Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Last Wednesday I was in Belfast and I visited the Evangelical Bookshop.  I was recommended 'The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert,' by Rosaria Butterfield.  This book is about a radical feminist lesbian English professor in America who becomes a Reformed Presbyterian.  While I felt that she is too denominational (I think she spends too much time justifying the practise of exclusively singing Psalms in public worship) and reflective of a particular Christian culture (she talks a lot about home-schooling) the book is a great read, and Rosaria comes across as a very sincere intelligent thoughtful Christian.

Just a couple of snippets!

She tells the following experience of homophobia during her time as a lesbian:
One morning, as was my routine on my way to work, I stopped at the Jordan mini-mart to get a cup of coffee.  On this particular morning, I heard a woman yelling at her kids, telling them that they were worthless and inconvenient and in the way.  Nothing makes me more furious than the disrespect of children, and I turned to give her my iciest glare.
That's when I saw the t-shirt she was wearing.  It featured the General Mills cartoon rabbit speaking these words to an effeminate man: 'Silly Faggot, Dicks are for Chicks.'
... I approached the woman.  I told her that I was a lesbian and that my feelings were hurt by her tee shirt ... Her jaw dropped like a fish on a line.  The mini-mart went pin dropping silent.  Finally, her husband elbowed her and said, 'Stop talking to that queer.'  I started to cry and the mini-mart exploded in laughter ...
She fosters and adopts children, including children from other skin-colours.  She shares an experience of racism in the church:
One time, Kent (her husband) was filling a pulpit at a small church in a small town.  These places scare me, and for good reason.  Knox was asleep on my shoulder and Mary was asleep in the car seat.  A man walked up to me, not knowing that I was the preacher's wife, and said: "So, is it chic for white women to adopt black kids these days?'  I took a deep breath and stood up to meet his gaze.
'Are you a Christian?' I asked him.
'Yes, ma'am,' he replied.
'Did God save you because it was chic?' We locked eyes until he dropped his head.  He stammered something unintelligible and backed away slowly, seeming to understand that even when the bear does not look like the cubs, the trauma of having one's head ripped off by a protective mama can be bloody business.
She includes the following nuggets of wisdom:
'... the integrity of our relationships matter more than the boldness of our words.'
A friend told her that God does not work quickly but he does act suddenly.

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