Ordinary magic It s a phrase Rachel uses in one of her pieces, and it s the phrase I choose to describe this entire collection John Blase, author and poet of The Jubilee I made the mistake of opening this book at my daughter s swim meet Opening it wasn t a mistake quite the opposite but doing so when I wasn t in a place to sit and think and feel and grieve and hope was Rachel s poems draw on all that from me mind and soul They re beautifully crafted and beautifully true, as the best poetry should be They are portraits of feeling and place and people and God the stuff of real, true life Barnabas Piper, podcaster and author of The Curious Christian These poems should be read in order, but slowly, over years if necessary, or all at once if at all possible Either way, though, they should be read Mourn, laugh, and resolve with the poet beauty comes from ashes, even ashes like these Lore Ferguson Wilbert, author at Sayable I recommend that you pick up Two Funerals, Then Easter and read it carefully and slowly If you do, you re likely to hear the echoes of your own soul, but also the echoes of the God who made you Scott Sauls, pastor and author of Irresistible Faith The world doesn t need any pretentious or self absorbed words We need words of beauty and grace, grit and hope We need poetry that sounds like the language of our own heart, verse that tells the stories we long to hear when we re alone, cold, in the dead of night We need words that make us human, that rouse our faith And here, we have it Winn Collier, author of Holy Curiosity and Love Big Be Well Rachel beckons you into the heaviness of grief and the relentlessness of hope in the way only a great poet can Jon Minnema, Fathom Magazine


15 thoughts on “Two Funerals, Then Easter

  1. KK KK says:

    I haven t read poetry in years, but follow the author on Twitter, and have enjoyed her words in that space Ordered this, and read through most of it last evening My perspective on life is different due to age, and it spoke to me in many parts, both with a nod of affirmation, and a tear shed for the words and feelings shared Her way with words in This Is Love was particularly beautiful Your mother had the same idea.That maybe death would shake you awake maybe faith would get your attention if it wore a hospital gown Many Christians including me have asked God to strike them in some way to bring about the salvation of someone close that they love Rachel writes in a beautiful, yet simple way Reading those who have suffered does much for soul work than any self help book, and it is soul work that I constantly need Thank you Rachel for sharing yourself with the rest of us.


  2. Jason Hague Jason Hague says:

    I never read poetry books from cover to cover Generally, I flip through to ones that catch my eye Not so with Two Funerals, Then Easter The narrative shape of this collection pulled me in right away, and I didn t want to skim Rachel s journey through heartbreak and restoration is emotional and compelling, but never manipulative I love the little glimpses she gives into her world One poem begins, Dear old love letters, please stop falling out of my favorite books I ve never considered how tough it must be to live with such landmines all around But throughout her journey, Rachel wraps her pain in grace and raw beauty When she finds love again, her joy is palpable.This is a gorgeous book that will help you believe in the power of redemption Read it.


  3. Persis Persis says:

    I first saw excerpts of Rachel Joy Welcher s poems on Twitter They resonated strongly with me, so I wanted to read and was not disappointed She was able to put into words so many things I had felt but was unable to express That s a real gift.So if you have suffered loss, these are for you If you have found that life goes on after sorrow because of Christ, and not just a half life but a life worth living, these poems are for you.


  4. Jack Williams Jack Williams says:

    I was hooked in the first verse Rachel Joy Welcher exposes incredible vulnerability in Two Funerals Then Easter You feel the pain, the doubt and insecurity along with her but you also feel the joy of love rediscovered I can t adequately express how strong and powerful this book is I sat down and read it in one sitting and then read it again the next day It was better the second time around this is a must read.


  5. A. Smith A. Smith says:

    I started reading, thinking that I would just read a couple poems and then move on to another book I found myself trying to read slower, to soak them in, but an hour later I closed the book with a heavy sigh, wishing there was to read Welcher s poetry is beautiful and true, and she invites the reader to share both pain and hope, sorrow and joy One of the best books I ve read this year.


  6. Jeffrey Jeffrey says:

    The best kind of poems are those who become an unexpected friend They seem to understand a part of you that you didn t understand about yourself yet I don t understand how some people can write so vividly about the human experience, but I know that Rachel is one of those people I read this book in the course of a single day and plan to share it with my friends as soon as possible


  7. Shelby Deeter Shelby Deeter says:

    This is a book I feel I will pick up over and over again and memorize and quote my favorite parts Welcher writes like humans feel deeply and authentically I found my heart was warmed and my eyes were teary in all the right ways Having been walking through a season of depression for a lot of this year, there were poems in this book that reached off the page, said what I was feeling, and hugged me right when I needed to be hugged I can t recommend this book enough This collection of poems is beautiful and we all need to read beautiful things.


  8. Meredith Meredith says:

    Rachel has walked the road of divorce, and I ve found solace and solidarity before in a couple of articles she s written that depict the pain and confusion of that experience But wow, these poems are so beautiful honest about the pain with lots of hope and gospel, but without being preachy or dismissive of the pain She has a ridiculous gift for giving voice to soul deep hurts and longings I didn t know I liked poetry, but on the recommendations of others, I cracked it open and within minutes, I understood the rave reviews If you ve experienced divorce or any significant loss, one of the best investments you can make in your healing is to buy this book and block out a few hours to sit with it and read slowly


  9. Laura Kauffman Laura Kauffman says:

    Rachel s poetry, as always, is hauntingly poignant I read this collection all at once it was like sitting with an old friend And now I find that her words pop up again at the strangest times Just a line here, a phrase there Always inviting me deeper into the weight or beauty or just plain honesty of the moment You re going to want to buy this collection These are the kinds of words you want standing watch on your bookshelves.


  10. Sarah Dyer Sarah Dyer says:

    Rachel s poems give a voice to so many who have suffered loss and experienced terrible grief Her writing is beautiful, personal, powerful, and made me weep than once Rachel is a uniquely gifted poet and tells the story of loss, pain, hope and redemption I will read everything she writes.


  11. Steven R. Robertson Steven R. Robertson says:

    If it were possible to give 8 or 10 stars, I would.This is a faith full, tested in the fire, collection of poetry that inspires me to be thankful, to believe, and even to want to write and better poetry myself.Cannot recommend this highly enough.


  12. Kate Kate says:

    I devoured this little book of poetry while sitting in the car one afternoon It spoke to my heart on so many levels and helped me grieve events in my life like nothing else has So thankful for it


  13. Debbie Neal Crawford Debbie Neal Crawford says:

    Rachel is a poet that writes of her real life experiences She her pain in loss and her joy in love Though I have finished it, I will read it again so that I can linger longer within her words.


  14. K.J. Ramsey K.J. Ramsey says:

    Reading this book was like taking a deep breath Rachel s poetry powerfully transmutes sorrow to beauty It comes alongside you like a deeply trusted friend with a gentle, long hug This book not only made me feel held in my own places of pain but inspired me to hold the goodness and beauty in people and places in my life with greater care and attention Buy this and buy one for a friend in need of comfort and hope It s a gift to read.


  15. Gwen T. Jorgensen Gwen T. Jorgensen says:

    I inhaled this book Rachel writes of both joy and pain in heartfelt, heartbled, honesty She pulls you along in her own journey, yet gives any reader, wondrous words to reflect on, in their own season of life I will savor reading these poems again.