In Thrift Store Graces, Jane continues the witty, inspiring, and thought-provoking storytelling that she began in her first book, Thrift Store Saints. But this time, Jane introduces us to some far more challenging personal situations that emerge as a result of her volunteer work. Also, she beautifully weaves in stories of her pilgrimage to Medjugorje in war-torn Bosnia - from her initial, well-reasoned resistance to taking the trip to her subsequent joy in having embarked on such a soul-changing journey.
This "ridiculous" religious thinkingthat when we help the poor, they end up helping usis at the heart of the 30 stories that Jane Knuth shares in Thrift Store Graces, the sequel to her popular Thrift Store Saints. Similar to the first book, Thrift Store Graces contains personal accounts of Knuths experiences serving as a once reluctant, now enthusiastic volunteer at a thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
What sets Thrift Store Graces apart from her first book is that Knuth introduces us to some far more challenging personal situations that emerge as a result of her volunteer work. Additionally, she invites us to join her as she hesitantly embarks on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in war-ravaged Bosnia. Through it all, her delightful sense of humor keeps her going, along with her conviction that some of Gods greatest gifts come disguised as difficulties.
Witty, inspiring, and thought-provoking all at once, the stories in Thrift Store Graces subtly compel us to redefine what it means to volunteer and to rethink why it is that we volunteer in the first place.
Jane Knuth has been volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the last 17 years. She is also a math tutor. Knuth and her husband, Dean, live in Portage, Michigan.
God can show up in the most random places, including, evidently, second-hand shops. Knuth (Thrift Store Saints), longtime volunteer for St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Kalamazoo, Mich., offers brief accounts showing that even the most mundane events in life can reveal God to us. The author describes her interactions with thrift store shoppers who are down on their luck, barely making ends meet (or not), and the spiritual lessons she learned from their hope and persistence. Knuth has a gift for gazing at the world through the lens of grace and faith. These stories of the ordinary are, interestingly, interwoven with an account of her pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a town in Bosnia where the Virgin Mary was reported to have appeared. This may seem an odd juxtaposition: accounts of finding God in the ordinary followed by the experience of a religious pilgrimage to an extraordinary site. But the author never favors one over the other. She attempts to reflect on her life, become a more generous person, and savor the sacred in all of humanity. Anyone looking for encouragement in their spiritual life will appreciate the authors subtle yet invigorating vignettes.
"I love Jane Knuths books Thrift Store Saints and Thrift Store Graces."
--Ray Dupont, National Saint Vincent de Paul Stores Committee Chairperson