The Alphabet of Grace

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9780060611798: The Alphabet of Grace

With characteristic eloquence and insight, Buechner presents a three-part series of reflections that probe, through the course of one day, the innermost mysteries of life. Blending an artist's eye for natureal beauty, the true meaning of human encounters, and the significance of occurances (momentous or seemly trival), with a wealth of personal, literacy, biblical, and spiritual insights, he offers a matchless opportunity for readers to discover the hidden wisdom that can be gleaned through a heightened experience of daily life.

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Review:

Frederick Buechner's The Alphabet of Grace is a small but lyrical volume of essays that moves through a single day in three chapters. It is no particular day, and yet, as Buechner suggests, each day of life is an invitation to be truly alive. "Live a day of it and see," he writes. "Nobody claims that it will be entirely painless, but no matter. It is your birthday, and there are many presents to open. The world is to open."

This gets us very close to the sweet center of this little book--and of Buechner's work more generally. He makes no claims for himself as special; "most of the times I am indistinguishable from the rest of the herd that jostles and snuffles at the great trough of life." But he also knows how to listen, how to pay attention to the small moments of life where grace in fact breaks through. Two apple branches clack together: this becomes the metaphor for the "clack-clack" of his life, which is also the sign of "the occasional, obscure glimmering through of grace." Sometimes, this book reminds us, God comes not in the whirlwind but in the still small voice of our ordinary moments. --Doug Thorpe

About the Author:

Frederick Buechner, author of more than thirty works of fiction and nonfiction, is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent work is Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith.

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