What can I say about Life Is Mostly Edges It is vintage Calvin Miiller: witty, insightful, funny, touching, and moving. Ever since I read The Singer, I have appreciated Miller’s writing. Life Is Mostly Edges, his memoir, takes its place among Miller’s better works. It is not necessarily a book I will return to, but it is one that I do not regret reading, that I had trouble putting down, and that I very much want to loan to friends.
The account of Miller’s childhood is fascinating. He grew up poor in Oklahoma, largely without a father (who left his mother when he was young). But Calvin says he and his family never knew they were poor, primarily because of the indefatigable efforts of his mother. In truth, this book constitutes one of the greatest eulogies to a mother I think I’ve ever read. Even though I am a father, this fact challenged me to want to live my life in such a way that my daughter will remember me well. On a side note, it was interesting to me how much space Calvin devoted to food, a not-too-surprising fact given the meager store of their small house growing up.
The account of his marriage to Barbara and their ministry together will certainly inspire any preacher who reads this book. I was pained to read the account of some of the strife he went through as a pastor, and yet, that too is part of ministry. Hearing a seasoned minister speak of such things on the other side of them is always helpful and it lends a measure of perspective to those of us in the pastorate.
He spends very little time on his Southwestern Seminary and Beeson days, which I found interesting, but he does pass on some helpful advice about teaching and the dynamics of delivering a lecture.
I met Dr. Miller at Southwestern seminary, and my wife and I housesat for him for a year while he and Barbara were in the Philippines. It was during this time that our daughter, Hannah, was born, and I have always enjoyed telling her that her first night out of the hospital was spent in the home of Calvin and Barbara Miller.
Get this book. It’s a great read!