are such good role models…

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