Wednesday Bookclub: Befriend, Foreword

Today is the first day of our Wednesday bookclub reading Scott Saul’s book, Befriend. If you don’t have a copy yet or haven’t started reading, no worries! You have all week to engage in the discussion. This is how it works: I’ll post some initial thoughts and recap some of Saul’s points, but then I will ask questions in the comments section. If you see a question you want to answer, simply reply to the question. And if you want to reply to someone else’s comment, please do! Or, if you want to ask your own question or start a new talking point, just create an original comment that isn’t a reply to anyone else’s. Ground rules: This is meant to be an encouraging, redemptive conversation. Unkindness will not be tolerated (either toward the book, author, or each other). If any comment can be construed as unkind at all, it will be deleted. Let’s get started!

Ann Voskamp wrote the foreword. She starts with a story about the area where her family’s farm is located. There were two brothers who lived nearby, and the younger farmer worried about his older brother feeling “the ache of aloneness,” so every day he sent one of his kids to leave a bucket of milk on his brother’s doorstep so he would know “this was a place flowing with the milk and honey of kindness and that none of us are ever alone.”

Likewise, the older brother worried that his younger brother didn’t have enough to provide for his family, so every night, he would leave a couple dozen eggs at his brother’s door so he would know “that all needs are tucked underneath an attentive wing of provision and that none of us are ever alone.”

One night, the younger brother himself decided to deliver the milk, and as he was on his way to his brother’s house, he encountered his older brother, who was on his way to deliver eggs to the younger brother’s house. They sat down together and spent the night in each other’s company, until the sun came up.

Ann explains that this is a story of people incarnating the crucified cross to each other. She says, “Where our roads cross with others’ roads, we can experience the power of the Cross. Where our roads cross with others’ roads, the Cross can be lifted high and lift us both up and into him.”

Ann then explains what kind of friend Scott Sauls has been to her and her family, one who “extends Christ’s grace and truth as the relief of friendship.” She is hopeful that this book will help usher our culture into more of a “Kingdom age—an age of belonging by grace, through self-giving love, in the power of Christ.”