This book has been on the shelf a while, waiting for me to read it. I’ve heard from several people that it is a jolting read that looks into the mundane and pulls out the extraordinary. I’ve heard that Wilson’s description of everyday life reveals the incredible complexity and creativity that is before us each day.
Indeed this book does, but it took me almost to the end of the book to “get” Wilson’s writing style. He writes the book like a musician writes a song filled with staccatos. It jumps all over the place. I’m certain a second reading would allow my brain to pull much more out of each chapter.
The chapter entitle The Problem of Kittens: Cuteness and Beauty stood out to me as the best. He asks, “Why do Christians think of purity, holiness, and even divinity as something with big eyes and soft fur?” Why do we take a horrific image of a cherubim and turn it into a precious moment? He goes to passages in the Bible that show us what angel is. This chapter was gold.
Holiness is terrible. It comes with the whirlwind. It is a purifying fire. We are not the first Christians to trivialize the cherubim. We are not the first to make things soft on our imaginations and comfortable in our dreams.
When you think of a cherub, do you see a gingham dress full of grandma? Do you see a fat, winged infant riding on the wings of a storm, something at home in the funnel clouds. Something with four faces and four wings, the color of burnished brass, unconsumed by an infolding fire?
The trite is more comfortable. I like angels I can hug. Forget the pillar of fire; a teddy bear is more fitting icon of holiness (149).