By JASON REYNOLDS
Not many authors would have the guts to come out and write about why they should not be writing a book. But a campus minister and Internet communicator does exactly that in a new book.
Sammy Rhodes is the author of “This is Awkward: How Life’s Uncomfortable Moments Open the Door to Intimacy and Connection.” Nelson Books is the publisher of the title that hit the market last Tuesday.
In his introduction, Rhodes comes out and lists 16 reasons he should not have written the book, including, “I don‘t have a decent picture to go on the back of this book. No one tells you how weird it feels to ask a photographer to take your headshot. I completely understand the people who used to think that having your picture taken steals a little part of your soul. Maybe I’ll just use the caricature I had drawn for twenty dollars in Myrtle Beach when I was in the seventh grade.”
Rhodes tackles life’s most awkward subjects with a Christian worldview but with a great deal of humor. It certainly makes for an interesting way to address pornography, divorce, body image, sexuality and depression. People’s reluctance to talk honestly about those subjects reveals a gap between what people are and what they know they should be, he argues. God loves these awkward moments, he writes, because they are where people find a connection with God and with one another. God knows our most shameful secrets and can liberate us, he writes.
Don’t believe you can write about hard subjects and keep a sense of humor? In a chapter titled “Parents Are a Gift: You Can’t Return Them,” Rhodes shares the details of how his father’s alcoholism and drug habit tore their family apart. His father left his mother and him and had a younger girlfriend.
Rhodes writes about how his counseling helped him accept his father would not be the kind of dad he hoped for. “Sometimes it takes becoming a parent to realize that your own parents are human beings. Frail. Fragile. Insecure. Wounded. The thing about being an adult is you’re never quite sure you’re doing the right thing. Multiply that by 10 when you’re a parent.
Rhodes also shares stories from his experiences as a parent and husband.
Rhodes is a campus minister with Reformed University Fellowship at the University of South Carolina. His writing has been published in Huffington Post and Christianity Today.