Sometimes life makes us wait. These moments of inactivity often produce anxiety and frustration. However, Eileen Button shares many ways to learn from these inevitable periods of waiting. The Waiting Place is a tremendous treasury of wisdom presented in a charming manner. Eileen is a weekly columnist for Flint Journal whose punchy style is truly delightful. This is one of the best books I’ve read in recent memory.
The fact that The Waiting Place is Eileen’s first book makes it even more impressive. Beginning with reflections on her childhood home, she chronicles brief chapters of her life, analyzing poignant moments with her family and friends. Eileen affords her readers the unique privilege of knowing her inner most thoughts while life unfoldes in humorous, somber, frustrating and triumphant moments.
Eileen is no typical pastor’s wife. She is eager to let her true feelings be known throughout the book. Her candor is admirable. Far from mean spirited, she shares the reality behind the curtain of professional ministry including trips to the social services office to pick up food stamps. It is evident both Eileen and her husband Brad have genuine hearts to honor God. Together they have made personal sacrifices to support one another as they fulfill God’s calling upon their lives. This is no embittered pastor’s wife. Eileen authentically shares the whole tale. And for that she deserves great respect.
Chapter 13 “Sunday, Sunday” reveals the tension between Eileen’s love for her husband and his love for the church. She even calls it his “mistress.” The church whispers his name and beckons his attention during their times together as a family. In a rather poetic fashion, Eileen exposes Brad’s battle for focus while away from an otherwise all consuming profession. Here’s just a sampling of the brilliance: She is often referred to as the ‘bride of Christ,’ but she can be a mighty horse of a bride. Trust me, I live with her. In Brad’s and my life together, she is ‘the other woman.’
Thanks to The Waiting Place we are reminded it is possible to redeem life’s moments of pause and to use them for character building. One must have the proper perspective to accomplish this. Eileen is a helpful guide whose wit, humility and intelligence makes this learning process a laugh out loud enjoyable time of contemplation with a healthy dose of conviction.
Visit Eileen’s website for updates and weekly column posts from Flint Journal.