Sometimes, you read a book because you're familiar with someone they're connected with. Case in point, Eugene Peterson and Janice Peterson. Having read excerpts from the Message and several other books from Eugene, I was curious as to what Janice would have to share. I'm so glad that I took a peek.
In Becoming Gertrude, Janice Peterson shares not only what we can give in friendship to others but also a reminder of the things that we receive. In today's culture, it's very easy to become disconnected or to believe that reading updates about one another's life on a regular basis means that we are connected. The hardships, struggles, difficulties in friendship are discussed in this small book in a way that encourages the reader to reach out of a place of safety to increase their circle of friendship in real ways.
Right from the beginning, the purpose of the book is clearly stated as friendship and not mentorship. The relationship put forth in this book is not one of a hierarchy but of a bond between two people. She talks about how some bonds are more difficult than others to maintain and she shares about those ever so special someones that walk alongside you during your journey that encourage and sustain.
Overall, this book reminds me of a course correction. When a ship changes its course ever so slightly, it dramatically changes the end location. With just a few small changes in the way that we encounter people, we can gather an ever-growing community of friends, spiritual friends. The advice she gives isn't outrageous, it's not going to take some amazing feat of will-power to accomplish. It's going to happen in the small changes along the way. By being open to the gift of spiritual friendship, we may find that we make honest connections that move beyond social updates and passing hellos.
A copy of this book was given to me by Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of review. I'm never required to give positive feedback, but I'm always thankful when I can.