The first two paragraphs of Rosaria Butterfield’s book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith read as follows:
When I was 28 years old, I boldly declared myself lesbian. I was at the finish of a PhD in English Literature and Cultural Studies. I was a teaching associate in one of the first and strongest women’s studies departments in the nation. I was being recruited by universities to take on faculty and administrative roles in advancing radical leftist ideologies. I genuinely believed that I was helping to make the world a better place.
At the age of 36, I was one of the few tenured women at a large research university, a rising administrator, and a community activist. I had become one of the “tenured radicals.” By all standards, I had made it. That same year, Christ claimed me for himself and the life that I had known and loved came to a humiliating end.
What follows is her spiritual journey. It included the hospitality, love, and patience of a pastor and his wife, and the encouragement of a number of other Christians and several churches. Another characteristic of Rosaria’s journey was the faithfulness of Christians to proclaiming God’s Word, and not backing off or backing down.
If you read this book (and I hope you do), be warned that you won’t agree with everything she writes or thinks. I didn’t, and don’t. She’s a little raw at some points, and blunt at others. It’s worth the rough spots, though.
There were places that this book was hard for me to read, not because I didn’t understand the words, but because of the content. Rosaria and her husband Kent have adopted four children and fostered a number of others. She goes in detail about their experience – the ups and the downs. It was difficult to read (though I rejoice with the Butterfield’s) because the subject of adoption is still somewhat raw with me (having gone through the process two separate times; first from application through home study to completing the portfolio and waiting, and the second time being turned down at the end of the home study process). Adoption is a wonderful thing that Christians should embrace wholeheartedly; but it’s still a bit hard for me to “rejoice with those who rejoice” in a full, unhindered way. (I know that attitude isn’t pleasing to God, and I pray it changes. I’m trying to be honest and Butterfield brought it to the surface again.)
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert is an important book, especially at the particular time in which we live. It should be widely read, thought about, and discussed.