Confession: The postman left a manila folder containing a book I forgot I had requested for reasons I couldn’t remember by an author I didn’t care to follow. I’m probably just jealous, for who can resist Beth Moore’s effervescent presentation of hope? Apparently, there are few of us. Remember Proverbs 27:14? “If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.” Such has been been my response to Moore’s prolific output. And like a good neighbor, I have carefully avoided her work—not an easy feat in modern day Christendom. Too bad for me, since I discovered upon opening the package that she has some really good things to say. When I read the enclosure, I was reminded I had, um, agreed to post a review. Here it is.
Get Out of That Pit has a timely message for anyone who finds themselves feeling stuck, unable to stand and having lost vision. From my curmudgeonly introduction, you have surmised that might be me! Moore delights with sunny, southern colloquialisms–if one has an affinity for that form of humor, then sucker punches with unavoidable truisms. As a result of her transparent sharing rather than the plastic perfection of which I [might] have accused her, I found myself open to her message, taken predominantly from Psalm 40, and the account of Joseph.
For me the most valuable takeaway is this: A pit is not, by definition, an external circumstance or a location outside of one’s self, but is, in fact, mobile. One can carry their pit with them into any situation, which she illustrates with a comic sketch of driving/crashing a stinking RV into a well-appointed living room to set up household. She posits at the beginning that it is this internal pit from which our true deliverance must come. As a spiritual director, I was thrilled to discover this nugget within. However, her attention quickly turned, in subsequent chapters, to the external “pits,” i.e. less desirable choices and willful disobedience. My initial thrill, thus, was tempered a bit. I would have liked to see more of the book devoted to the inner aspect. It seemed the freshest.
As to literary quality, while the stories are witty and charming, the writing is redundant and unfocused at times. Thus, I had a hard time staying engaged–maybe it’s just me. Thankfully, the study guide in the back brings clarity where it is lacking within the specific chapters. To her credit, she is forthright, stating that the style is conversational and can be problematic for some (…me, maybe?).
Women, in particular, looking for devotional material full of familiar biblical passages that “fill you up”–a significant portion of the scripture-consuming population, will no doubt find it enjoyable and helpful. Those who appreciate a more serious use of language, whose invitation is to deeper layers of reflection and self-awareness, who want to explore meaning beyond metaphor, should be aware that Get Out… will likely not serve that purpose, though it will serve its purpose in redirecting us to an awareness that we have agency in how long we stay. And it offers some actions to take to help us Get Out of That Pit! Spoiler alert: They mostly concern the mouth.
While I resist formulas, I recognize the value in organizing our thoughts. So, if you or someone you know seems to recycle through insurmountable situations—feel stuck, can’t stand in the face of difficulty, and have lost vision, Moore offers good insight. You may want to skim, though, rather than read each word. Congrats on the 10th anniversary of a successful piece of work.