White Picket Fences

Privilege. We hear the word, and we flinch. For some, it’s paralyzingly painful to think about. For others, the very thought of it evokes bitter resentment. For all of us, the notion that some people have it inherently better than others, and for entirely arbitrary reasons, seems insurmountable, unresolvable. And yet until we talk about this issue—really get into it—we’ll never fully understand it, never find our way forward through it.

With honesty, humility, and grace, Amy Julia Becker introduces us to a childhood in a Southern state still finding its footing after the tension of the civil rights movement, and an adulthood in a Northern city whose social inequities have been carefully hidden from view. We’re reminded that the white picket fences that seem so pristine and good and even virtuous can function as a wall, even a prison, that prevents us from knowing and loving our neighbors, and experiencing the world as it truly is and the God who invites us to carry a blessing into it.

Author

Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker is the author of A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations and a Little Girl Named Penny (Bethany House), named one of the Top Books of 2011 by Publisher’s Weekly, and Penelope Ayers: A Memoir. Her next book, Small Talk: Learning from my Children about What Matters Most (Zondervan) will be published in October of 2014. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she blogs regularly for Christianity Today about faith, family, disability, and culture. She is also the author of two ebooks, the forthcoming What Every Woman Needs to Know About Prenatal Testing: Insights from a Mom who has Been There, and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious. Her essays have appeared in the Motherlode blog of the New York Times, the Atlantic online, First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hartford Courant, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, The Huffington Post, and Parents.com. Amy Julia lives with her husband Peter and three children, Penny, William, and Marilee, in western Connecticut.