“Inciting” comes from the Latin word incitare which means “to put into rapid motion, urge, encourage, and stimulate.”
In the 21st century, most of us already feel like our lives are on a crash course with reality. We slip through our days almost in a catatonic state, doing all the things we must do, need to do, are expected to do and keep pace with the world’s mandate to produce. Someday, inevitably, the wind beneath our sails will cease and stimulate our rapid fall into “real life.”
Inciting Incidents, is a collection of those moments in the lives of six people. It’s a thin, un-intimidating book. Each author’s story is only a blip on the timeline of their lives, but it is that blip gives us common ground. If there is anything that every human shares it is the eye opening experience of pain. Sometimes that pain is our own, sometimes it is the observation of pain with such intensity that it becomes our own.
Each of the six stories is written in first person. Jeff Goins, tells of being Wrecked , by an unscheduled introduction to poverty and homelessness.
Mandy Thompson, is honest when she describes depression as a gift. Through it, she discovered God’s imprint of creativity on her life. “[And] I am determined to make something beautiful out of my messy life. It’s the best way I know to say thank you to the One who gave me these inner wars and gives me the strength to keep fighting and creating through them.” (pg. 49)
Blain Hogan, leads the reader into the terrifying experience of a panic attack. Pastor David Hickman gives voice to everyone who knows the strangling grip of the pressure to perform. Tracee Persiko admits that even as she offers biblical counsel to others, she still feels the pain of her own family trauma. And David Wenzel manages to sprinkle humor throughout his story of the discovery of and living with an inoperable brain tumor.
There is hardly a human emotion that is not addressed with gentle empathy in this small book. It left me feeling as if I had just shared an intimate cup of coffee with the author, held their hand and cried a while. I want to know more about their now tangible lives.
It is impossible to be critical of Inciting Incidents. There are no under-developed characters, because no one tells a story like his own. There are no weak plots, for truth is more engaging than fiction. The pages turn only to offer comfort, the silence of a good friend and the assurance that we are not alone.