From Publishers Weekly
Poet, writer and septuagenarian Shaw begins this slim book with an account of her recent bungee jumping in New Zealand. While her book covers such topics as fear, loss, conflict and relationships, the most interesting subject Shaw explores is her own life. In her chapter on conflict, for example, she writes candidly about what it's like to straddle the literary and evangelical worlds: "A common assumption... is that a Christian must write sanctimonious hymns or sentimental verses.... If my work is clearly 'literary'... I may be accused of watering down the gospel." These insights, along with a brief remembrance of her friendship with Madeleine L'Engle, give some vitality to this otherwise conventional, somewhat underwhelming book. Ironically, while Shaw's content focuses on the risks God calls Christians to take, the book itself never strays from safe, well-traveled evangelical territory. Her biblical examples, such as Moses' attempt to convince his people to take the promised land, may support her argument that we must obey God even if it feels risky, but her observations about these passages are not particularly original. Yet Shaw writes beautifully, includes generous helpings of poetry (both her own and others') and, in her own gentle way, injects a subtly feminist, pluralist sensibility into this orthodox book. (May)
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"I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've been a fan of her poetry for many years; now she challenges me to live life on the edge. Bungee jumping at her age? I can feel the collective eyebrows rising. . . . "I, for one, needed the reminder that the Holy Spirit is often a cultural nonconformist, and the Christian life is meant to be innovative and exhilarating, a breathtaking journey; those opposed to risk need not apply." (David McFadzean, Wind Dancer Productions)
"Strap in and launch yourself into wild blue yonder with Luci Shaw. Like all good poets she revels in paradox, which is why she understands the spiritual life as both stillness and movement, contemplation and adventure. As a spiritual test pilot, Luci Shaw has the right stuff." (Gregory Wolfe, Editor, Image journal)
"I have known Luci Shaw first as a poet whose poetry invited attentiveness to specific moments, particular textures--in nature and in domestic spaces I recognized and loved; then I came to know her as a friend with a bracing, exuberant embrace of life which constantly challenged me to press on. Now, in these pages, she dashes on ahead and calls back over her shoulder, 'Dare! Double dare!' Here is an answer to pallid Christianity: as Luci richly demonstrates, living incautiously opens up all kinds of opportunities. Go ahead--read this book, be changed and challenged as l always am by reading Luci Shaw. I dare you." (Maxine Hancock, Ph.D., professor of interdisciplinary studies and spiritual theology, Regent College)
"Whirling in midair, Luci Shaw cries to us to stop clinging to our perches and leap out into wind-borne flight. This widow/poet/grandmother/gardener/bungee-jumper hammers on our fear-shackles and sings of a joyful, faith-full adventure beyond." (John G. Stackhouse Jr., Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada)
"Luci Shaw does not live cautiously--her life is an exuberant romp in the things of creation. Nor does she write cautiously--her poetry is a dive into a pool of spirited (Spirit!) language. This witness, a fusion of personal stories and revealing poems, welcomes us into the fullness into which Christ calls us." (Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College)