I am in the midst of reading a wonderful book called One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches To The Margins by Rev. Emmy Kegler. A book that stops me in my tracks to take a deep breath and ponder for hours. A book that inspires me to walk more deeply with those who are hurting and/or wounded by their family, friends, church, or community, and who are trying to find their own gender identity, sexual orientation, as well as their own identity at the heart of who they are and who they are becoming.
Emmy Kegler is a queer woman who grew up in the church and knows well how those who believe can use scripture to hurt and wound and exclude others. Her voice is nourishing, her stories are full and round with vulnerability. The book starts out with a beautiful quote from the wonderful advocate and late Rachel Held Evans: “Here is a church that colours outside the lines, a church full of what she calls “the impossibilities of God … the Spirit that moves in the margins.”
Many of Kegler’s words throughout the book have struck a deep chord with me: “I needed someone to tell me the truth: pain was real. So real, in fact, that to know what it meant to be human God put on skin and let that body be torn limb from limb. Pain was not escapable, pain was a reality.” Such an immediate connection with reality, in fact more than reality–a deep and significant truth.
Kegler has also helped me to better understand the book-ends between which such a rich continuum lives and exists (or as my own pastor and friend would say, the richness and full colour that comes between the extremes in the merism symbols): “I did not yet know Austen, now my best friend, who would teach me that “male and female,” like day and night, sky and sea, water and land, did not preclude the existence of sunrise and sunset, rain and snow, beach and riverbank, and trans and nonbinary.”
Merism (from the Greek, “divided”) is a rhetorical term for a pair of contrasting words or phrases (such as near and far, body and soul, life and death) used to express totality or completeness. Merism may be regarded as a type of synecdoche in which the parts of a subject are used to describe the whole. Adjective: meristic. Also known as a universalizing doublet and merismus. A series of merisms can be found in marriage vows: “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.”from Richard Nordquist, https://www.thoughtco.com/merism-rhetoric-term-1691307
I am leading a friendly book club on Facebook and we are reading this book One Coin Found together. Would you like to join us? We are only discussing Chapter 3 so far. Send me a message if you’d like to read and discuss along with us. I consider it a safe space to share and learn together.
If you would like other recommended book titles, let me know, and if you have one to recommend, please let me know.