Frederick Buechner's new book will rightfully win a spot on any Buechner-phile's bookshelf. But a true Buechner-phile will already have the contents of this book, since it is a consolidation of sermons and writings he's already published. We forgive him. We have to. He's running out of dreams and regrets.
The reader in any case will benefit from this collection, as it lends words and illustrations as only Buechner can express them. A personal favorite arises from his sermon titled "A Sprig of Hope." Referring to Noah and the building of the ark, Buechner writes, "His thoughts, one imagines, were of water." The chaos of the moment, he adds, "was no greater than it has ever been. Only wetter."
He concludes: "We must build our arks with love and ride out the storm with courage and know that the little sprig of green in the dove's mouth betokens a reality beyond the storm."
Here is my sprig: Mr. Buechner, what we really want is that defining, yet unwritten book that sleeps silently within you. Write it with courage. Be Noah. Save us from the flood. You might save yourself, too.
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Secrets in the Dark is available from Christianbook.com and other book retailers.
CT profiled Frederick Buechner in 2003. Other articles on Buechner include:
Frederick Buechner's Sacred Journey | How one writer and minister has made a career of telling others about moments of holy insight. (March 7, 2003)
Speak What We Feel | Frederick Buechner's latest book is one of his best. (July 29, 2002)