AS REVIEWED FOR CTM RESOURCING
By: CLARE BOYD-MACRAE December 2016
What is it about Julie’s writing? It is beautiful but spare – not a word wasted – as these little 500 word gems reveal… Julie takes a tiny event – a note from her cleaner, an observed interaction with a solicitous bank teller – and spins it skilfully out into something profound. In doing so, she fulfils what I believe it is one of the duties of artists of every stripe, and that is to reveal the profound in the ordinary, the sacred in the mundane, so that those of us exposed to their work see our own ordinary lives in a new light. In a world that is full of cruelty and crassness, Julie’s vignettes remind me that there is beauty and tenderness and holiness in the world, that grace breaks through, constantly…
AS REVIEWED IN CROSSLIGHT
By: HARRIET ZIEGLER on 7 December 2016
…In these Stories of Faith and Life, Julie opens our eyes to the faith, life and love to be found in the commonplace. Most of the eight short essays in each volume were originally published in the Faith column of The Sunday Age newspaper. Although there are continuing threads amongst them, they need not be read in one sitting and are perfect for reading in fits and starts, as when travelling on train or tram. Having been written for a broad audience, they deal with a broad range of subjects – the hurly-burly of daily life; song and story; birth and death; traffic accidents; even mobile phone etiquette.
…whilst they appeared in the Faith column, they often admit Faith’s companion, Doubt. In no way does Julie romanticise or simplify the complexities of life or faith. In writing about a guitarist/song-writer terribly injured in a terrorist attack in Peru, she says: “Some things don’t heal. There is a respectful knowing that doesn’t try to force healing or hope on people.” There is no force in these stories – but a gentle invitation to see the hope that may be found in following the way of Jesus and the hope to be found in the goodness of humanity. Every essay declares the presence of God, whether explicitly or implicitly. Closing line of the three volumes quotes theologian Graeme Garrett saying “the world is the solid speech of God”. In these essays, Julie shows the solid speech of God, the solid speech of love, in the extraordinary and ordinary world as she sees it…
AS REVIEWED IN BAPTIST UNION VICTORIA
Spinifex Blessing is the title of a delightful collection of 24 small, very personal stories told by Julie Perrin. Each of her reflections, short enough to be read in a few minutes, resonate with a sense of spirituality in the midst of everyday life. It may be a moment of family celebration; a chance meeting with a stranger outside a bank; a reflection while recuperating after a visit to hospital; a Christmas celebration with homeless people; a moment of personal loss; or an unusually affecting random news report. These are life’s highlights, lowlights and ordinary moments. They are moments of transcendence, inspirational stories ideal to read in a quiet place at a time when the reader can afford to be still and reflect. The stories were all published at one time or another in The Sunday Age faith column. They have been collected into three pocket-sized booklets, easy to carry around.