Let it Be Said We’ve Borne It Well: Following God in the Time of COVID-19
By Gregory Funderburk (Smyth & Helwys)
Are you overwhelmed, numbed or undone by the pandemic—among everything else—and need encouragement? Are you a fan of good stories? Are you a pastor in need of powerful sermon illustrations? You might not know it from the title, but Let it Be Said We’ve Borne It Well carries the weight of all three.
Greg Funderburk meets the reader on the page. That’s really the sense. He doesn’t write at the reader so much as communicate, “I see where you are,” or even, “This is where we are.” And then he ties together a story and a biblical truth like a spoonful of sugar hiding needed medicine.
The medicine comes in three forms—self-awareness, self-care and self-giving—with 20 doses, or chapters, each. But don’t worry; the chapters aren’t horse pills. Funderburk has the gift of getting to the point quickly without being abrupt. He also has the uncanny ability to touch the exact nerve, not enough to hurt, but enough for the reader to know he knows.
Movies, music and other cultural references, as well as great works of literature and Funderburk’s own experiences, serve as regular portals to spiritual truths. His tone and approach—calm and taking one thing at a time—are described perfectly in lines he quotes from the movie Apollo 13. He seems to take things in stride—the good days and bad. At least, he does upon reflection.
Funderburk’s writing acknowledges the depth and complexity of suffering through a pandemic. He offers a steadying, reassuring hand in tethering the sense of fear and uncertainty to the sureness of God. The prayers concluding each chapter convey this well.
There’s a vulnerability and self-acceptance in his writing. He is self-aware and draws the attentive reader to his or her own self-awareness.
The only complaint is that the book was not published in March 2020, but then, it couldn’t be written until later, anyway. It’s still very good medicine, encouraging and giving the reader confidence in God’s grace.
Greg Funderburk is the minister for pastoral care at South Main Baptist Church in Houston, and also has attorney and author to his credit.
Eric Black, executive director, publisher & editor