Friday, November 3, 2017

Book Review: Pizza with Jesus

Pizza with Jesus (No Black Olives). P.J. Frick. 2017. CreateSpace. 158 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: God sends his angels and love in many forms. One of my favorites is the dog. Always I learn from dogs--my own and every single stray.

Premise/plot: P.J. Frick shares her story, her testimony, with readers in Pizza With Jesus (No Black Olives). The book is about her many losses, the grieving process, and walking with Jesus through it all. She writes, "Loss is as varied as a fingerprint--as are the many responses to it."

My thoughts: Throughout the book of Psalms, believers are called to TELL.

Psalm 107:2a reads, "Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story--"

Psalm 66:16 reads, "Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me."

Psalm 71:15 reads, "My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long--though I know not how to relate them all."

Telling is just what Pizza with Jesus is all about. She writes, "This book is an attempt to answer His call to share my journey of faith through the most difficult times of my life."

It's a personal story. The book begins with a preview of all the losses coming her way. She then goes back, addresses each loss one by one.

This isn't a how-to-grieve book. I'm not sure it's even a how-I-grieved book. I don't think there is a tidy "the end" to the grieving process. If it isn't a how-to-grieve book, what is it? It's a how-Jesus-was-there-through-every-single-moment book. I would also say it's a memorial of sorts to her husband. Within the book she shares memories of her husband and even asks others to participate in sharing memories of David. The book reads as a love letter to her husband.

I would categorize this as a memoir of a Christian woman not a theological book on grief. The distinction isn't just that it is incredibly personal, though that's part of it. Frick's story includes some elements that I would categorize as not quite biblically sound. For example, the pre-existence of souls in heaven. She talks of her dogs, cats, and even her husband as returning to heaven. This notion of "returning" is problematic--theologically. If she'd written going to heaven, going to be with the Lord, going HOME, I wouldn't have thought twice. When writing about death, it can be a slippery slope to try to poetically talk about death and dying and the deceased. Lots of metaphors abound--each person has their own preferred way of saying it. What one person likes, another doesn't.

I will note that more dogs die in this book than in any other book I've EVER read in my thirty-plus years of reading.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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