Sunday, July 15, 2012

Frederick Buechner's "Telling Secrets"

After finishing Frederick Buechner's Telling Secrets, it's safe to say that I have an intellectual crush on this guy. His Telling the Truth was fantastic and I look forward to reading more of his many books. And who knows, maybe I'll try out some of his fiction.

With Telling Secrets, there's much to love. He describes his journey of airing out his (painful) internal self. Through experiences both with his parents and as a parent, he learns that healing can come from the honesty of telling secrets.

As I describe it, his writing sounds cheesy and cliche but that couldn't be further than Buechner's style. His prose draws me in and turns those simple concepts from cliche to profound; not by manipulating words but by being honest and direct.


There are many great thoughts such as...

Telling our secrets - 
"...what we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are - even if we tell it only to ourselves - because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing" (p. 2).

Finding meaning in struggle -
“Events happen under their own steam as random as rain, which means that God is present in them not as their cause but as the one who even in the hardest and most hair-raising of them offers us the possibility of that new life and healing which I believe is what salvation is” (p. 31).

And our pursuit of Jesus -
"Peter really did not know who Jesus was, did not really know, and neither do any of us really know who Jesus is either. Beyond all we can find to say about him and believe about him, he remains always beyond our grasp, except maybe once in a while the hem of his garment" (p. 85).

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