Review: The Tea Shop by Karl Forehand

An unexpected surprise from a tea shop in Taiwain.

Deep down, aren’t we all looking for something that is much greater than us? Karl Forehand may have been searching for something, but did not expect to find it in a tea shop in Taiwan. All he wanted to do was purchase some souvenirs to bring home. When all is said and done, “Sometimes the best adventures are the ones that are unscripted.” (57)

Forehand introduces the reader to the people that join him on this journey and allows the reader to feel as though they are sitting in the tea shop alongside him. Meeting the man with no name, ushered Forehand into new ways of thinking and being in this world. Learning to see God in all things and in the unexpected takes a vulnerability and freedom of releasing oneself into the hands of God. This can be difficult to do when we expect something totally different than what God is offering.

Many of the chapters can be read like a journal entry as the author is rethinking some of those things that he had previously thought. As a pastor myself, reading from someone that used to be a pastor, resonates with my being as some of his thoughts reverberate in my own mind. As he shares some of his own revelations, it brings a sense of joy. The relationships built within this powerful interaction was a revelation itself of God in the world. The willingness to step into the unknown frees us for so much more. Forehand reflects, “I am coming to understand that the stepping into the unknown is not only valuable, but necessary. Most of the time I travel down well-worn paths of familiarity. I want safe adventure , but safe adventures are a contradiction in terms.” (122)

The adventure within this short book is one worthy of taking and you will not be disappointed. The adventure that it contains fulfills some of our need for travel in a time of COVID and is an invitation for our own self reflection.

*Thank you to Mike Morrell and Speakeasy for providing this book for review.

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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