When a friend asked author Karen Stiller—who is senior editor of Faith Today magazine, married to an Anglican priest, and the parent of three children—if her family’s life was like living in a fishbowl, Stiller answered with the candor and spiritual wisdom that shape her entire memoir: “I told my friend that I do think some people watch us to see how very good or how very bad we are, and they make assumptions about us—what we are really like and how we will act. But even as some people watch us, I know that God watches over us. That is what I have learned. It’s a very different kind of watching, and it is lovely.”
As Stiller explores themes such as community, marriage, friendship, envy, funerals, holiness, loneliness, and more, she doesn’t focus only on the difficulties ministers’ wives encounter, but celebrates restored relationships, milestones achieved, and love nurtured in the name of Christ. She writes, “The church—the sixth member of our family—is a weird and sometimes wonderful auntie. She can throw a tantrum or show up with an armful of gifts. She demands attention, but also hugs you tight. She might reach over and give you a smack, right out of the blue.”
The Minister’s Wife is replete with laugh-out-loud commentary, harrowing sadness, fresh perspectives, and compassionate musings. Satisfyingly and biblically sound, Stiller shows how our seemingly small stories as members of churches, including hers as a minister’s wife, are part of something big and glorious: “God is not tame. Jesus is not our pet. Our stories are not as boring as they might seem on some days. We are part of the big wild story of the restoration of heaven and earth.” (Tyndale Momentum)
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- Tell A Better Story
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- Book review: A Church Called Tov, by Laura Barringer and Scot McKnight