From the Introduction:
Can you feel it, buried so deep inside of you that it feels both inaccessible and undeniable at the same time? You’re reminded of it whenever those hot, unexpected tears come, or when stifling frustration erupts into anger. It’s down there, lying in between the fault lines of your soul, waiting for that tremor that will shake you to the foundation. How does it feel when it stays inside of you? How does it feel when it finally comes out?
The very best work we do is when we help the good stuff come out, in ourselves, in each other. And we’ll do this again and again and again.
When we allow ourselves to peer into cracks and slivers where honesty can be found, we realize we are lost, even though we haven’t left home. When we listen for the melody of our lives, it is drowned out by the endless drumbeat of a forced march, and we feel our exhaustion at a deep, soul level. This is a very good moment, containing a hidden gift. Most of us miss it because we are too afraid to leave the forced march. This moment of exhaustion is a beginning. This book is about not missing those moments. This book is about leaving the forced march. This book is about finding hidden beginnings and pursuing the endless adventure of becoming.
What Others are saying about Beginnings:
I’ve come to think of Steve Wiens as a poetic hound dog, an author who sniffs out the nuances of ancient biblical words and stories until he’s dug up their practical implications for the living of our actual lives. Wiens’ book, Beginnings, is an eloquent, earthy, and gently urgent call to say yes to the beautiful things the Creator wants to grow in the soil of you and me.
– CAROLYN ARENDS, Recording artist and author
Steve Wiens has a rich repertoire of stories that have emerged from the daily concrete reality of life. He uses this fund of narratives to fill out and explicate the seven days of the creation lyric. The result of this interpretive work is that we are permitted to read both ways, from creation to daily life, and from daily life to creation. This “back-and- forth” is immensely generative, thanks to the pastoral heart that is so evident on every page of Wiens’ book.
– WALTER BRUEGGEMANN, Author, The Prophetic Imagination
This isn’t a book. It’s an invitation to new beginnings, new life. With a fresh perspective on Genesis 1, we are invited into God’s process of becoming who we actually are. Telling stories with honesty, vulnerability, and pastoral sensitivity, Steve helps us locate our stories in the grand narrative of God’s creation and re-creation story. Read this book and walk into something new.
– NATE PYLE, Author, Man Enough
Beginnings is a fine work of midrash. Steve Wiens knows how Scriptures should work—indeed, how they do work— to breathe an expansive breath into our mean and shriveled lungs, creating space for a good universe, the fullness of creation, to come inside. Beginnings shows us how to take in the breath, and with the exhale, to let out a great and inspired hallelujah!
– STEVE BELL, Singer/songwriter
God majestically spoke creation into being in seven days, creating the teeming world of profundity and promise in which we live. Beginnings beckons us to let into our lives God’s formational framework, the seven days which created the world and just might change yours.
– MARK SAYERS, Pastor of Red Church, Melbourne, Australia, and author of Facing Leviathan
I really enjoyed reading Beginnings and found myself referencing Steve’s writing in conversation with friends immediately. This book will both encourage and challenge. Steve doesn’t leave us alone with our thoughts and struggles but expertly guides us into our own new beginnings through both the creation story and his own journey. Nice one, Steve!
– STU GARRARD, Songwriter/singer, formerly of Delirious
If you love language, stories, and scholarship, Steve Wiens has prepared a feast of all three in Beginnings. Steve is a wise guide and wonderful storyteller, trekking deep into the rhythm of the Creation, and the gorgeous Hebrew language which holds it. There are a few stories in my life which have been tender to the touch and in need of a deeper interpretation than merely my own experience of them. Beginnings gave me a way to interpret my life, fresh, and for that I am grateful.
– JAN MEYERS PROETT, Author and speaker
I read Beginnings during one of those in-between seasons Steve Wiens talks about. I was at the close of one adventure, with no clear sense of when the next would come, and still less certain that I would be up for the challenge when it did. I was exhausted but also restless. Rather than offering a quick escape, Beginnings encouraged me to embrace that tension. After all, the seeds of new life are often embedded in the vulnerable place between the “What now?” and the “What’s next?” Wise, hopeful, and beautifully written, this was the right book at the right time for me. What will it coax to life in you?
– JOHN PATTISON, Coauthor, Slow Church
Steve Wiens is the rare pastoral soul who somehow tells the truth about ourselves and God with both truth and love. He gets it; he gets us; and yet he sees the truth of the gospel and the wonder of resurrection among the most regular moments. In an age of Facebook-self vs. real-self, this book of his will help our compartmentalized church move into the prophetic work of wholeness.
– SARAH BESSEY, Author of Jesus Feminist & Out of Sorts
This book will encourage you. Deeply. To be and become the light God created you to be. To stop being something and someone you are not. To begin again—to be the “good” God created you to be. Read it and be blessed.
– RUTH HALEY BARTON, Author of Sacred Rhythms