Thrift Store Graces: Finding God’s Gifts in the Midst of the Mess

Jane Knuth. Loyola, $13.95 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-0-8294-3692-1
God can show up in the most random places, including, evidently, second-hand shops. Knuth (Thrift Store Saints), longtime volunteer for St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Kalamazoo, Mich., offers brief accounts showing that even the most mundane events in life can reveal God to us. The author describes her interactions with thrift store shoppers who are down on their luck, barely making ends meet (or not), and the spiritual lessons she learned from their hope and persistence. Knuth has a gift for gazing at the world through the lens of grace and faith. These stories of the ordinary are, interestingly, interwoven with an account of her pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a town in Bosnia where the Virgin Mary was reported to have appeared. This may seem an odd juxtaposition: accounts of finding God in the ordinary followed by the experience of a religious pilgrimage to an extraordinary site. But the author never favors one over the other. She attempts to reflect on her life, become a more generous person, and savor the sacred in all of humanity. Anyone looking for encouragement in their spiritual life will appreciate the author’s subtle yet invigorating vignettes. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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