Just at a time when I feel worthless--unable to do much after a hernia repair--Melanie Springer Mock (who really should credit herself with her PhD, Dr. title) pricks the prejudiced rubric I use to judge myself worthy.

"How much can I get done?"--The answer to that question is what renders me worthy in the mirror. Being I'm not getting a whole lot of yoga done, I'll Mat Chat about books instead!

We all have a rubric we use to judge ourselves and judge others. Mock delves into the "biblical" rubrics used to exclude the "unworthy" from church communities and discusses in detail how important belonging to community is. Her analogy to the Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14 resonated with me that none of the impromptu guests were required to give a confession or ascribe to a particular theology to be worthy to sit at the banquet table. I appreciate Mock's discussion of the "Church's Big But Problem" probing into the unbiblical narratives that exclude using the 'but' phrases like, "Love the sinner but hate the sin." Instead, Mock asks why not just "love the sinner?"

Though Mock doesn't come out and say it, it's an observation of mine that church lines are drawn on the answers to these 2 fundamental questions:

1. Who's in charge of the narrative?

2. Who's in and Who's Out?

Mock challenges her readers to check their priveledge in understanding when to listen to those on the margins. I have to add, we are wise to listen to those outside of the narrative and these invisible church boundary lines. I appreciate Mock's willingness to discuss the marginalized in Christian environments including the LGBT. How many of us Christians are willing to make a space beside our family at church for our gay friends and their families to sit?

Whether the obstacles are social, theological, or biomechanic (as in my handicapped situation right now), having the functional ability to get oneself a seat at the table is essential to embodying the label "worthy". Often my isolated homebound patients lament to me their frustration of still being alive because they too judge their value on their functional ability to get themselves a seat at the table. It is just at this time I remind my patients (and right now myself) that their job is now to tell their story. Only they can tell their story and it is our unconformed story as people that reserves us a seat at the table of life, at the banquet that is on earth as it is in heaven. Mock eloquently tells her unconformed Menanite story in "WORTHY", how it hasn't fit into the evangelical narrative and how she found herself "in a World Expecting Someone Else." It's a story worth reading with many lessons for every woman, and yes, every man.

If you think you are not prejudiced, take a read and get back with me. It's much easier to conform than to reveal our true colors to the world. So I say, "Praise for 'WORTHY'" in encouraging the reader to lean in to who God created them to be, even if it doesn't fit the mold and the world is expecting someone else.

Order your copy of "WORTHY" here