This review was first published on March 18th, 2016 at Panorama of a Book Saint.
TITLE: Thumbprint in the Clay: Divine Marks of Beauty, Order and Grace
AUTHOR: Luci Shaw
PUBLISHER: Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2016, (205 pages).
Enjoy the way that she reflects through life from the natural to the supernatural; from the mundane to the spectacular; and from prose to poetry and biography. It is impossible to rush through this book for it will be such a waste of this wonderful piece of literary art. Life is like a tussle between pragmatism and patience over the most mundane things, and the essays remind us of integration, connection, and plain admiration of God's world. A well-known poet herself, she infuses her prose with some of her own poetry, allowing them to flow as one. There are reflections on suffering. There are words of wisdom from some of the most profound spiritual writers such as Richard Rohr and Frederick Buechner. There are also pictures of frustration and failure, to remind us that in the midst of beauty, there is also the reality of brokenness in this world.
Shaw makes me pause from my daily rush. This is not a how-to book nor some fantasy-led bestseller so popular with impressionable youths just looking for a quick-fix entertainment. As I think about the title, I wonder, why "Thumbprint in the Clay?" Why not fingers? Why not sand? Like an opening and closing bracket of a mathematical equation, the "thumbprint" shows us the strongest part of our hand touching one of the most visible symbols of earth and creation: "clay." This connecting parallels a form of heaven touching earth, but made up close and personal, Shaw's style.
Rating: 5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of InterVarsity Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.