When I received my copy (free from B&H Publishers in exchange for an honest review) of Tony Merida's Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down, my first thoughts were: this is a much smaller book than I expected and they could have done a much better job with the cover! This thin hardback book is approximately 7" x 5" and has a distressed looking cover reminiscent of an old long-lost book you might find in someone's attic.
However, the message inside the book is powerful and thought-provoking.The author asks, "What if the path toward an extraordinary life is becoming more ordinary?" He then shares how ordinary people, doing ordinary things (like performing simple acts of service, showing neighborly love, offering hospitality, supporting or pursuing adoption), can make a huge impact in our world.
In the preface to the book, the author quotes Aristides reasons for the influence of Christianity in AD 125. Among other things, Aristides said that Christians "do not worship strange gods...go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness...love one another...deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly...gives to him who has not, without boasting...fasts two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food." Wow, I wonder if someone were describing Christians today if he would use these same words.
Here are a few other points that stood out to me in this book:
*Christians should be indignant toward evil, yet compassionate toward its victims.
*Love involves action, not indifference. It involves compassion that leads to action.
*Evil will triumph when people do nothing.
This is a book I'll be keeping in my personal library to reread . . . despite its size and distressed looking cover!